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Pv 2.1 Saṃsāramocaka Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante Helps a Ghost

Sāriputta Bhante sees a female ghost and asks,

Sāriputta Bhante:

You are naked and very ugly, your veins are popping out. You thin person, with your ribs sticking out, who are you?


I am a ghost, sir. I am suffering in the world of Yama. I have done an evil deed as a human and have been reborn in the world of ghosts.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Now what evil deed have you done by body, speech, or mind for you to have been born in the world of ghosts?


Nobody had sympathy for me. Neither my father, mother, nor relatives encouraged me to give alms to monks. Therefore, I did not give alms. I must wander around the world naked and always hungry for five hundred years. This is the result of my evil deed.

I pay respect to you good sir with a very happy mind. Please have compassion towards me, oh noble monk. Please offer something and share the merits with me. Please release me from this state of misery.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Very well.

Out of kindness Sāriputta Bhante offered a handful of rice, a piece of cloth and a bowl of water to monks. He then shared the merits with the female ghost. The result of that merit was received by the female ghost immediately in the form of food, drink, and clothing. She became clean and fresh with the cleanest and finest clothes. She approached Sāriputta Bhante.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Who are you, with heavenly beauty, shining in all directions like a star? Why are you so beautiful? What merit have you collected when you were a human?


Sāriputta Bhante, you were very compassionate when you saw me in a miserable state: thin, starved, and naked with rough skin. You offered the monks a handful of rice, a piece of cloth, and a bowl of water then dedicated the merit to me.

Now look at the result of offering a handful of rice. For a thousand years I will eat delicious food whenever I want.

Look at the result of offering a piece of cloth. I have as many clothes as King Nanda. Still I have more clothes than that, made from silk, wool, linen, and cotton. There are lots of expensive clothes, so many they even hang from the sky. I can wear whatever I want.

Look at the result of offering a bowl of water. I have gained a beautiful pond with clear and cool water. It is surrounded by fine sand and there are fragrant lotuses and lilies with flower petals floating in the water. I am very happy playing in the water. I am not afraid of anything. You were very compassionate to me Bhante. I have come to worship you.

Read this translation of Petavatthu 2.1 Saṃsāramocaka Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante Helps a Ghost by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on Or explore the Pali on

Or read a translation in Deutsch, 日本語, සිංහල, or Tiếng Việt. Learn how to find your language.

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

Pv 1.11 Nāga Sutta: The Elephant

The deva leading the gods is riding a white elephant. There is a deva in the middle of the line sitting on a chariot. At the end of the line, a female deva travels on a golden stage which shines brightly in ten directions. But you ghosts are carrying hammers in your hands with sad faces and broken bodies. You also drink each other’s blood. What bad karma have you done in the human world?

The one in the middle, sitting on a chariot was our second son. He was unselfish and very generous. He now shines brilliantly.

The female deva with soft eyes like a deer’s who is at the end, travelling on a golden stage is our youngest daughter. She was wise and donated half of her wealth. She is now happy and delighted.

In the human world, our children gave alms to monks with very pleasant minds. But we were very selfish and insulted monks. Our children are now very happy because they practiced generosity, but we are suffering like withered bamboo reeds.

You are suffering today because you missed the opportunity to do good deeds when you had plenty of food and wealth. Now in the ghost world, what kind of food do you eat and what kind of bed do you sleep on? How do you live here?

Some rich people neither use their wealth nor do meritorious deeds. These greedy people are reborn in the ghost world and suffer.

These ghosts experience the results of their bad karma, suffering from hunger and thirst; they are burning from suffering.

Wealth and property are temporary things. Even this life is very short. Wise people should understand this impermanent nature of life and should seek a way to protect themselves.

There are wise people who understand the Dhamma well. Having heard the teachings of Arahants, they do not forget to give alms.

Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.11 Nāga Sutta: The Elephant by Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero on

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu, Stories of Ghosts, available on