NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 9 - The Sermon at Benares

Find top NCERT Solutions at Aasoka for the prose “The Sermon at Benares”. The solutions are curated in a simple language which will help students enhance their knowledge of the chapter. Aasoka’s NCERT Solutions for Class 10th covers all the important topics which are as per the latest syllabus and curriculum. NCERT Solutions are very helpful while students are doing their revision as it will help them cover all the crucial concepts.

“The Sermon at Benares” is about the early life of Gautam Buddha who was born as a prince but after being exposed to the world’s sufferings, he left all the worldly pleasures in search of salvation. He delivered his first sermon in Benares which made a lady, Kisa Gotami, realized that men are mortal and death is inevitable. Lord Buddha also said not to get upset about what is happening in the world as it will only lead to pain and sorrow.

Question 1:

When her son dies, Kisa Gotami goes from house to house. What does she ask for ? Does she get it ? Why not ?


She asks for a medicine to cure her son. She doesn’t get the medicine because there is no medicine to bring the dead back to life.

Question 2:

Kisa Gotami again goes from house to house after she speaks with the Buddha. What does she ask for, the second time around ? Does she get it ? Why not ?


She asks for a handful of mustard-seeds, but doesn’t get any. The Buddha had asked her to bring the seeds from such a house only where no death had ever taken place. Kisa Gotami could find no such house. That is why she couldn’t bring the seeds as desired by the Buddha.

Question 3:

What does Kisa Gotami understand the second time that she failed to understand the first time ? Was this what the Buddha wanted her to understand ?


She now understood that there could be no house where there had never been any death. She also came to understand that death was the common end of all. There could be no medicine that could bring the dead back to life. The Buddha wanted her to understand this very fact of life.

Question 4:

Why do you think Kisa Gotami understood this only the second time ? In what way did the Buddha change her understanding ?


Kisa Gotami now understood the real importance of what the Buddha had said. Now she understood that there could be no house where death had never taken place. Thus the Buddha was able to change Gotami’s understanding of the meaning of death.

Question 5:

How do you usually understand the idea of ‘selfishness’ ? Do you agree with Kisa Gotami that she is being ‘selfish in her grief ’ ?


‘Selfishness’ usually means thinking of oneself only without caring for the interest of others. We can’t say that Kisa Gotami was selfish in her grief. She was only ignorant of a hard reality. In her grief, she had forgotten the fact that the dead can’t be brought back to life. The Buddha made her realize this fact in a very subtle and convincing manner.