A Guide to a Proper Buddhist Funeral

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The king gave robes and lodging and dedicated these actions. Instantly, the petas were richly adorned and they had wellfurnished palaces to live in. The king was extremely delighted by what he did and saw the effects.  C  B    Beings are called peta because they are stationed far from happiness. Peta = pa + ita; lit, departed beings, or (those) absolutely devoid of happiness. They are not disembodied spirits or ghosts Although they possess material forms, generally they are invisible to the physical eye.

For there is never ploughing there, Nor any cattle herding found, Nor merchandising just the same, Nor bartering for coin of gold: The ghosts of the departed kin Live there on giving given here.  Unname udakam vattam yatha ninnam pavattati Evam eva ito dinnam petānam upakappati As water showered on the hill Flows down to reach the hollow vale, So giving given here can serve The ghosts of the departed kin. As riverbeds when full can bear The water down to Þll the sea, So giving given here can serve The ghosts of the departed kin.

Not possible), this refers to two kinds of beings. Firstly, those who have done heavy unwholesome or evil acts (Akusala Kammapatha) and have taken birth as hellish beings or animals. Secondly, those who have abstained from such evil acts and have been born to the world of celestial or human beings once again. These kinds of beings live on the ‘food’ of their own planes and as such are not in the position to appreciate and enjoy the meritorious fruits so dedicated. Again, the Brahmin asked if, in cases where the relative did not take birth in the planes of hungry ghosts (peta) ,who then would be able to receive the dedication of merit.

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