Tirokudda Kanda briefly out line the benefits the dead receive from the gifts given by the living.. and there are many more injection in the Pali Cannon with similar tone. My question is are we to read these as alogorical or literally? Do the dead benefit from the offering given by their relations?

I have seen these practices in Cambodia, but never had a chance to ask why and how these are done.

Many thanks.


In the Milindapañha the benefit of dedicating the merit of a gift to one's deceased relatives is limited to those who have been reborn as just one of the four sub-species of peta. It's explicitly denied that there can be any benefit to those reborn in hell, heaven, as animals or in the other three peta sub-species. Curiously nothing is stated one way or the other about those reborn as humans.

Rhys Davids' translation:


I.B. Horner's: Pubba-peta-panha.pdf

Above post appeared in Dhamma Wheel.


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