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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Khuddaka Nikaya >> Petavatthu

Petavatthu (Ghost stories)[edit | edit source]

(Also known as, stories of the departed/relatives/ancestors)

The path of Buddha is the path of compassion and harmony for all beings. It strives to make human consciousness evolve higher, however it does not forget those who have met the wrong end i.e. ghost(peta/peti). Buddha offers a way to harmonize with the realm of ghosts by helping them, since all creatures are related to each other, who have been one's ancestors/relatives in some previous lives. Buddha teaches to donate in the name of ghosts/ancestors, which would surely benefit them, as well as help the needy of the world, generating goodwill for all, and in turn help earn merit for the donor too, hence, it is three way beneficent.

Petavatthu contains 51 stories, each explaining how unwholesome deeds led to the rebirth of a being into the miserable realm of the "hungry ghosts" (peta/peti) and how they were helped.

Section-1 : Uragvaggo[edit | edit source]

1.1 Khettupam-petavatthu-vannana : Resemblance To Cultivated Farm(1)
1.2 Sukarmukh- petavatthu-vannana : Pig Headed Ghost(2)
1.3 Pootimukh-Petavatthu-Vannana : Ghost With Rotten Mouth(3)
1.4 Pitthadhitalik-Petavatthu-Vannana : The Biscuit Doll(4)
1.5 Tirokutta-Petavatthu-Vannana : Petas(Ghosts) Outside The Walls(5)
1.6 Pancch-Putta-Khadak-Petivatthu-Vannana : The Devourer of Five Children(6)
1.7 Satt-Putta-Khadak-Petivatthu-Vannana : The Devourer of Seven Children(7)
1.8 Gaur-Petavatthu-Vannana : The Ox(8)
1.9 Maha-Pesakar-Petivatthu-Vannana : The Master Weaver(9)
1.10 Khallatiya-Petivatthu-Vannana : The Bald-Headed Woman(10)
1.11 Nag-Petavatthu-Vannana : The Elephant(11)
1.12 Urag-Petavatthu-Vannana : The Snake(12)

Section-2 : Ubbarivaggo[edit | edit source]

2.1 Sansar-Mochak-Petivatthu-Vannana : Liberation From Rebirths In World(13)
2.2 Sariputta-Thera-Matu-Petivatthu-Vannana : The Mother of Elder Monk Sariputta(14)
2.3 Matta-Peti-Vatthu-Vannana : Story of Matta(15)
2.4 Nanda-Peti-Vatthu-Vannana : Story of Nanda(16)
2.5 Matthakundali-Peta-Vatthu-Vannana : Story of Matthakundali(17)
2.6 Kanha-peta-Vatthu-Vannana : The Story of Kanha(Krishna)(18)
2.7 Dhanapala-Setthi-Peta-Vatthu-Vannana : Dhanapala, The Rich Merchant(19)
2.8 Chula-Setthi-Peta-Vatthu-Vannana : Story of a Rich Miserly Man Chulasetthi(20)
2.9 Ankura-Petavatthu-Vannana : The Story of Ankura, A Brother of Krishna(21)
2.10 The Story of Uttara's Mother(22)
2.11 The Story of The Thread(23)
2.12 The Story of The Kannamunda Peti(24)
2.13 The Story of Ubbari(25)

Section-3 : Chulavaggo[edit | edit source]

3.1 The Story of Not Sinking In The Water(26)
3.2 The Story of Sanuvasin(27)
3.3 The Story of Rathakara(28)
3.4 The Story of The Chaff(29)
3.5 The Story of The Boy(30)
3.6 The Story of Serini(31)
3.7 The Story of The Deerhunter(32)
3.8 A Second Story of A Huntsman(33)
3.9 The Story of The Fraudulent Decisions(34)
3.10 The Story of The Contempt For Relics(35)

Section-4 : Mahavaggo[edit | edit source]

4.1 The Story of Ambasakkhara(36)
4.2 The Story of Serisaka(37)
4.3 The Story of Nandaka(38)
4.4 The Story of Revati(39)
4.5 The Story of The Sugarcane(40)
4.6 The Story of The Rajah's Sons(41)
4.7 The Story of The Rajah's Son(42)
4.8 The Story of The Dung-Eaters(43)
4.9 The Second Story of The Dung-Eaters(44)
4.10 The Story of The Set of Petas(45)
4.11 The Story of Pataliputta(Patna)(46)
4.12 The Story of The Mangoes(47)
4.13 The Story of The Axle And The Tree(48)
4.14 The Story of Wrongly Collecting of Wealth(49)
4.15 The Story of The Guild Leader's Sons(50)
4.16 The Story of The Sixty Thousand Hammers(51)

More Ghost stories found elsewhere in Tipitaka are given links here :
Dhammapada Verse 71 - Ahipeta Vatthu - Snake Like Ghost With Human Head
Dhammapada Verse 72 - Satthikutapeta Vatthu - Ghost With Large Head Being Hit With Red-Hot Hammers
Dhammapada Verse 136 - Ajagarapeta Vatthu - Python Like Ghost With Long Burning Body
Dhammapada Verse 281 - Sukarapeta Vatthu - Pig Headed Ghost with Human body
SN2-version2 : More in Suttas 202-222 in Samyutta Nikaya Book 2

Download/View English Translation[edit | edit source]

The following .pdf file contains all above stories, open it then save the .pdf file

Original Pali Version[edit | edit source]


The following freely available .PDF files were taken from These are from Vipassana Research Institute. These contain the original words in Pali language.
The translation of original Pali words can never convey exact meaning, hence these are being provided for research & comparison. The website also contains files in many other languages.
It is also to be mentioned that in original Pali language Buddha is referred as Bhagava(God), Bhagvanta(God), Sattha/Satthu(Teacher).

Pali-English Version[edit | edit source]

Mula(Main) Version: File:Petavatthupali mula.pdf

Atthakatha (Explanations): File:Petavatthu-atthakatha.pdf

Pali-Devnagri Version(Sanskrit/Hindi Script)[edit | edit source]

Mula(Main) Version: File:7.Petavatthupali-dev.pdf

Atthakatha (Explanations): File:Petavatthu-atthakatha-dev.pdf

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