Rakshasa, RakshasiSkt., raksasa (male form)
Skt., raksasi (female form)
- Both these names refer to members of a specific category of so-called demons who occur in both male and female forms; hence the different spelling.
- A trait distinguishing these demons from others (Yaksha/Yakshi for example) is the fact that they are usually depicted or spoken of as animal-headed
- Three different Rakshasi (dog-, tiger- and yak-headed) can be found among the cannibalistic deities or demons known as The 28 Powerful Flesh-Eating Goddesses.
- However, there are indications that Rakshasa and Rakshasi were neither demons nor deities but resistence fighters against the Aryan invasion; later demonized in the Veda's - the very scriptures of the invading conquerors.
- Somewhat substantiating the claim that these demons were people of flesh and blood is the fact that there exists a Tibetan term, srin-po'i thod-pa, that refers to the skull of a Rakshasa.