dead, departed, the departed spirit. The Buddhistic peta represents the Vedic pitaraḥ (manes, cp. pitṛyajña), as well as the Brāhmaṇic preta. The first are souls of the “fathers,” the second ghosts, leading usually a miserable existence as the result (kammaphala) or punishment of some former misdeed (usually avarice) They may be raised in this existence by means of the dakkhiṇā (sacrificial gift) to a higher category of mahiddhikā petā (alias yakkhas), or after their period of expiation shift into another form of existence (manussa, deva, tiracchāna). The punishment in the Nirayas is included in the peta existence. Modes of suffering are given SN.ii.255; cp K.S. ii, 170 p. On the whole subject see Stede, Die Gespenstergeschichten des Peta Vatthu, Leipzig 1914; in the Peta Vatthu the unhappy ghosts are represented, whereas the Vimāna Vatthu deals with the happy ones.

  1. (souls of the departed, manes) DN.iii.189 (petānaṃ kālakatānaṃ dakkhiṇaṃ anupadassati); AN.iii.43 (id.); AN.i.155 sq. AN.v.132 (p. ñātisalohita); MN.i.33; SN.i.61 = SN.i.204; Snp.585 Snp.590, Snp.807 (petā-kālakatā = matā Mnd.126); Ja.v.7 (= mata C.); Pv.i.5#7; Pv.i.12#1; Pv.ii.6#10. As pubba-peta (“deceased-before”) at AN.ii.68; AN.iii.45; AN.iv.244; Ja.ii.360.
  2. (unhappy ghosts) SN.ii.255 sq.; Vin.iv.269 (contrasted with purisa, yakkha & tiracchāna-gata) AN.v.269 (dānaṃ petānaṃ upakappati); Ja.iv.495 sq (yakkhā pisācā petā, cp. preta-piśācayoḥ MBhār. 13 732); Vb.412 sq.; Sdhp.96 sq
    manussapeta a ghost in human form Ja.iii.72; Ja.v.68; Vv-a.23. The later tradition on Petas in their var. classes and states is reflected in Mil.294 (4 classes: vantāsikā, khuppipāsā nijjhāma-taṇhikā, paradatt’ ûpajīvino) & Mil.357 (appearance and fate); Vism.501 = Vb-a.97 (as state of suffering with narakā, tiracchā, asurā); Vb-a.455 (as nijjhāmataṇhikā, khuppipāsikā, paradatt’ upajīvino).
  3. (happy ghosts) mahiddhikā petī Pv.i.10#1; yakkha mahiddhika Pv.iv.1#54; Vimānapeta mahiddhika Pv-a.145; peta mahiddhika Pv-a.217. [Cp. BSk. pretamahardhika Divy.14]
    ■ f. petī Vin.iv.20; Ja.i.240; Pv.i.6#2; Pv-a.67 and passim. Vimānapetī Pv-a.47, Pv-a.50 Pv-a.53 and in Vimāna-vatthu passim.

-upapattika born as a peta Pv-a.119. -katha (pubba˚ tales (or talk) about the dead (not considered orthodox DN.i.8, cp. DN-a.i.90; AN.v.128. -kicca duty towards the deceased (i.e. death-rites) Ja.ii.5; Dhp-a.i.328. -rājā king of the Petas (i.e. Yama) Ja.v.453 (˚visayaṃ na muñcati “does not leave behind the realm of the Petaking”); C. explains by petayoni and divides the realm into petavisaya and kālakañjaka-asura-visaya
■ yoni
the peta realm Pv-a.9, Pv-a.35, Pv-a.55, Pv-a.68, Pv-a.103 and passim -loka the peta world Sdhp.96. -vatthu a peta or ghost-story; Name of one (perhaps the latest) of the canonical books belonging to the Suttanta-Piṭaka Kp-a.12; DN-a.i.178 (Ankura˚).

pp of pa + ī, lit. gone past, gone before