rakshasa


rakshasa

▪ Hindu mythology
Sanskrit (male)  Rākṣasa , or (female)  Rākṣasī 

      in Hindu mythology, a type of demon or goblin. Rakshasas have the power to change their shape at will and appear as animals, as monsters, or in the case of the female demons, as beautiful women. They are most powerful in the evening, particularly during the dark period of the new moon, but they are dispelled by the rising sun. They especially detest sacrifices and prayer. Most powerful among them is their king, the 10-headed Rāvaṇa (q.v.). Pūtanā, a female demon, is well known for her attempt to kill the infant Krishna by offering him milk from her poisoned breast; she was, however, sucked to death by the god.

      Not all rakshasas are equally evil; some are more akin to yakshas, or yakas (nature spirits), while others are similar to asuras, the traditional opponents of the gods. The term rakshasa, however, generally applies to those demons who haunt cemeteries, eat the flesh of men, and drink the milk of cows dry as if by magic.

      They are vigorously depicted in Rajasthani paintings illustrating the Rāmāyaṇa (“Romance of Rāma”). The canons of sculpture instruct the artist to carve them with a terrifying appearance, complete with fearful side tusks, ugly eyes, curling awkward brows, and carrying a variety of horrible weapons.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rakshasa — Rākshasa Râkshasa dans un spectacle au Karnataka Les Rākshasa sont des Démons de la mythologie hindoue. Selon le Rāmāyana, les Rākshasa ont été créé à partir du pied de Brahma (un des dieux de la Trimūrti). On peut lire dans d’autres sources… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Râkshasa — Rākshasa Râkshasa dans un spectacle au Karnataka Les Rākshasa sont des Démons de la mythologie hindoue. Selon le Rāmāyana, les Rākshasa ont été créé à partir du pied de Brahma (un des dieux de la Trimūrti). On peut lire dans d’autres sources… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rākshasa — Râkshasa dans un spectacle au Karnataka Les Rākshasa sont des Démons de la mythologie hindoue. Selon le Rāmāyana, les Rākshasa ont été créés à partir du pied de Brahma (un des dieux de la Trimūrti). On peut lire dans d’autres sources qu’ils sont… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rakshasa — A rakshasa (Sanskrit: राक्षसः, IAST|rākṣasaḥ ; alternately rakshas, Malay: raksasa , Bengali: rakshosh , Japanese: 羅刹天 , rasetsuten ) is a demon or unrighteous spirit in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Rakshasas are also called man eaters ( Nri… …   Wikipedia

  • Rakshasa — Ein Rakshasa, dargestellt in einem Yakshagana, einem Tanztheater mit mythologischer Handlung Ravana …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rakshasa — noun (in Hinduism) A malignant demon at war with Rama and Hanuman; a representation of such a demon …   Wiktionary

  • rākshasa — राक्षस …   Indonesian dictionary

  • rākshasa-tā — राक्षसता …   Indonesian dictionary

  • rakshasa — rak·sha·sa …   English syllables

  • rakshasa — ˈräkshəsə noun ( s) Etymology: Sanskrit rākṣasa, from rakṣas, literally, injury; akin to Greek erechthein to rend, break : a demon or evil spirit of Hindu mythology …   Useful english dictionary


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