Khp 7.  Tirokuḍḍa Kaṇḍa — (Hungry Ghosts) Outside the Walls

This passage is identical with Pv 1:5.

Outside the walls they stand,

& at crossroads.

At doorposts they stand,

returning to their old homes.

But when a meal with plentiful food & drink is served,

no one remembers them:

Such is the kamma of living beings.

So those who feel sympathy for their dead relatives

give timely donations of proper food & drink

—exquisite, clean—


“May this be for our relatives.

May our relatives be happy!”

And those who have gathered there,

the assembled shades of the relatives,

with appreciation, give their blessing

for the plentiful food & drink:

“May our relatives live long

because of whom we have gained [this gift].

We have been honored,

and the donors are not without reward!”

For there [in their realm] there’s

no farming,

no herding of cattle,

no commerce,

no trading with money.

They live on what is given here,

hungry ghosts

whose time here is done.

As water raining on a hill

flows down to the valley,

even so does what is given here

benefit the dead.1

As rivers full of water

fill the ocean full,

even so does what is given here

benefit the dead.

“He gave to me, she acted on my behalf,

they were my relatives, companions, friends”:

Offerings should be given for the dead

when one reflects thus

on things done in the past.


no weeping,

no sorrowing

no other lamentation

benefits the dead

whose relatives persist in that way.

But when this offering is given,

well-placed in the Saṅgha,

it works for their long-term benefit

and they profit immediately.

In this way

the proper duty to relatives has been shown,

great honor has been done to the dead,

and monks have been given strength:

The merit you’ve acquired

isn’t small.2


1. In modern Theravāda merit-making ceremonies, this sentence is the first to be chanted when monks rejoice in the merit of the donors.

2. This passage—beginning with “He gave to me…”—is often chanted when donors are dedicating merit to the recently deceased.

See also: MN 82; AN 10:166