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Author Topic: [Q&A] Hungry ghosts and food offerings to the dead  (Read 287 times)

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Online Johann

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[Q&A] Hungry ghosts and food offerings to the dead
« on: August 31, 2017, 12:55:48 PM »
Hungry ghosts and food offerings to the dead

Quote from: original question raised by Ruben on BSe
Hungry ghosts and food offerings to the dead

[Indroducted by accounts and quotes]

  • What are the hungry ghosts or hungry shades really?
  • Could they be microorganisms?
  • Have any Buddhist scholars considered this possibility?
  • Is offering of food to the dead still practised today?
  • Is this a recommended practice or is it not recommended? And why? 6.
  • According to this answer , the Buddha neither rejected nor endorsed the practice.
  • Does the opinion of the different Buddhist schools differ from each other on this?

Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

 _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community _/\_ , my person tries to answer this question. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,


(This is a maybe modified and expanded answer of the "original" - which also could have been changed by third person - that can be found here . )

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One.


In regard to Robens question one by one, straight, defilement and doubts provoking and possible making nervous, for the gain of faith and encouragement to work on the base:

What are the hungry ghosts or hungry shades really? Could they be microorganisms?

A being ("mind") not capable to get even small satisfaction, even if food righ in front, not capable to take it. Not able to move from it's place, not able to trade. A famous Vietnamese Monks said once: "People who spend their times in Dhamma-centers without to grasp the Dhamma. Many being in the internet-realm have actually a mind like a hungry ghost. It's good to dedicate shares to them, if having once made merits befor they came in that state, they might be able to take.

Have any Buddhist scholars considered this possibility?

Scholars consider much. It's good to ask those knowing and seeing and with trust in the Noble Ones. If consdering, are scholars today not the most benefical provider for food for hungry ghost, thinking on the many new articels and consume of their work. They possible make much merits if knowing that and setting the mind to their ancestors and hungry ghosts.

Is offering of food to the dead still practised today?

Sure. Where ever there is still right view, where ever there is gratitude, where ever people know mother and father, where ever people know how seldom to gain a human life, where ever cause and effect, destinations of beings, taught by the Buddha, are known, there no one would eat before not having given a share to those before first. Yet it is also fast disapearing on earth at the same time, like right view, the Tripple Gems, prospering times...

Is this a recommended practice or is it not recommended?

The Buddha all wise recommended gifts to ancestors and spirits, recommend, and will recommend. So his, there good disciples, followers do.

And why?
  • Maker of gratitute. What ever you have been given, you might be able to use, is a sacrify of those having been here befor you and you might even have receive gifts at the time you have been a hungry ghost, had a mind like one, with patient and compassion, yourself.
  • In advanced for one self, esay to fall in that stat, even right next minute. Not having given, no support can be ever expected.
  • to be best respected and protected by spirits and ghosts
  • there are ghost and family members who can be very envy, disturbing and ill-willed, not getting a share.

According to this answer, the Buddha neither rejected nor endorsed the practice.

This answer is not right, uninformed and colored by modernism and faith in materialism rather into that of what the Buddha and wise recommend and all cultures and elders did till some years.

Even if intended to drive people to more refine merits, it misses the point to be in the mids of hungry ghosts and that there are less being who will even reach human life, having gained one for now, in the next, not to speak about capable for grasping the higher Dhamma, and for those having reached firm confidence, such small generousity and good sample for later generations is not a matter of defilements and stinginess.

Does the opinion of the different Buddhist schools differ from each other on this?

In regard of what can be said as old tradition, wiser, with practice: No. There is no school that can be called within the footsteps of Dhamma of the Buddha, with does not only recomment but also practice. They might differ in practice, rituals, folk explainings, focus, intensity, but not on the root: right view, gratitude and generosity.

The only "tradition" (with it's "monks" and lay peopke) that likes to make a better and wiser copy is modernism, secularism and scholar-hood, modern approaches, but they are not regarded as within the foot-steps of the Dhamma of the Buddha.

Some food for inspirations out of "Googlyana", some word written years ago:

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Outside the walls they stand,
   & at crossroads.
At door posts they stand,
   returning to their old homes.
But when a meal with plentiful food & drink is served,
   no one remembers them:
Such is the kamma of living beings.

Thus those who feel sympathy for their dead relatives
give timely donations of proper food & drink
   — exquisite, clean —
[thinking:] "May this be for our relatives.
      May our relatives be happy!"

And those who have gathered there,
   the assembled shades of the relatives,
with appreciation give their blessing
for the plentiful food & drink:
   "May our relatives live long
   because of whom we have gained [this gift].
   We have been honored,
   and the donors are not without reward!"

For there [in their realm] there's
   no farming,
   no herding of cattle,
   no commerce,
   no trading with money.
They live on what is given here,
   hungry shades
   whose time here is done.

As water raining on a hill
flows down to the valley,
   even so does what is given here
   benefit the dead.
As rivers full of water
fill the ocean full,
   even so does what is given here
   benefit the dead.

"He gave to me, she acted on my behalf,
   they were my relatives, companions, friends":
Offerings should be given for the dead
when one reflects thus
on things done in the past.
For no weeping,
   no sorrowing
   no other lamentation
      benefits the dead
      whose relatives persist in that way.
But when this offering is given, well-placed in the Sangha,
it works for their long-term benefit
and they profit immediately.

In this way
      the proper duty to relatives has been shown,
      great honor has been done to the dead,
      and monks have been given strength:

   The merit you've acquired
      isn't small.

Tirokudda Kanda: Hungry Shades Outside the Walls

May what ever being able to take this gift of Dhamma, have a satisfying and shareful share. May the Devas tell those not knowing, about the merits done here.


- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

"Nur wenige der Menschen sind es, die, wenn sie als Menschen abscheiden, unter Menschen wiedergeboren werden; viel mehr aber sind es der Menschen, die, wenn sie als Menschen abscheiden, in der Hölle, im tierischen Schoß, in der Gespensterwelt wiedergeboren werden." (S 56, 102 - 104)

"only a view human, when departing form human Existence, are reborn as humans, but many humans, when they departing from human existence, are reborn in hell, in an animal womb, in the realm of hungry shades (petas)

from "What leads to Peta-existence

In regard of what is sharing merits, feel free to look here .

(Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant to be used for commercial purpose or other wordily gains, not meant for making one a favor, but intended to liberation: so given to share without bounds to such tings)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 02:17:10 PM by Johann »
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

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Today at 01:43:01 AM
 :-* möge die drei juwelen den ehrwürdigen bhante beschützen und ihn auf seinem weg unterstützen :-*


Today at 01:28:02 AM
Kampf der Devas mit den Asuras um den Berg. :)


Today at 01:26:30 AM
Regenzeit... außen trüb und unangenehm, nagend, faulend, doch dahinter ist alles fein.


Today at 01:10:47 AM
 :-* ehrwürdiger bhante johann, ja soweit alles gut! und wie geht es ihnen?  :-*


Today at 12:58:05 AM
verlesen... Marcel :) alles gut im (ver)laufen?


Today at 12:26:23 AM


March 21, 2018, 03:42:55 PM


March 21, 2018, 03:32:47 PM
 :-* mögen sie alle noch in diesem leben das herz von avijja befreien!!! :-*


March 19, 2018, 05:20:12 AM
This "wiki"-like backup tool is meant as a outwardy insurance that one does not be afraid that anything possible good can be desroyed or made bad while looking for cleaning it. So worry at all, kamma does not dissapear. No need to fear to make good deeds, knowing that.


March 19, 2018, 04:03:35 AM
And there is no intention to just make a museum out of a working and concentration camp, since the Dhamma can not be understood by just looking on forms but by learning and experiance skillful deeds.


March 19, 2018, 04:00:47 AM
Post-history: http://sangham.net/index.php/topic,1164.0.html (but there is no notification system). My person uses to make a @mention , off topic "/me" in the OP.


March 19, 2018, 03:49:28 AM
Or to simply make a new post. No need to be shy in doing good things. It's not a museum, it's a working and concentration place. Mudita.


March 19, 2018, 03:47:57 AM
There is such as a "wiki" backup function in all posts, Nyom Danilo. Good is to use the mention option, at the places where making changes @Johann , that it gets not "lost".


March 19, 2018, 03:02:46 AM
I have a backup of the original post in any case. I might review the second post next time. Very insightful teaching. _/\_


March 19, 2018, 03:01:35 AM
I've recently fixed many words and sentences of the first post of the thread "Debts, but to whom?". It take me some time trying to figure out the meaning of some sentences. So it would be good if Bhante could check if the original intended meaning of the post still intact. I have a backup of the ori


March 19, 2018, 01:57:28 AM
_/\_ _/\_ _/\_


March 19, 2018, 12:01:09 AM
One leading to peaks pointing downward so that aging, sickness and death can be seen, know him/her as a sage, a giver of release.


March 18, 2018, 11:57:30 PM
One leading people to papanca, promoting rejoicing in objectification as the heart wood, increases to fields of corpse in the world.


March 18, 2018, 12:03:14 AM
Good night _/\_


March 17, 2018, 11:59:14 PM
Vandami, Bhante _/\_


March 17, 2018, 11:51:37 PM


March 16, 2018, 01:19:17 AM


March 15, 2018, 09:53:07 PM
 :-* ich wünschen allen einen verdienstvollen uposatha  :-*


March 14, 2018, 11:19:11 PM
Sounds like a good idea to rest. I will be taking a break from the internet for a while i feel detached a lot from the worldly feminisms and all. It is wonderful not to be lusting, walking the streets with lowered gaze, delighting in meditation... I fear it compromises me to even think about the pol


March 14, 2018, 11:10:27 PM


March 14, 2018, 10:58:38 PM
Marcel, Morits, Upasaka X, it's time to break up this auspicious coming in touch now also for my person. Observe, remember, how you have been yesterday an now and guess of what will be tomorrow probably... maybe just not sure.


March 14, 2018, 10:06:46 PM
Sadhu, _/\_

may Bhante have a peaceful day.

Chom reap sour.


March 14, 2018, 09:58:42 PM
 :-* :-* :-*


March 14, 2018, 09:55:00 PM
O yes... will be a long day, this yesterday, but possible a remorseless.


March 14, 2018, 09:46:45 PM
Vandami Bhante,
good evening (morning in Cambodia?).



March 14, 2018, 03:03:38 AM
Wie war es gestern? Wie geht es heute?

How was it yesterday? How are you today?


March 06, 2018, 02:24:03 PM
Nyom Jens.


March 05, 2018, 02:25:22 PM
 :-* erhwürdiger bhante johann  :-*


March 05, 2018, 02:17:57 PM
Nyom Marcel


March 01, 2018, 12:52:02 AM
Sadhu, eine des Magha-puja allen jenen die sie heute Begehen.


February 28, 2018, 09:48:58 PM
 :-* allen ein verdienstvollen uposatha tag :-*


February 24, 2018, 02:37:41 AM


February 24, 2018, 01:31:25 AM


February 24, 2018, 12:50:00 AM
Es ist sehr selten, ungewöhnlich und erfreulich, zur Mitfreude anregend, junge Menschen Kloster aufsuchend zu sehen.


February 23, 2018, 02:56:54 PM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_


February 23, 2018, 04:04:45 AM


February 23, 2018, 02:16:16 AM
Nyom Danilo.
(Atma will leave for a while for his almsround.)


February 22, 2018, 10:08:41 PM
 :-* ehrwürdiger bhante johann, ja ich ahb die khmer tastatur installiert! ich werde in den nächsten tagen text teilen und berichten!  :-*


February 22, 2018, 12:34:06 PM
Hat Nyom Marcel schon eine Khmer Tastatur installiert?


February 22, 2018, 12:32:21 PM
So ist das. Wenn Nahrung aufgebraucht, dann ist da für eine Weile Ende, und Wiedergeboren, es wieder brennen wird. Zum endgültigen legen des Feuers sind wir hier, oder? Pfau ruft, Gecko balzt, alles in Ordnung, oder?


February 22, 2018, 12:16:35 PM
 :-* ehrwürdiger bhante johann, letzte nacht davon geträumt, dass es beim ashram brennt!!
ich hoffe, das feuer hat sich gelegt  :-*


February 22, 2018, 11:43:37 AM
Nyom Marcel.


February 22, 2018, 09:08:57 AM


February 22, 2018, 08:49:51 AM
Möge Regen kommen und alle beschützt werden


February 22, 2018, 01:59:08 AM

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