Preta; 10 Definition(s)

Introduction

Preta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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.

In Hinduism

Purana

[Preta in Purana glossaries]

Preta (प्रेत).—Spirits harassing children.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 6. 43; 10. 38; VI. 8. 25; X. 6. 27; 63. 11; XI. 10. 28.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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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.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

[Preta in Dharmashastra glossaries]

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.

(Source): Manblunder: Garuda Purana series (dharmashastra)
Dharmashastra book cover
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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.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Preta in Theravada glossaries]
A "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): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

M Being living in the compound of apaya worlds, situated between the world of animals and the world of hells.

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

(Sanskrit preta): lit. 'departed spirit', ghost; s. loka.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
context information

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).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[Preta in Buddhism glossaries]

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 (eg., preta). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Preta in Pali glossaries]

peta : (adj.) dead; departed. (m.) a ghost.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

[Preta in Marathi glossaries]

prēta (प्रेत).—n (S) A corpse. 2 A goblin or sprite, esp. one animating the carcasses of the dead.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

prēta (प्रेत).—n A corpse. A goblin.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Preta in Sanskrit glossaries]

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.

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Preta (प्रेत).—&c. See under प्रे (pre).

See also (synonyms): preti, pretya.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 59 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Pretayana
Pretāyana (प्रेतायन).—Name of a particular hell. Derivable forms: pretāyanaḥ (प्रेतायनः).Pretāy...
Pretaraja
Pretarāja (प्रेतराज).—an epithet of Yama. Derivable forms: pretarājaḥ (प्रेतराजः).Pretarāja is ...
Pretaloka
Pretaloka (प्रेतलोक).—the world of the dead; प्रेत- लोकं परित्यज्य आगता ये महालये (preta- lokaṃ...
Pretarakshasi
Pretarākṣasī (प्रेतराक्षसी).—the holy basil (tulasī). Pretarākṣasī is a Sanskrit compound consi...
Pretashauca
prētāśauca (प्रेताशौच).—n (S) Impurity contracted from carrying, or from some connection with, ...
Pretasutra
Pretasūtra (प्रेतसूत्र).– As is said in a sūtra, there was a preta whose head was like...
Pretavana
Pretavana (प्रेतवन).—a cemetery. Derivable forms: pretavanam (प्रेतवनम्).Pretavana is a Sanskri...
Pretahara
Pretahāra (प्रेतहार).—1) one who carries a dead body. 2) a near relative.Derivable forms: preta...
Pretasthi
Pretāsthi (प्रेतास्थि).—n. the bone of a dead man. °dhārin an epithet of Śiva. Pretāsthi is a S...
Pretashuddhi
Pretaśuddhi (प्रेतशुद्धि).—f., Derivable forms: pretaśuddhiḥ (प्रेतशुद्धिः).Pretaśuddhi is a Sa...
Pretamedha
Pretamedha (प्रेतमेध).—a funeral sacrifice. Derivable forms: pretamedhaḥ (प्रेतमेधः).Pretamedha...
Pretagata
Pretagata (प्रेतगत).—a. dead. Pretagata is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms preta an...
Jatapreta
Jātapreta (जातप्रेत).—a. born and dead, Pt.1. Jātapreta is a Sanskrit compound consisting of th...
Pretagriha
Pretagṛha (प्रेतगृह).—a cemetery. Derivable forms: pretagṛham (प्रेतगृहम्).Pretagṛha is a Sansk...
Pretakritya
Pretakṛtya (प्रेतकृत्य) or Pretakṛtyā (प्रेतकृत्या).—obsequial or funeral rites; Ms.3.127. Deri...

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