By Barbara O'Brien Definition: "Hungry ghost" is one of the six modes of existence (see Six Realms).
Hungry ghosts are pitiable creatures with huge, empty stomachs.
They have pinhole mouths, and their necks are so thin they cannot swallow, so they remain hungry.
Hungry ghosts are also associated with addiction, obsession and compulsion.
The Sanskrit word for "hungry ghost" is "preta," which means "departed one."Many schools of Buddhism leave food offerings on altars for hungry ghosts.
In the summer there are hungry ghost festivals throughout Asia that feature food and entertainment for the hungry ghosts.
By Barbara O'Brien Hungry ghosts are pitiable creatures.
They have huge, empty stomachs, but their mouths are too small and their necks too thin to take in food.
Sometimes they breath fire; sometimes what food they do eat turns to ash in their mouths. The Hungry Ghost Realm is one of the Six Realms of Samsara, into which beings are reborn.
Understood as a psychological rather than a physical state, hungry ghosts might be thought of as people with addictions, compulsions and obsessions.
Greed and jealousy lead to a life as a hungry ghost.
Hungry ghost festivals are held in many Buddhist countries to give the poor creatures some relief.