The Sermon at Benares Summary & Notes - CBSE Class 10 English First Flight

According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 8.

Summary of The Sermon at Benares

Chapter 10 of the Class 10 English textbook, ‘First Flight’, consists of a prose piece titled The Sermon at Benares by Betty Renshaw from the book, “Values and Voices”. This chapter throws light on the preachings of Lord Buddha that have deep-rooted meanings in our lives. Here, we present you a summary of the prose in the form of CBSE English Notes Class 10. Students of CBSE Class 10 can check the prose summary of The Sermon at Benares given below. They can refer to the CBSE Class 10 English Prose Notes – The Sermon at Benares as they prepare for their Board examinations.

Students can also go through CBSE Essays to improve their writing section of the English paper.

CBSE Class 10 English The Sermon at Benares Summary

The Sermon at Benares illustrates the valuable preachings of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was born as a prince named Siddhārtha Gautama in North India. When he was twelve years old, he was sent away from home to study the sacred Hindu scriptures. He returned four years later and married a beautiful princess. They had a healthy son and led a life of royalty for ten years. Being a part of the royal family, he was protected from the sufferings and unpleasant happenings around the world.

One fine day while he went out hunting, the Prince met an ailing man, an old man, a funeral procession and a monk begging for alms. He was moved by the encounters, and soon he left royalty behind to seek enlightenment for all the sorrows that he witnessed. After seven years, he attained Salvation and sat under a tree and renamed it the ‘Bodhi Tree’ (Tree of Wisdom) and began preaching and sharing his new understandings. Soon, he came to be known as the Buddha (the Awakened or the Enlightened). He gave his first sermon in Benares, the holy city on the banks of the river Ganges. In one of his sermons, he taught about a lady, Kisa Gotami, whose only son had died. She was devastated and in extreme grief for the sudden loss. She went from one house to another, seeking help and medicine to bring her son back to life. People thought that she had lost her mind owing to her grief.

One day, she met a man who directed her to approach Lord Buddha for guidance. He felt that Lord Buddha could possibly help her in this crisis. The lady approached the monk as directed and begged him to cure her son. Lord Buddha asked her to procure mustard seeds from a house where the family had never lost a family member, relative or friend. Kisa Gotami was filled with a ray of hope and immediately went in search of it from one house to another, but she could find none. She felt disheartened and finally realised how selfish she had been in desperately searching for something that was not possible to achieve. Thus, she understood that man is a mortal being; all who come to Earth have to leave behind all their relations and belongings when they die. This was the lesson that Lord Buddha taught her and wanted her to understand, that life and death are the cycles of the universe and no one can escape it.

Lord Buddha taught a valuable lesson to all that feelings of sorrow and grief only escalate man’s suffering and pain. It deteriorates one’s health and worsens the current situation. Therefore, a wise person is one who is completely aware of how Mother Nature functions and must not lose hope or remain in constant grief for something that is bound to happen. It is only then one can enjoy life and stay happy and blessed in life.

Conclusion of The Sermon at Benares

The chapter – The Sermon at Benares explains one of the holiest preachings of Lord Buddha that ended the suffering of a grieving mother, Kisa Gotami, who lost her son. By accepting the truth of life, she freed herself from unending pain. We hope this CBSE Class 10 English First Flight Prose Summary of The Sermon at Benares helped students to get a comprehensive understanding of the chapter. For a plethora of resources on CBSE Notes and CBSE study material, you can check BYJU’S and access sample papers, question papers, etc., for your Board exams preparation. You can also download BYJU’S: The Learning App for more interactive content.

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 10 English The Sermon at Benares


Where is Benares located?

Varanasi, also called Benares, Banaras, or Kashi, a city in southeastern Uttar Pradesh state, northern India.


Who was Siddhārtha Gautama?

Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha, was an ascetic religious leader and teacher who lived in ancient India.


Which tree is known as the ‘Bodhi tree’?

Bodhi tree, according to Buddhist tradition, is the specific sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) under which the Buddha sat when he attained Enlightenment (Bodhi) at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India.


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.



Tuition Center
Tuition Centre
free trial
Free Trial Class
Scholarship Test
Scholarship Test
Question and Answer
Question & Answer