Rakshasas: Taunting Demons Tainted with Human Emotions

The Death of Ravana by Fernand CORMON (1875) Musée des Augustins. (Public Domain)

Rakshasas: Taunting Demons Tainted with Human Emotions

According to Hindu mythology, Satya Yuga signals the era during which the gods and intrinsic goodness ruled humanity, and at the end of his labors, the creator god, Brahma, sleeps. But during his deep slumber, Brahma’s breath created enormous, blood-thirsty fanged creatures with sharp, claw-like fingernails. Growling like beasts, these creatures turned upon Brahma and began devouring him. Brahma woke and shouted "Rakshama!" (Protect me!) and Vishnu, the god of protection and the preserver of good, came to his aid and banished all these strange creatures to earth. These creatures were then known as Rakshasas, after Brahma's cry for help.

The three-headed Rakshasa Trishiras (1830) (Public Domain)

The Diverse Nature of Rakshasas

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