Pv 1.12 Uraga Sutta: The Snake

A beloved son of a family died but none of the family members cried at his death. The son, reborn as the god Sakka, came to the family disguised as an old man and asked them why they didn’t cry.

Father:

Just as the serpent sheds its old skin and abandons it, humans also abandon their useless body and die. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead son. He went to another life according to his karma.

Mother:

He came to this world without invitation and departed without permission. He was born in this world and went from this world according to his own karma. What is the use of crying? That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead son. He went to another life according to his karma.

Sister:

If I would cry, I would become very exhausted. What would I gain from crying? My crying would only bring more sadness to our relatives, friends, and family. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead brother. He went to another life according to his karma.

Wife:

Just as a child cries asking for the moon, it is the same as someone crying over another’s death. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead husband. He went to another life according to his karma.

Servant:

Just as a shattered pot cannot be fixed, it is the same as someone crying over another’s death. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead master. He went to another life according to his karma.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.12 Uraga Sutta: The Snake by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

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