Hindu term for the soul of a departed. After death the soul
was said to inhabit a subtle body the size of a man’s thumb and
remain in the keeping of Yama, judge of the dead. Punishment
or reward arises for the preta depending upon the actions of the
individual’s life and may involve many rebirths.
Eventually through faith and enlightenment, the soul is
translated to the heaven of the Pitris (the Manes or progenitors
of the human race).