Buddhist "Ghost Stories"
Wisdom Quarterly (wiki edit)
It is composed of 51 verse narratives describing specifically how the effects of bad karma can lead to rebirth in he unhappy world of petas (Sanskrit pretas, "ghosts") in the doctrine of karma (actions with the power to produce future results).
This set of sutras gives prominence to the doctrine that acts of merit -- such as giving gifts to enlightened individuals or the entire community of enlightened individuals collectively -- can benefit the ghosts of one's departed relatives by the "transferring" of merit.
This is not because the merit, or particularly good karma, literally travels to them. It works IF the departed are made aware and approve of the giving. This is because in doing so they generate merit for themselves by generating the (mental) karma of appreciation, gratitude, and joy-for-others (mudita) multiplied by the recipient/recipients, who being enlightened carry the greatest weight in terms of karma.
|Appreciation is good karma.|
- See Stories of the Departed (Petavatthu translation), Henry S. Gehman, in Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon, Vol. IV, 1942, Pali Text Society, Bristol, England.
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