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Peta Vatthu

Peta Vatthu 1.10 Khallāṭiya Sutta
Dressed in Hair

A ghost explains the value of giving and sharing merit.

A group of merchants sees a ghost and asks,

Merchant:

Who are you, the one staying in that mansion? Why don’t you come out? My dear, we would like to see you and your psychic powers.

Ghost:

I am naked and embarrassed to come outside. I wear my hair as my only clothes. I have collected only a small amount of merit in my previous life.

Merchant:

Alright my dear, I will give you my cloak. Put it on and come outside. We would like to see you.

Ghost:

I cannot receive what is given by your hand directly to mine. But within your group, there is a lay follower of the Supreme Buddha who is very faithful to him and his teachings. Offer him the cloak and share the merits with me, then I will be happy and have all the comforts I desire.

Those merchants washed the lay follower and offered him the cloak. They then shared the merit with the ghost.

The ghost received the result instantaneously in the form of food, clothing, and drink. This is the result of the sharing of merit. Then she became pure, wearing the cleanest and finest clothes. Smiling, she came out from the mansion saying, “This is the fruit of your gift.”

Merchant:

Your mansion is very beautiful and shines very brightly. Oh devata, tell us what good karma is this the result of.

Ghost:

When I was living in the human world, a monk was going on his alms round. I had a very confident mind towards him and offered an oil cake. As a result of that good karma, I have lived happily in this mansion for a long time. But that result will come to an end soon. In four months, I will die and fall to the very scary and terrible hell. That hell has four corners and four doors. It is divided into sections, surrounded by an iron wall and covered by an iron roof. Its iron floor is glowing with heat. Flames cover the area for hundreds of miles. I will experience pain there for a very long time as the result of my evil deeds. Because of this I am very sad.

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Peta Vatthu 1.10 Khallāṭiya Sutta: Dressed in Hair

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