I have heard about are couple of places in the Vinaya which discusses situations involving reanimated corpses. I want to find the exact locations and reference. Also are there any other in the Tipitaka and / or Commentaries this appear?


A collection of pretty and ingenious fairy-tales is the Vetala pancha vimsati, or ' Twenty-five Tales of the Goblin,' stories supposed to be told to king Vikrama of Ujjayini by a demon inhabiting a corpse. They are known to English readers from Sir Richard Burton's Vikram and the Vampire. Another collection of fairy-tales is the Simhasana-dvatrimsika, or ' Thirty two Stories of the Lion-seat,' supposed to be told to king Vikrama by his throne. Both these works are of Buddhistic origin. To the same class belongs the Suka-saptati, or ' Seventy Stories of a Parrot,' represented as narrated to a wife whose husband is away on his travels.

In which Buddhist text does this appear?

Particularly is there references to such in the Vinaya and commentaries or sub commentaries.

1 Answer 1


The following appears in the Patika Sutta, DN 24:1.7-10 (iii 8-10) (Walshe, Long Discourses of the Buddha, pp. 373f):

"The Buddha invites Sunakkhatta to verify this [referring to Korakkhattiya's rebirth as an asura) for himself, which he does by performing an act of what amounts to necromancy—the magical art of divining using corpses—with the corpse of Korakkhattiya, which he finds thrown aside on a heap of grass in a charnel ground. Striking the body three times with his hand, Sunakkhatta cries out, “Friend Korakkhattiya, do you know your fate?” The corpse sits up, rubs his back with his hand, and says, “Friend Sunakkhatta, I know my fate. I have been reborn among the Kalakanja asuras.” The corpse then falls back, dead once more. This type of divination was reputedly performed by witches and sorcerers in Europe during the Middle Ages, and is clearly a universal archetype. Afterward, the Buddha reminds Sunakkhatta of his complaint that the Buddha has not performed a miracle. Sunakkhatta admits that he has, and leaves the sangha in disgrace." (Duncan, Conversations with the Buddha, pp. 268f.).

  • +1, Thanks for this. Wondering if there are any other instances? Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 15:58
  • 1
    There may be others, but I don't know of any offhand. Im still studying the Pali Canon but if I find more, I will post them here.
    – user4970
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 0:06
  • 1
    Great! Looking forward to this. Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 1:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .