Friday, October 11, 2013

"Hungry Ghosts Outside the Wall" (video)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly based on Ven. Thanissaro verse translation of Tirokudda Kanda (Petavatthu 1.5, also in Khp 7)
Gilded alabaster Buddha, Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai, Thailand (
Hungry ghosts depicted on ancient scroll scavenging foul nutriment in charnel grounds
Hungry ghost (preta or peta)
Outside the walls they [the hungry ghosts or pretas] stand, at the crossroads. At door posts they linger, returning to human homes of old.
But though a meal with plentiful food and drink is served, no one remembers them. Such is the karma (the legacy of well- and ill- done deeds) of living beings.
Who feels sympathy for dead relatives, give timely donations of appropriate food and drink -- exquisite and clean -- with the thought, "May this for our relatives' sake be! May our relatives be well and happy!"
Can hungry ghosts eat our happiness? No.
Those gathered there, assembled phantoms of relatives since deceased, with appreciation give their blessings for such plentiful food and drink (and thereby themselves make merit, so hard to make in that place of deprivation): "May our relatives live long because of whom we have gained [gifts]! We have been honored, and our donors are rewarded, too!"
Death and rebirth there, like life and addiction here, means insatiable hunger (Dimmu)
For there [in that gloomy realm or its earthly counterpart] there is no farming, no herding of docile beasts, no commerce, no trade with money.
They live on what is given them from here, hungry ghosts whose time is run out. As water raining upon a hill flows down to the valley, even so what is given here flows down to the benefit of the dead and dearly departed.
As rivers full of water fill the ocean full, even so does what is given here flow to the benefit of the dead and dearly departed.
The ancient Pali Buddhist canon has a section called "Ghost Stories" (Petavatthu). This is documentary video footage of ghosts (poltergeists) from "Unsolved Mysteries."
"He gave to me, she acted on my behalf, they were my relatives, companions, friends" -- offerings should be given for the sake of the dead when one reflects on things done in the past.
For no weeping, no sorrow, no other lament benefits the dead -- a waste for relatives who persist in that way. But when offerings are given, well-placed in the [noble] Sangha, it works for long-term benefit of the dead, who profit immediately.
In this way one's appropriate duty to dead relatives [defined by the Buddha as going back seven generations] has been shown! Great honor has been done for the sake of the departed! And monastics [preservers and intensive practitioners of the Dharma] have been given strength: The merit one thereby acquires [for oneself as the giver] is not small.
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