"Itipetaṃ" has Probably Nothing to do With Hungry Ghosts

Dear all,
I am confused about the following sentence from the brahmajālasutta: “itipetaṃ abhūtaṃ, itipetaṃ atacchaṃ, natthi cetaṃ amhesu, na ca panetaṃ amhesu saṃvijjatī”.

Specifically I don’t get at the meaning of itipetaṃ. The commentary resolves into iti and petaṃ. “Thus the departed ones are false.” (?!) Very strange and of course not translated by any text I know of, they rather take it as, e.g.: “for such and such reason […]” (Bodhi, The All-Embracing Net of Views). But I am not able to connect to such a rendering and meaning of petaṃ. I took it first as sandhi with an insertion of “p” but that such an insertion is possible I found nowhere supported. How would you read this passage? Thank you very much!



Good morning venerable,

this is not itipetaṃ for dead or ghost, this is:

Iti pi etaṃ → iti p’etaṃ → itip’etaṃ → itipetaṃ


Thank you very much! :anjal:

Yes, I suspected that petas have nothing to mingle here … :slight_smile:



Venerable, could you please refer to which commentary is it?! Thanks.

Please excuse my late reply, I was deterred due to travelling.

Sure. It is is Buddhaghosa’s commentary to the brahmajālasutta (DN 1).


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