Preta: 20 definitions
Preta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Alternative spellings of this word include Pret.
Images (photo gallery)
(+30 more images available)
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation
Preta (प्रेत) refers to a “ghost” and represents the mount of Nirṛti, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.36. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“Indra mocked at Viṣṇu who was engrossed in his own arguments. He, the bearer of the thunderbolt, was desirous of fighting Vīrabhadra along with the other Devas. Then Indra rode on his elephant, the fire-god rode on a goat, Yama rode on his buffalo and Nirṛti rode on a ghost (preta)”.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Preta (प्रेत).—Spirits harassing children.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 6. 43; 10. 38; VI. 8. 25; X. 6. 27; 63. 11; XI. 10. 28.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Dharmashastra (religious law)Source: Manblunder: Garuda Purana series (dharmashastra)
Preta (प्रेत).—The preta body of dead is formed only on offering piṇḍas. For example, on the first day of piṇḍa offering, the head of the preta body becomes piṇḍa body, on the second day of offering neck and shoulders become piṇḍa body and so on. On the tenth day, the entire preta body is converted into piṇḍa body or piṇḍa-śarīra (śarīra means body).
Piṇḍa is offered everyday during the first ten days along with water, honey, ghee, sesame seeds, etc. Piṇḍas are also offered on the day of sapiṇḍīkaraṇa. On taking this piṇḍa, the preta-śarīra becomes a pitṛ and can reach the world of ancestors. It is said that a deceased person cannot reach the world of ancestors with preta-śarīra. A preta eats food twice, on eleventh and twelfth days.
Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist TermsA "hungry shade" or "hungry ghost" - one of a class of beings in the lower realms, sometimes capable of appearing to human beings. The petas are often depicted in Buddhist art as starving beings with pinhole sized mouths through which they can never pass enough food to ease their hunger.Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
M Being living in the compound of apaya worlds, situated between the world of animals and the world of hells.Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
(Sanskrit preta): lit. 'departed spirit', ghost; s. loka.
Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism
Preta (प्रेत) is the name of a Rāśi (zodiac sign) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Preta).Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
Preta (प्रेत) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Pretī forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Cittacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the cittacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the nirmāṇa-puṭa (‘emanation layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Preta] are black in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.
Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.
General definition (in Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Preta (प्रेत, “ghost ”) refers to one of the “six destinations” (gata) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 57). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., preta). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.
Languages of India and abroad
Pali-English dictionarySource: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
peta : (adj.) dead; departed. (m.) a ghost.
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
Marathi-English dictionarySource: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
prēta (प्रेत).—n (S) A corpse. 2 A goblin or sprite, esp. one animating the carcasses of the dead.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
prēta (प्रेत).—n A corpse. A goblin.
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Preta (प्रेत).—p. p. [pra-i-kta] Departed from this world, dead, deceased; स्वजनाश्रु किलातिसंततं दहति प्रेतमिति प्रचक्षते (svajanāśru kilātisaṃtataṃ dahati pretamiti pracakṣate) R.8.86.
-taḥ 1 The departed spirit, the spirit before obsequial rites are performed.
2) A ghost, evil spirit; प्रेतान् भूतगणांश्चान्ये यजन्ते तामसा जनाः (pretān bhūtagaṇāṃścānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ) Bg.17.4; Ms.12.71.
3) The inhabitant of hell (nāraka); शुश्रुवुर्दारुणा वाचः प्रेतानामिव भारत (śuśruvurdāruṇā vācaḥ pretānāmiva bhārata) Mb.6.46.19.
4) The manes (pitara); प्रथिता प्रेतकृत्यैषा पित्र्यं नाम विधुक्षये । तस्मिन् युक्तस्यैति नित्यं प्रेतकृत्यैव लौकिकी (prathitā pretakṛtyaiṣā pitryaṃ nāma vidhukṣaye | tasmin yuktasyaiti nityaṃ pretakṛtyaiva laukikī) || Ms.3.127.
--- OR ---
Preta (प्रेत).—&c. See under प्रे (pre).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-taḥ-tā-taṃ) Dead, deceased. m.
(-taḥ) 1. A ghost, a goblin, a spirit, an evil being, especially animating the carcases of the dead. 2. The spirit before obsequial rites are performed. E. pra before, ita gone.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Preta (प्रेत).—[adjective] deceased, dead, [adverb] vat†; [masculine] a ghost.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Preta (प्रेत):—[from pre] a mfn. departed, deceased, dead, a dead person, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Gṛhya-sūtra and śrauta-sūtra; Mahābhārata]
2) [v.s. ...] m. the spirit of a dead person ([especially] before obsequial rites are performed), a ghost, an evil being, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc. (cf. [Religious Thought and Life in India 241, 271; Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 219]).
3) b etc. See p. 711, col. 3.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Preta (प्रेत):—[pre+ta] (taḥ) 1. m. A ghost. a. Deceased.
[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch
Preta (प्रेत):—(partic. von 3. i mit pra) adj. subst. gestorben, ein Verstorbener [The Śatapathabrāhmaṇa 10, 5, 2, 13. 14, 8, 11, 1. 6, 7, 6.] [ĀŚV. GṚHY. 4, 2. 3.] [Kātyāyana’s Śrautasūtrāṇi 4, 1, 23.] nītā mayā pretavaśaṃ (so v. a. pretarājavaśaṃ) tavānujāḥ [Mahābhārata 3, 17315. 1, 4889. 4893.] Vgl. auch u. 3. i mit pra . m. die Seele eines Verstorbenen, Geist, Gespenst [Amarakoṣa 1, 2, 2, 2. 3, 4, 14, 62.] [Trikāṇḍaśeṣa 3, 3, 168.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 1358.] [Anekārthasaṃgraha 2, 180.] [Medinīkoṣa t. 37.] [Halāyudha 3, 3.] [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 12, 59. 71. fg.] [Bhagavadgītā 17, 4.] [Arjunasamāgama 10, 48.] gaṇāḥ [Mahābhārata 3, 12650.] śuśruvurdāruṇā vācaḥ pretānāmiva [6, 1775. 4164. 7, 7688.] piśācayoḥ [Mahābhārata 13, 732.] [Suśruta 1, 114, 8. 116, 1. 117, 9.] [Bhāgavatapurāṇa 4, 2, 14.] kṣutparikṣāmajanapretakulākula (prākāro nirayasyeva) [Rājataraṅgiṇī 2, 20.] [Rgva tch’er rol pa ed. Calc. 302, 7. 313, 11. 384, 15.] [Lot. de Lassen’s Anthologie b. l. 54. fg.] [Burnouf 203.] [WASSILJEW 179. 196. 308.] [Weber’s Indische Studien 3, 125.] [Lebensbeschreibung Śākyamuni’s 299 (69).]Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung
1) Adj. verstorben. —
2) m. — a) ein Verstorbener. — b) die Seele eines Verstorbenen , Geist , Gespenst.
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
See also (Relevant definitions)
Starts with (+83): Preta-dakshina, Pretabhakshini, Pretabhava, Pretabhavastha, Pretabhumi, Pretacakravartin, Pretacarin, Pretachakravartin, Pretacharin, Pretadaha, Pretadahagni, Pretadhipa, Pretadhipanagari, Pretadhipati, Pretadhivasini, Pretadhuma, Pretadipika, Pretagandha, Pretagata, Pretagati.
Full-text (+142): Pretahara, Pretakritya, Pretapataha, Pretanadi, Pretapati, Pretakarman, Pretaraja, Pretavasa, Pretashuddhi, Pretagata, Pretanirharaka, Pretaloka, Pretapura, Pretapaksha, Bhutaketa, Pretakarya, Pretadhuma, Pretamedha, Pretavahita, Pretarakshasi.
Search found 53 books and stories containing Preta, Prēta; (plurals include: Pretas, Prētas). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Skanda Purana (by G. V. Tagare)
Chapter 223 - Greatness of Puruṣottama Tīrtha < [Section 1 - Prabhāsa-kṣetra-māhātmya]
Chapter 18 - King Vidūratha in a Hermitage < [Section 1 - Tīrtha-māhātmya]
Chapter 65 - Greatness of Ānartakeśvara and Śūdrakeśvara < [Section 1 - Tīrtha-māhātmya]
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
The Preta destiny < [The world of transmigration]
Appendix 9 - On the number of gatis or destinies < [Chapter XV - The Arrival of the Bodhisattvas of the Ten Directions]
Appendix 1 - Pretas (hungry ghosts) and water < [Chapter XLVI - Venerating with the Roots of Good]
Bodhisattvacharyavatara (by Andreas Kretschmar)
Text Section 293 / Stanza 33 < [Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations]
Text Section 201 < [Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations]
Text Section 207 < [Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations]
Bhagavad-gita-mahatmya (by Shankaracharya)
Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi (by Ganganatha Jha)