Chapter 10 - BEFORE YOU READ Activity Use a dictionary or...

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B EFORE Y OU R EAD Activity Use a dictionary or ask for your teacher’s help as you discuss the following questions in groups. 1. What is a sermon? Is it different from a lecture or a talk? Can this word also be used in a negative way or as a joke (as in “my mother’s sermon about getting my work done on time…”)? 2. Find out the meanings of the words and phrases given in the box. afflicted with be composed desolation, lamentation procure be subject to 3. Have you heard of the Sermon on the Mount? Who delivered it? Who do you think delivered a sermon at Benares? G AUTAMA Buddha (563 B.C. – 483 B.C.) began life as a prince named Siddhartha Gautama, in northern India. At twelve, he was sent away for schooling in the Hindu sacred scriptures and four years later he returned home to marry a princess. They had a son and lived for ten years as befitted royalty. At about the age of twenty-five, the Prince, heretofore shielded from the sufferings of the world, while out hunting chanced 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. He wandered for seven years and finally sat down under a fig tree, where he vowed to stay chanced upon came across by chance enlightenment a state of high spiritual knowledge
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134 First Flight until enlightenment came. Enlightened after seven days, he renamed the tree the Bo Tree (Tree of Wisdom) and began to teach and to share his new understandings. At that point he became known as the Buddha (the Awakened or the Enlightened). The Buddha preached his first sermon at the city of Benares, most holy of the dipping places on the River Ganges; that sermon has been preserved and is given here. It reflects the Buddha’s wisdom about one inscrutable kind of suffering. Kisa Gotami had an only son, and he died. In her grief she carried the dead child to all her neighbours, asking them for medicine, and the people said, “She has lost her senses. The boy is dead.” At length, Kisa Gotami met a man who replied to her request, “I cannot give thee medicine for thy child, but I know a physician who can.” And the girl said, “Pray tell me, sir; who is it?” And the man replied, "Go to Salyamuni, the Buddha.” Kisa Gotami repaired to the Buddha and cried, “Lord and Master, give me the medicine that will cure my boy.” The Buddha answered, “I want a handful of mustard- seed.” And when the girl in her joy promised to procure it, the Buddha added, “The mustard-seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent or friend.” Poor Kisa Gotami now went from house to house, and the people pitied her and said, “Here is 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
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Chapter 10 - BEFORE YOU READ Activity Use a dictionary or...

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