Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

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Kaji
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Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Kaji » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:15 pm

I've just done a quick search for "preta-dana" and it seems this topic has not been discussed on dharmawheel.net. Does anybody here apart from me practises it on a regular basis?

I have made a commitment to do preta-dana every evening. I include in the ritual dharani that can help direct the ghosts (and any other beings) to the Pure Land(s), or at least become Deva.

Here I offer to perform preta-dana for any beings that you (i.e., all fellow forum users) name here. Simply type the names of the relatives, friends, pets, enemies, etc. in your post. I will try to summon them the next time I perform preta-dana and hopefully they will receive the benefits. It is OK if you don't know the name of the beings, as long as you give me a specific way to summon them, e.g.
- "John Doe's karmic debts"
- "The ant that I, John Doe, accidentally stepped on this morning"
- "All the animals that I, John Doe, have eaten in the past"
- "All the parents of me, John Doe, in all my previous lives"
- "All those who have died in the recent natural disaster"

It is OK to do this for them even if you are not sure if they have been reincarnated into e.g. a human or animal. According to what I have learned, they in their current life forms would still benefit from the blessing.

Namo Amitābhāya Tathāgatāya!
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby catmoon » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:18 pm

Anyone who does the water bowl offering is practising this when the think "may all sentient beings have food, water, light...." and so on.
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Kaji
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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Kaji » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:28 pm

Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!

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Ikkyu
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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Ikkyu » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:24 am

To me the whole concept behind preta-dana is about sacrificing oneself and one's ego for the good of all beings, and in this case those beings that suffer more than humans. I usually stop it at that -- it's a quaint notion. But to actually believe that you can summon ghosts and direct them to other planes of existence with mantras, dharanis, etc. and "offerings" of food and water is just silly. I guess that many Buddhist texts, including the Buddha himself as he is quoted in the main canons, refer to hungry ghosts and whatnot. But you have to remember that this concept was endemic to India and the ancient Vedic peoples and is really nothing more than superstition. I think the spirit of the thing (i.e. being altruistic for the compassion of many) is more important than the literal idea of satiating ghosts. Summoning ghosts and sending them to the Pure Lands is basically the same as what the Mormons do when they baptize dead people so they can go to their version of Heaven.
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:30 am

I'm not sure why other spirits have been ignored in defining this narrow group as worthy of special attention.

Offerings should be inclusive not exclusive. ;)
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Kaji
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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Kaji » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:34 am

Last edited by Kaji on Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Kaji » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:53 am

Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:01 am

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Kaji » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:13 am

Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Lotus415 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:39 pm


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Ikkyu » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:30 pm

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Kaji » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:13 am

Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Ikkyu » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:34 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:07 pm

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby dakini_boi » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:46 am


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby dakini_boi » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:44 am


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:15 pm

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby dakini_boi » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:19 pm

Interesting. I appreciate your explanation and now I understand more where you are coming from.

Re. belief in invisible beings - one thing that Buddhism has definitely given me faith in, is the fact that my mind, as I experience it currently, is extremely limited. And that possibilities exist that I cannot even imagine. And furthermore, that my concept of a "being" is completely deluded. So therefore, the idea of invisible beings inhabiting space seems no less far-fetched than the idea that I personally have no essence as a being - which is something that, as a Buddhist, I accept through logic as well as faith - although it appears to contradict my ongoing experience of myself.

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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby dakini_boi » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:28 pm


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Re: Preta-dana (Buddhist practice of offering food to ghosts)

Postby Yudron » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:10 pm

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.


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