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Chapter 10: Sermon Benares
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again! In the future, if we want a happier humanity, a happy world, we must tackle the root of the problem. Of course the economy and political power are also causes. But the ultimate cause lies within the human mind. Every human action, verbal or physical, even minor actions, have some motivation. Proper motivation or proper development is an important factor.
Thus, if intelligence is accompanied with human affection and compassion, what I call human feeling, then it is very useful. If society’s moral values and standards of behaviour become negative, each of us will suffer. Therefore, the intentions of an individual are very much related to the interests of society. There is a definite correlation.
The educational system and family life are two very important areas. In the educational field, one has to take care not only of the brain, but also of one’s spiritual development. I say “spiritual development” not in a religious sense but simply in the sense of having a good and compassionate heart. If one has a compassionate heart, it automatically brings inner strength and allows for less fear and less doubt.
Subsequently, one becomes happier and more open-minded, thus making more friends in society. One day, Prince Siddhartha was going the royal gardens on his way the river. A flock wild geese passed overhead. Devadatta, the Prince’s cousin, shot arrow into their midst one of the geese fell. It was wounded and fell just front of Siddhartha. His heart was filled compassion when he saw poor bird bleeding profusely.
He lifted it and he drew the arrow very carefully from its body. He took the bird with him. Devadatta sent a messenger claim the bird. But Siddhartha refused to give it. He said that belonged to him because he had saved its life. It did not belong to Devadutta who had tried to kill.
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NCERT Solutions Class 10 English Chapter 10 Sermon Benares
When her son dies, Kisa Gotami goes from house to house? What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
After the death of her only son, Kisa Gotami was overcome with grief. She carried the dead body of her son in her arms and went from door to door asking for medicine to cure her child, but nobody could provide any medicine. For there is no such medicine available which can bring a dead person back to life.
Kisa Gotami again goes from house to house after she speaks with the Buddha. What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
Gautama Buddha asks Kisa to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a house where death had never knocked at the door. Kisa Gotami went from door to door, but couldn’t find a single house where death had not taken a beloved away. She could not get it as death is ineritable and anyone who is born is bound to die one day.
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