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     Kisa Gotami became weary and hopeless, and sat down at the wayside watching the lights of the city, as they flickered up and were extinguished again. At last the darkness of the night reigned everywhere. And she considered the fate of men, that their lives flicker up and are extinguished again. And she thought to herself, “How selfish am I in my grief! Death is common to all; yet in this valley of desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality who has surrendered all selfishness.”
Explanation:
 
As a result of her exhausting efforts, Kisa Gotami lost all faith in her ability to complete the task assigned by Buddha. She might have realised by this point that the Buddha's request of her was neither easy nor possible. She eventually sat by the side of the road, seeing the city lights flickering up and disappearing again. After the lights were turned off, the area eventually fell into complete darkness.
 
Gotami then compared the light to the life and felt about the fates of men as how their lives go by so quickly, and then they're gone. She finally understood that everyone in the world eventually dies. "Death is common to all, yet there is a route that leads to immortality for someone who has surrendered all selfishness," she reflected herself.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1.
Flicker To shine or burn with fluctuating light and darkness
2.
Extinguish To make a burning light stop shining
3.
Desolation A state of emptiness or destruction
4.
Immortality Eternal life
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Sermon at Benares - Betty Renshaw (pp. 133-139). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.