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Academic Sutta NameNotes PSA PlaeVaggaNikayaPTSKeywords
A.10_166 Jaanusso.nii Sutta Jaa.nusso.nii asks the Buddha whether merit transferred to deceased relatives reaches them or not. The Buddha tells Jaa.nusso.nii that for merit to reach the deceased depends on the circumstances. Those who conduct themselves according to the unwholesome courses of action (akusalakammapatha), namely by: 1. killing (paa.naatipaataa); 2. stealing (adinnaadaanaa); 3. adultery (kaamesumicchaacaaraa); 4. telling lies (musaavaadaa); 5. malicious gossip (pisu.naayavaacaaya); 6. harsh speech (pharusaayavaacaaya); 7. idle chatter (samphappalaapaa); 8. covetousness (abhijjhaa); 9. illwill (byaapada), and; 10. false view (micchaadi.t.thi) when they die fall into hell or are reborn as animals with their own sort of "food" and hence do not receive the merit transferred.
As for those who conduct themselves according to the ten wholesome course of action (kusalakammapatha), namely by: 1. abstention from killing (paa.naatipaataa verama.nii); 2. abstention from stealing (adinnaadaanaa verama.nii); 3. abstention from adultery (kaamesumicchaacaaraa verama.nii); 4. abstention from telling lies (musaavaadaa verama.nii); 5. abstention from malicious gossip (pisu.naayavaacaaya verama.nii); 6. abstention from harsh speech (pharusaayavaacaaya verama.nii); 7. abstention from idle chatter (samphappalaapaa verama.nii); 8. non-covetousness (anabhijjhaa); 9. non-illwill (abyaapada), and; 10. right view (sammaa di.t.thi) -- if they are reborn in the human realm or the heaven realm, they have their own type of "food" and do not receive the merit transferred. Only if deceased relatives have previously conducted themselves according the to the ten unwholesome courses of action and have been born in the realm of the hungry ghosts can they receive the merit transferred. In the case merit is transferred to a person who has died but who is not (yet) in a state to benefit from the merit, the merit will benefit other deceased relatives who are in a suitable state instead. If there are no relatives who can receive the merit, at least the one who transfers the merit will gain merit which he can benefit from in this or a future lifetime.
38/435 Dasaka Nipaata, Catuttha Pa.n.naasaka A"nguttara A.i.

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