Race in Hindu mythology / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Rākshasas (Sanskrit: राक्षस, romanized: rākṣasa, pronounced [raːkʂɐsɐ] ; Pali: rakkhasa; lit.'preservers'[1]) are a race of usually malevolent beings prominently featured in Hindu mythology. They reside on Earth but possess supernatural powers, which they usually use for evil acts such as disrupting Vedic sacrifices or eating humans.[2][3]

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Rakshasa as depicted in Yakshagana, an art form of Uttara Kannada. Artist: Krishna Hasyagar, Karki
Similar entitiesAsura
Other name(s)
  • Nri-chakshas
  • Nishacharas
  • Kravyads
  • Rakshasi
  • Manushya-rakshasi
  • Asura
CountryIndia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia

They are offered a distinction from yakshas, their cousins who are depicted to be forces of destruction. The term is also used to describe asuras, a class of power-seeking beings that oppose the benevolent devas. They are often depicted as antagonists in Hindu scriptures, as well as in Buddhism and Jainism. The female form of rakshasa is rakshasi.[4]