Rakshasa

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A Rakshasa (Sanskrit: राक्षसः, rākṣasaḥ; Tibetan: srin po, Malay and Indonesian: raksasa, Assamese: raikhox, Bangla: rakkhosh, Chinese: 羅剎, luó​chà [Pinyin] lo-cha [Wade-Giles], Japanese: 羅刹天, rasetsuten) or alternatively rakshas, is a race of mythological humanoid beings or unrighteous spirit in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Rakshasas are also called man-eaters ("Nri-chakshas," "Kravyads"). A female Rakshasa is called a Rakshasi, and a female Rakshasa in human form is a Manushya-Rakshasi. Often Asura and Rakshasa are interchangeably used.

According to the Ramayana, Rakshasas were created from Brahma's foot; other sources claim they are descended from Pulastya, or from Khasa, or from Nirriti and Nirrita. Hinduism maintains that the Rakshasas were particularly wicked humans in previous incarnations. Rakshasas are notorious for disturbing sacrifices, desecrating graves, harassing priests, possessing human beings, and so on. Their fingernails are venomous, and they feed on human flesh and spoiled food. They are shapechangers, illusionists, and magicians.

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In Hindu Lore

In the Hindu epics

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