Yaksha

Updated on: 14.10.2011

Alias

Yaksa, Yaksas, Yakshas, Yakṣa, यक्ष

Group(s)

   ► Individuals ► Mythycal Figure/Person ► Deity

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Yaksha

Sanskrit: यक्ष yakṣa

Prakrit/Pali: यक्ख yakkha

is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Jain, Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is Yakshi (यक्षी yakṣī) or Yakshini (यक्षिणी yakṣiṇī).

In Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist mythology, the yakṣa has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yakṣa may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yakṣa, which is a kind of ghost (bhuta) that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakṣasas.

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