Yakṣa

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Yaksa, YakSa, Yaksha


Yakṣa as per Ṛgveda

Though the word yakṣa occurs in the Ṛgveda several times[1][2] its meaning is not clear. Traditional commentators interpret it as a feast or sacrifice.

Yakṣa as per Atharvaveda

The word occurring in the Atharvaveda[3] is sometimes interpreted as a monster.

Yakṣa as per Kena Upaniṣad

In the Kena Upaniṣad[4] Brahman is said to have assumed the form of a Yakṣa to test the gods.

Yakṣa as per Purāṇas

In the epics and the purāṇas the yakṣas are described as semi-divine beings along with vidyādharas, gandharvas and kinnaras. They were the offsprings of Kāśyapa and Khasā.[5] Kubera, the god of wealth, is the lord of the yakṣas.


References

  1. Ṛgveda 1.190.4
  2. Ṛgveda 4.3.13
  3. Atharvaveda 8.9.25
  4. Kena Upaniṣad 3
  5. Viṣṇupurāṇa 1.21.25
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore