Samyutta Nikaya
Lakkhaṇa Saṁyutta

SN 19.9 Dutiya Suciloma Sutta
The Needle-like Body Haired Ghost 2

Seeing the results of being someone who says bad things about others.

This sutta begins in the same way as the first sutta in this chapter.

Bhante Moggallāna said, “This morning, friend, as I was coming down from the Gijjhakūṭa Mountain, I saw a ghost with needle-like body hairs moving through the air. Those needles kept coming out and continued stabbing his body. The ghost was crying out in pain. I thought then, ‘It is unusual, indeed! It is amazing, indeed! That there exists such a being, that there exists such a non-human, that there exists such a life.”

Then, the Blessed One said to the monks, “Monks, there are disciples who have gained the divine eye and special knowledge. They can know, see, and witness such a non-human. Monks, in the past, I, too, saw that being, but I did not speak of it. If I had spoken about it, there might have been some people who wouldn’t believe my words. If they had not believed my words, it would have led them to their harm and suffering for a long time.”

The Blessed One continued, “Monks, that non-human being used to be a slanderer who broke friendships using divisive speech in this same city of Rājagaha. As a result of that bad kamma, he was boiled in hell for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years. As a remaining result of that same kamma, he has been reborn as a ghost and is experiencing such terrible pain.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 19.9 Dutiya Suciloma Sutta: The Needle-like Body Haired Ghost 2

Further Reading:

The Peta Vatthu has many more stories of ghosts.

Questions for Reflection:

Have you ever had someone say bad things about you to other people? Have you ever been tempted to do the same?

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Do you have a question about what you have read?