Tirokuḍḍa sutta - Discourse about Departed Ones

                                      Tirokuḍḍa sutta

The Beyond the Walls Discourse

(Most of us are so scared of ghosts and spirits and many want to get rid of them. But in fact, they are our own relatives. Once they were our own mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, relatives and friends. So, do we need to fear them and treat them badly? If we think of them with a compassionate mind, and transfer merit to them, they will definitely be happier and will not harm anyone. Once again, the power of compassion (metta) can make such a big difference. Please read this sutta and try to understand that these departed relatives are with us and we don't have to worry or fear. If they need our help, let us help them by transferring merit. If we help them there will be no problem from them. If we disturb or intend to harm them, they might try to harm us as well. Hence, it is time to co-exist with everyone peacefully and with compassion. May all beings be well and happy!)

Here is the Pali & English version of one of the most important Buddhist suttas regarding departed ones:- 

Tirokuṭṭesu tiṭṭhanti,
sandhisiṅghāṭakesu ca;
Dvārabāhāsu tiṭṭhanti,
āgantvāna sakaṃ gharaṃ.
They stand beyond the walls,
and at the junctions and crossroads,
they stand at the door-posts,
having come to their former homes.
Pahūte annapānamhi,
khajjabhojje upaṭṭhite;
Na tesaṃ koci sarati,
sattānaṃ kammapaccayā.
But when abundant food and drink,
both staple and non-staple, is prepared,
no one remembers these
beings, because of their past unwholesome deeds,
Evaṃ dadanti ñātīnaṃ,
ye honti anukampakā;
Suciṃ paṇītaṃ kālena,
kappiyaṃ pānabhojanaṃ.
Thus those who are compassionate
give to their departed relatives,
at the right time, pure, excellent,
suitable drink and food.
Idaṃ vo ñātīnaṃ hotu,
sukhitā hontu ñātayo;
Te ca tattha samāgantvā,
ñātipetā samāgatā.

Thinking: “May this go to our relatives,
may our relatives be happy!”
Those who have gathered,
the departed relatives who have assembled
Pahūte annapānamhi,
sakkaccaṃ anumodare;
Ciraṃ jīvantu no ñātī,
yesaṃ hetu labhāmase.
Around the food and drink,
respectfully offer their thanks: 
saying: “ May our relatives live long!
Those to whom we owe this gain,
Amhākañca katā pūjā,
dāyakā ca anipphalā;
Na hi tattha kasī atthi,
gorakkhettha na vijjati.
For we have been honoured,
those who give are not without reward!”
For in that place there is no ploughing,
and cattle-rearing is not found there,
Vaṇijjā tādisī natthi,
hiraññena kayākayaṃ;
Ito dinnena yāpenti,
petā kālagatā tahiṃ.
Similarly there is no trading,
or buying and selling of gold.

The departed in that place who have died,
have to subsist on gifts.
Unname udakaṃ vuṭṭhaṃ,
yathā ninnaṃ pavattati;
Evamevaṃ ito dinnaṃ,
petānaṃ upakappati.
Just as water that rains on the highlands, 
flows down to the lowlands,
so too what has been given here is 
of benefit to the departed.
Yathā vārivahā pūrā,
paripūrenti sāgaraṃ;
Evamevaṃ ito dinnaṃ,
petānaṃ upakappati.
Just as rivers that are full
flow and fill up the ocean,
so too what has been given here
is of benefit to the departed.
Adāsi me akāsi me,
ñāti mittā sakhā ca me;
Petānaṃ dakkhiṇaṃ dajjā,
pubbe katamanussaraṃ.
Thinking: “He gave to me, he worked for me,
he was my relative, my friend, my companion,”
he should give gifts for the departed,
remembering what they have done before.
Na hi ruṇṇaṃ vā soko vā,
yā caññā paridevanā;
Na taṃ petānamatthāya,
evaṃ tiṭṭhanti ñātayo.
For no tears, or grief,
or any other lamentations,
are of any use to the departed,
as long as their relatives continue grieving in this way.
Ayañca kho dakkhiṇā dinnā,
saṃghamhi suppatiṭṭhitā;
Dīgharattaṃ hitāyassa,
ṭhānaso upakappati.
But that gift that has been given,
and well placed in the Sangha,
is of benefit to them for a long time,
immediately it is of benefit.
So ñātidhammo ca ayaṃ nidassito,
Petāna pūjā ca katā uḷārā;
Balañca bhikkhūnamanuppadinnaṃ,
Tumhehi puññaṃ pasutaṃ anappakanti.
This then is the definition of a relative’s duties—
and by this great honour has been done to the departed,
strength has also been given to the monks,
and no little merit has been produced by you!

https://suttacentral.net (translation)
https://moviepilot.com/posts/2683549 (image)

PS. The title of this sutta is given variously in different versions. I checked suttacentral, and chatthasangayana which mention this as 'Tirokuṭṭa' while Buddhajayanti Sinhala scripts mention it as Tirokuḍḍa. I also checked aataapi.org and Daily Buddhist Devotions by Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda. They use the term Tirokuḍḍa and Tirokuṭṭa respectively. metta.lk also uses it as Tirokuḍḍa. In fact, most of the sources mention it as Tirokuḍḍa including bhikkhu Thanissaro's accesstoinsight.org and numerous other sites. Hence, I prefer to use Tirokuḍḍa in this version. For the translation I used suttacentral version although I used Pali and English versions close to each other. There was a slight change in the English lines and I corrected to match the Pali version.