Friday, November 1, 2019

The Hungry Ghost Festival (video)

Just a Curious Gamer; Pat Macpherson and Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
It's time to explore a terrifying "supernatural" type of being found in many Asian religions, the preta or peta. Let's find out what these hungry ghosts are all about. Stay curious. Intro music: "Come Play With Me," Kevin MacLeod ( licensed under Creative Commons: by attribution 3.0 ( Background music: "Redletter," Kevin MacLeod (, CCA 3.0. Outro music: NoCopyrightSounds: Desmeon "Hellcat." Flames and fire ember stock footage: Mitch Martinez (

The Always-Hungry Ghosts: Pretas
I'm hungry. Feed me! Give me water, clothes!
Preta (Pali peta, Sanskrit प्रेत, Tibetan ཡི་དྭགས་ or yi dags) is known as a "hungry ghost." It is the Sanskrit name for a type of departed being described in Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Chinese and Vietnamese folk religion.

They undergo suffering greater than that common to humans, particularly an extreme level of hunger, thirst, and attachment, clinging, or hankering.

Hungry Ghosts, Anthony Bourdain's comic
They have their origins in Indian religions adopted into East Asian religions via the spread of Buddhism. Preta or peta is most often translated into English as "hungry ghost" from the Chinese and Vietnamese adaptations.

In early sources such as the "Ghost Stories" (Petavatthu) of the Pali Canon, they are much more varied. The descriptions below apply mainly in this narrower context.

The Realm of Ghosts is right next to us.
Pretas are believed to have been clingy, stingy, fearful, jealous, envious, greedy, corrupted, compulsive, deceitful, or people unable to let go in some previous life. As a result of their unskillful karma, they are afflicted with insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object.

Hungry Ghost (Anthony Bourdain comic)
Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as afterbirth or cadavers or feces, though in more recent stories, it can be anything, however bizarre (The Garuda Purana, 2.7.92-95, 2.22.52-55).

Through the belief and influence of Hinduism and Buddhism in much of Asia, pretas figure prominently in the cultures of India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. More
There are many superstitions around hungry ghosts from China (

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