I heard a monk say the misconception of sharing merit with in Mahayana shools actually DID COME from a misconstrued Theravada scripture about sharing merit with a particular kind of hungry ghost that is your relative. Is there such a teaching in the Pali? Something sounds a miss to me
Did you do a search for “sharing merit”? There are already a bunch of discussions about it.
There’s AN 10.177. Maybe that’s what you are looking for?
And you can see many examples of merit sharing with ghosts in
Especially some at the beginning are not so much about ghosts but they explain the situation.
If there is any confusion, it’s not whether or not merit can be shared with ghosts, that’s clear. It is what that actually means. In the texts we only have the merit sharing bringing primarily physical comfort (and the mental comfort that flows on from that). It’s not going to get them out of the ghost world.
It’s not clear to me what doing memorial practices for the dead means? Howcome it helps the donor in all cases if it’s more of a blind rite & ritual by default? Do the ghosts need the food to be offered to departed ones before they can eat it?
Have a look at this one.
The Tirokuṭṭasutta (sometimes spelled as Tirokudda sutta) is also found in the Petta Vatthu pointed to above.
According to AN 10.177 it helps the donor because giving is always good kamma.