Class 10 students preparing for their CBSE 2023-24 board exams must pay special attention to the chapter “The Sermon at Benares” from the First Flight Book. This chapter is one of the most important chapters in the English syllabus for Class 10, and it carries a significant weightage in the board exams.
To help students prepare for this chapter effectively, we have compiled a list of important questions and answers. These questions are based on the latest CBSE syllabus and are designed to test students’ understanding of the chapter.
This blog post will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the Sermon at Benares Class 10, including extra questions and answers, important questions and answers, and tips on how to ace the chapter in your board exams.
Whether you are struggling with the concepts or just need a quick refresher, this blog post has everything you need to master the Sermon at Benares Class 10.
Keep reading to learn more!
|Subject||English Language & Literature|
|Chapter Name||The Sermon at Benares|
|Type||Important/Extra Questions and Answers|
|Book Name||First Flight Book Chapter 8|
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”
– Vince Lombardi
The Sermon at Benares Class 10 Extra Questions Answers
Q. No. 1) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract.
Poor Kisa Gotami now went from house to house, and the people pitied her and said, “Here is the mustard seed; take it!” But when she asked, “Did a son or daughter, a father or mother, die in your family?” they answered her, “Alas! the living are few, but the dead are many. Do not remind us of our deepest grief.” And there was no house but some beloved one had died in it.
i. The community’s response to Kisa in the above extract was somewhat different from before. Why do you think that was the case?
a) They had learned from Buddha’s sermons.
b) They were able to help Kisa in some way this time.
c) They understood parental grief.
d) They liked Kisa and enjoyed talking to her.
Ans. Option (b)
ii. Which of the following options represents the correct understanding of the word “poor” in the phrase “Poor Kisa Gotami”?
a) in need of money
Ans. Option (c)
iii. “Do not remind us of our deepest grief.” The tone of the speaker(s) is
Ans. Option (d)
iv. Pick the option that explains — ‘…the living few, but the dead many.’
a) It shows the high death rate and low birth rate in the city of Benares.
b) It highlights the holy status of Benares where many Hindus go to die.
c) It throws light on the numerous loved ones the villagers had lost over time.
d) It reflects that many children who had died in the village for various reasons.
Ans. Option (c)
v. Imagine you are a photojournalist visiting the city at the time Kisa Gotami went from house to house. You documented her experience in the above extract in a photo series.
Your publisher wants to publish the photo series in three parts wherein Part 1 shows Kisa’s visits to the houses; Part 2 depicts her conversations with people, and Part 3 captures Kisa’s reflections at the end of the day sitting by the wayside.
The publisher would also like you to choose titles for the series and its three parts.
Look at the titles given below, and choose the options that provide the most appropriate set of titles.
- Series Title – From Darkness to Light. Part I – Living in Loss; Part II – A Mother’s Journey; Part III – Mustard Seed
- Series Title – Mustard Seed. Part I – A Mother’s Journey; Part II – From Darkness to Light; Part III – Living in Loss
- Series Title – A Mother’s Journey. Part I – Mustard Seed; Part II – Living in Loss; Part III – From Darkness to Light
- Series Title – Living in Loss. Part I – From Darkness to Light; Part II – Mustard Seed; Part III – A Mother’s Journey
a) 1 and 2
b) 2 and 3
c) 3 and 4
d) 1 and 4
Ans. Option (b)
Q. No. 2) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract
Not from weeping nor from grieving will anyone obtain peace of mind; on the contrary, his pain will be the greater, and his body will suffer… He who seeks peace should draw out the arrow of lamentation, and complaint, and grief. He who has drawn out the arrow and has become composed will obtain peace of mind.”
i. If the Buddha were a counselor, which of the following options would you find in a brochure of his service?
a) Image (i)
b) Image (ii)
c) Image (iii)
d) Image (iv)
Ans. Option (c)
ii. Which of the following statements cannot be attributed to the Buddha based on the given extract?
- Pain and grief are unavoidable and necessary.
- The inevitability of death makes grieving futile.
- The universality of grief and pain makes us sad.
- Understanding that life is finite leads to wisdom.
a) (1) and (2)
b) (1) and (3)
c) (3) and (4)
d) (1) and (4)
Ans. Option (b)
iii. Chose the option that appropriately completes the following—
lamentation : grief :: _______ : _______
(a) laughter : joke
(b) discomfort : fear
(c) celebration : joy
(d) resignation : loss
Ans. Option (c)
iv. According to the Buddha, peace of mind is attainable by those who
a) renounce worldly life like the Buddha
b) take out the arrow and become strong
c) grieve, suffer, and then move on
d) recognize terms of life and let go of complaint
Ans. Option (d)
v. The given extract is paraphrased below. Choose the option that includes the most appropriate solutions for the blanks.
The act of (i) ______________ is not only pointless but rather (ii) _________, causing pain and suffering. It only serves to (iii) __________ peace of mind. (iv) __________ without complaint is crucial to well-being and peace.
a) grief, harmful, destroy, accepting
b) grieving, counterproductive, take away, acceptance
c) weeping, productive, take away, lamentation
d) grieving, harmful, destroy, lamenting
Ans. Option (b)
Q. No. 3) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
At about the age of twenty-five, the Prince, thereof shielded from the sufferings of the world, while hunting out glanced upon a sick man, then an aged man, then a funeral procession, and finally a monk begging for alms. These sights so moved him that he at once became a beggar and went out into the world to seek enlightenment concerning the sorrows he had witnessed. Questions :
i. Whose age has been referred to here?
Ans. Gautam Buddha/ The Prince.
ii. What was the effect of sights on the prince?
Ans. All the sights moved him.
iii. How did witnessing sorrow change him?
Ans. He left his palace and went in search of enlightenment.
iv. What does “glance” imply in the given lines?
Ans. Looked at.
Q. No. 4) Elucidate any one quality that Siddhartha demonstrated when he gave up his status and family. Explain your choice.
Ans. One quality that Siddhartha demonstrated when he gave up his status and family was “Renunciation.” He willingly renounced his princely life, wealth, and family in his pursuit of enlightenment and to understand the suffering of the world.
Q. No. 5) Do you think being enlightened placed a far greater responsibility on the Buddha than being king would have? Justify your stance.
Ans. Yes, being enlightened placed a far greater responsibility on the Buddha than being a king would have. As the Buddha, he had the duty to teach and guide others towards the path of liberation from suffering, impacting countless lives and future generations.
Q. No. 6) The Buddha renounced his worldly life to attain enlightenment. How might the sermon at Benares have helped Siddhartha Gautama’s wife if she had heard it?
Ans. The sermon at Benares might have helped Siddhartha Gautama’s wife by offering her a profound perspective on suffering and the impermanence of life. It could have brought solace and understanding to her grief and possibly inspired her to seek a path to inner peace.
Q. No. 7) Why did Kisa go to Gautam Buddha?
Ans. To request him to give life back to her son.
Q. No. 8) Why was Kisa sad? What did Gautama Buddha tell her?
Ans. Kisa Gotami was sad because her only son had died, and she was grief-stricken. When she approached Gautama Buddha for help, he asked for a handful of mustard seeds from a house where no one had experienced the loss of a loved one. This was meant to make her realize the universality of suffering and death, helping her transcend her personal grief.
Q. No. 9) How can death be considered an equalizer?
Ans. Death is considered an equalizer because it is an inevitable part of the human experience, affecting people of all backgrounds, statuses, and circumstances, ultimately making everyone equal in mortality.
Q. No. 10) What is the significance of the Buddha’s request for a handful of mustard seeds and the addition of a condition to it?
- mustard seeds easy to procure/ available in every household she knocked at
- added condition – must be procured from a house where no one had lost a child, husband, parent, or friend
- made Kisa Gotami realize the universal nature of death.
Q. No. 11) How did the Buddha respond to Kisa Gotami’s request? What can be inferred about his method of teaching from the same?
Ans. When Kisa Gotami requested the Buddha to cure her son, he did not give her a lecture or tell her that what she was doing was wrong.
He instead asked her to collect mustard seeds from a house that had not experienced death. He presented her with a task that required her to reflect and learn about the universal nature of suffering.
Buddha’s method of teaching can be understood as one where he engages his students in a journey of self-discovery, rather than directly providing them with an answer to a question.
Q. No. 12) Kisa understood the temporality of life as she sat at the wayside watching the city lights. Can you think of any other object or phenomenon, natural or manmade, that might similarly reflect the fragile nature of human life? Justify your choice.
Ans. The setting sun can similarly reflect the fragile nature of human life. Just as the sun sets, marking the end of each day, human lives too have a finite existence. The beauty of a sunset and its transient nature serve as a poignant reminder of the impermanence of life.
Q. No. 13) Grief is often seen as a measure of love. Do you think the Buddha’s sermon undermines a mother’s love? Justify your response.
Ans. The Buddha’s sermon doesn’t undermine a mother’s love but rather aims to provide a profound perspective on the universality of suffering. It doesn’t devalue her love for her son but encourages her to recognize the shared human experience of loss and suffering, promoting empathy and understanding.
Q. No. 14) What message might the Buddha’s story hold for those who are in positions of power and privilege?
Ans. The Buddha’s story conveys a message to those in positions of power and privilege that they should be mindful of the suffering and challenges faced by others. It encourages them to use their status to alleviate the suffering of those less fortunate and to seek a deeper understanding of the human condition.
Q. No. 15) Read the given quote by actor Jim Carrey.
Can you relate this to the Buddha’s life before and after he attained enlightenment?
Provide examples from the text to support your answer.
Ans. Jim Carrey’s quote resonates with the Buddha’s life before and after attaining enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama had a life of privilege and wealth as a prince but chose to renounce it in search of a deeper truth, realizing that material wealth and fame do not lead to ultimate happiness.
Before enlightenment, Siddhartha lived a life of luxury as a prince, married a princess, and had a son. However, he found that these worldly pleasures did not bring lasting satisfaction, leading him to embark on his spiritual journey.
After enlightenment, Siddhartha became the Buddha, gaining profound wisdom and inner peace. He devoted his life to teaching others about the nature of suffering and the path to liberation from it, emphasizing the impermanence of material wealth and fame as true sources of contentment.
Jim Carrey’s quote underscores the idea that worldly success, including riches and fame, doesn’t necessarily bring lasting happiness. This notion aligns with the Buddha’s journey from worldly opulence to spiritual enlightenment, illustrating that true contentment comes from within and not from external achievements.
Q. No. 16) “Sermon at Benares” could just as well be considered another glimpse of India. If it were part of the story ‘Glimpses of India’, what ideas, values, and/ or experiences would it highlight? How would you present this historical part of India?
Ans. If the ‘Sermon at Benares’ were part of the story ‘Glimpses of India,’ it would highlight several essential ideas, values, and experiences from India’s rich history and culture. This historical part of India would emphasize:
- Spirituality and Philosophy: The sermon encapsulates the profound spiritual and philosophical traditions of India, focusing on the Buddha’s teachings on suffering, impermanence, and the path to enlightenment.
- Compassion and Empathy: It showcases the value of empathy and compassion, as seen in Kisa Gotami’s quest for a solution to her son’s death and the Buddha’s teachings that promote understanding and alleviating the suffering of others.
- Diversity and Pluralism: India’s cultural diversity is reflected in the story, with various characters and their beliefs, underscoring India’s pluralistic ethos.
- Quest for Inner Peace: The narrative underlines the timeless Indian pursuit of inner peace and self-realization, which remains central to the country’s spiritual heritage.
Q. No. 17) Life is full of trials and tribulations that can be overcome by a human being through his own efforts. Explain with reference to Kisa Gotami’s life.
- Kisa went from home to home, asked for mustard seeds- where no one had died,
- unsuccessful in getting any, distraught on the loss of her only son
- loses her senses, doesn’t accept reality, ignorant of the fact that death is inevitable
- Lesson- humans are mortal, face pain and suffering, no use grieving
Q. No. 18) Selfishness is a common trait among all except a few and Kisa Gotami could not save herself untouched from it. She says, “How selfish am I in my grief!” Justify her statement of her realization of Death to all.
Ans. Kisa Gotami’s statement, “How selfish am I in my grief!” reflects her recognition of the universality of death and the inherent selfishness in her initial response to her son’s passing. When someone we love dies, it is a natural instinct to grieve deeply, and Kisa Gotami’s intense sorrow is a common human reaction. People often find it challenging to accept that death is a shared human experience, and they tend to perceive their grief as a unique and isolating burden.
When Kisa Gotami approached the Buddha seeking a solution for her son’s death, he tested her by requesting mustard seeds from a house where no one had experienced the loss of a loved one. This test was designed to reveal the universality of death and suffering. As Kisa Gotami tried and failed to find such mustard seeds, she came to a profound realization that death is common to all. Her quest made her understand the selfishness in her grief, as she recognized that her sorrow was not unique but a part of the collective human experience. This moment of enlightenment allowed her to transcend her personal suffering and connect with the broader theme of human existence.
Q. No. 19) If the Buddha were to summarize the life lesson of “The Ball Poem’, what would that sermon be?
Think and create this address for people of your age.
Ans. Dear friends,
In the poem “The Ball Poem,” the Buddha would likely share a valuable life lesson with us. He would say, “Life is like a ball, and loss is a natural part of it. Just as the boy lost his ball, we too will encounter losses and challenges on our journey. The key is to embrace impermanence and learn from these experiences. Do not cling to material possessions or get disheartened by setbacks. Instead, focus on the present moment and cherish the joy of living. Embrace the lessons of loss, for they teach us resilience and inner strength. Remember, life is a beautiful dance of highs and lows, and by accepting it gracefully, we can find peace and happiness within ourselves.”
With love and compassion,
Q. No. 20) “Not from weeping nor from grieving will anyone obtain peace of mind’.
If you had to use the message of the given quote from the Buddha’s sermon (The Sermon at Benares) to help the boy cope with the loss of his ball and what it signifies (The Ball Poem), what would you include in your advice?
Also, evaluate why it might be difficult for him to understand the notion.
Ans. The learning from the referenced quote of Buddha–
the loss of irreplaceable things brings grief and sorrow.
learning to stay calm and understanding the perishable/mortal nature of things helps in living life normally and forgetting the loss
To help the boy cope with the loss — that loss is an important part of life –important to learn from experience –adapt and move on.
Difficult for the boy to understand the notion—
The boy is too young to understand the depth of these words– is alone in his loss —has no one to explain and must learn from his experience painstakingly–requires time to cope —easy to feel disheartened at that age.
Hope you liked these Important (extra) Questions & Answers on Class 10 English First Flight Book Chapter 8 ‘The Sermon at Benares’. Please share this with your friends and do comment if you have any doubts/suggestions to share.