Mythical Creatures Series
These shape-shifters are cunning, and are rather fond of tricking people either for their own amusement or to carry out a sinister plot – but not every Rakshasa is necessarily evil, so here we have a classic case of not judging the book by its cover!
What is it?
A race of mythological humanoid beings in Hindu and Buddhist religion. They have also been labelled as man-eaters. Hinduism maintains that the Rakshasas were particularly wicked humans in previous incarnations. They are notorious for possessing humans disturbing sacrifices or desecrating graves. Their fingernails are venomous, and they feed on human flesh and spoiled food. Oh they sound just wonderful. The term rakshasa, generally applies to those demons who haunt cemeteries, eat the flesh of men, and drink the milk of cows dry as if by magic. Though not all Rakshasa are evil, some are known to be good.
At their core, they are shape-changers, illusionists, and magicians. You might recall a Supernatural episode where a Rakshasa disguised itself as a the blind knife thrower who works with the circus, that is until Sam finished him off with a brass pipe. Gotta love the television series Supernatural! Hmm if I had to pick from the Winchester brothers, I’d go Dean. Okay, I’m getting off track here:)
Ability / Power
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.
Artist have depicted them with terrifying appearances, complete with fearful side tusks, ugly eyes, curling awkward brows, and carrying a variety of horrible weapons. But as shape-shifters they can pretty much take any form they want.
Did you know? The Rakshasa is a common character found in D&D games, portrayed largely with the head of a jungle cat – usually the tiger, and seen as deceitful and evil.
Previous Mythical Creature Posts:
Marchosias: A Kick-Ass Creature, Ningyo: The Deadly Mermaid, Abatwa: Riding Ants To Victory, Cait Sith: It Gets Into Your Mind, Anka: The Goliath Bird, Huldra: Norse Forest Lady, iele: Romanian Nymphs Of The Air, Manticore: The Man-Eater, Hantu Demon: Legendary Spirit, Lich: Undead Necromancer, Joan The Wad: Queen of Piskies, Fomorian: Ancient Gigantic God