From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
(Redirected from Rakshasa)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

rākṣasas [alt. rākṣas] (P. rakkhasa; T. srin po; C. luocha 羅刹), or "rakshasa," are a type of non-human being in Buddhist cosmology.

The 84000 glossary states:

A class of nonhuman beings that are often, but not always, considered demonic in the Buddhist tradition. They are often depicted as flesh-eating monsters who haunt frightening places and are ugly and evil-natured with a yearning for human flesh, and who additionally have miraculous powers, such as being able to change their appearance.[1]

In texts such as the Lotus Sutra, the island of Sri Lanka is said to be inhabited by rākṣasas "who are able to shape-shift and seduce human beings in order to eat them.[2]

Further reading


  1. Internet-icon.svg srin po, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  2. Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. rākṣasas