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The Petavatthu is a Theravada Buddhist scripture, included in the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Pali Canon's Sutta Pitaka. It is composed of 51 verse narratives describing specifically how the effects of bad acts can lead to rebirth into the unhappy world of petas (ghosts) in the doctrine of kamma. It gives prominence to the doctrine that giving alms to monks may benefit you or the beings in the hungry ghost realm.

Typically the beings residing in these woeful realms are described as naked, without clothes or with torn ragged type clothing.

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