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Peta Vatthu

Peta Vatthu 1.7 Sattaputtakhādaka Sutta
Eater of Seven Sons

Jealousy and hatred can only lead to suffering.

Upon seeing a ghost, a monk asks,

Monk:

You are naked and very ugly. Your body is very smelly. You are surrounded by flies. You, standing there, who are you?

Ghost:

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. Every morning, I give birth to seven sons and in the evening another seven are born. I eat them all that night. But I will still be hungry. My heart is burning with hunger so much that it is smoking. My mind is never peaceful. I am being tortured and in pain as if burned by fire.

Monk:

Now what evil deed have you done by body, speech, or mind? What have you done so that you have to eat your own sons?

Ghost:

I had two sons who had become teenagers. My sons were strong and I used their strength to disrespect my husband.

My husband became very angry and married another wife. When she became pregnant, I got very jealous of her. With that evil mind, I gave her some medicine that would kill the unborn baby. The three month old embryo flowed out just like blood. The baby’s grandmother became very angry with me and called her relatives. She frightened me and made me swear an oath. I told a terrible lie by saying, “If I was the one who killed the baby, I will eat my own sons!”

As a result of that evil deed and the lie I told, I have to eat my sons and be covered by their blood.

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Peta Vatthu 1.7 Sattaputtakhādaka Sutta: Eater of Seven Sons

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