Rakshasas - demons changing the form and gaining any appearence
An appearance of Rakshasas is represented variously in different legends . In the "Rig-Veda" they are imaged as werewolves leading mainly a nocturnalism, and transforming to ominous animals and birds. In the "Atharva-Veda" Rakshasas gain monstrous appearance of human beings with one or several eyes, several heads and horns on heads and arms. In the "Mahabharata "," Ramayana" and puranas they become long-armed, multiarm and multiheaded giants-cannibals with igneous eyes.
Summarizing the description of akshasas in the Vedic texts, epic poems and puranas, anybody can conclude they had talent for changing their form and gaining any shape. It is well illustrated by the following fagments of the "Ramayana":
"Raghava has slayed by his sharp claws fourteen thousand demons, changing at will their appearance, in an instant";
"You … saw, how by my own will I [Ravana] can change the appearance";
"My nickname is Shurpanakhi. Well matched to a magician -
Art to change the appearance I possess from my birth ";
"And rakshas [Marichi] could not defy his lord's command.
He, appearance having changed, turned to a magic deer ".
Rakshasas - multiarm and manyheaded giants
More often Rakshasas are described as multiarm, multiheaded and multieyed or, to the contrary, single-eyed beings with a huge mouth (there were and multimouthed rakshasas) and ears resembling shells. Some of them, for example rakshas Kabandha,were shapeless lumps of meat with a gaping mouth in the middle and one eye in chests (obvious analogy of Lota - the mother of Fomorian Kihola ). Sometimes Rakshasas had appearance of ordinary people, including seductive women, which they received as a result of werewolfness. Basically after all they were giants, sometimes of the monstrous sizes.
Cite the "Ramayana":
"Rama stared into a grass … when before him the howling giant [Demon Viradha, the son of Dzhava and Shatarhada], huge, as a mount has appeared. Colossal, abominable, with deeply seated eyes, a huge mouth and a protruding belly, dressed in a skin of a tiger, covered with a blood, he filled with horror hearts of all foresters;.
"She [Shurpanakhi] was abominable, thick, heavy, with chinks of eyes [squint-eyed], a red hair, frightening by sight, with a squeaking voice … with a hanging belly".
Pakshasas were of green, yellow or blue colour, had vertical pupils and long venomous claws, "legs giving with a fan likeness".
Their heads were covered by bundles of a reddish-browred hair. They wore garments from coloured clothes and different adornments, and their warriors were dressed in an armour or a chain armour.
The sovereign of Rakshasas Ravana
Powerful Ravana was a sovereign of Rakshasas -
"The lord of Flying at the Night, put in sandals,
with a bundle, garments of saffron yellow colours wearing",
receiving inviolability from Brahma. He was "the giant with ten heads of sky colour, he wore adornments from the cleanest gold. He has ten necks and twenty arms".
"Apparelled in an expensive line painted by a red sandalwood and speckled emblems, he [Ravana] seemed magnificent with his reddish eyes, the furious glare, blazing acute teeth and full lips. The splendid ten-headed sovereign of great force has resembled to … a pile of blue antimony".
Rakshasas - great sorcerers, able to become invisible
Rakshasas were great sorcerers (this fact is mentioned very often), could suddenly occur and disappear, become invisible, and also create the very different invocations. For example,
"Ravana's son, Indradzhit, has come off the chariot …
Has called sorcery on a help, has wraped by a mist
And, drived out by valorous Angada, has become the invisible being …
Possessing received from Brahma the wonderful gift ,
Indrajit has disappeared from eyes as if becoming incorporeal "("Ramayana", my translation from Russian translation of the "Ramayana" by V.Potapova).
Sometimes Rakshasas are assigned the property to be invulnerable for any weapon. Ravana and Viradzhi were such.
Rakshasas - long-livers or immortal
They were long-livers or immortal. So, Ravana has received unvulnerability due to 10 thousand years of inclement self-sacrifice; he speaks in the disdainful form about the mortal.
"Soaring in cosmos spaciousnesses, I [Ravana] can raise the Earth! I can dry the ocean and defeat death herself in a battle. I can smash the Sun into chunks and crack the terrestrial globe by my arrows" ("Ramayana").
Love entrainments and marriages Rakshasas with people
There are many enough descriptions of love infatuations and even marriages of Rakshasas (both males and females) with people. So, the sovereign of rakshasas Ravana had the whole harem of concubines stolen by him in different parts of the world. His sister, the giantess - rakshasi Shurpanaksi, in her turn, came to love with Rama. The hero of the "Mahabharata" Bhimasena (Bhima wolf-bellied) married Rakshassi Hidimba.
Entering love relations with people, Rakshasas gained rather seductive appearance:
"Acquiring irresistibly charming female appearance, adorning with various jewelry of the most refined job and leading delightful talks, she [rakshasi Hidimba] gifted enjoying to the son of Panda" ("Mahabharata").
Descendans of Rakshasas and people
Quite viable children were born from marriages or intimacies of rakshass with people. Here that is speak in this respect in the "Mahabharata":
"Rakshasi in the long run has given birth the mighty son to him [Bhima]. With his oblique eyes, a large mouth and similar to shells ears the boy was a real fright. His appearance … was awful, lips - of a bright colour of the red cuprum, similar to tusks teeth - very sharp. His power was great also. He was … the great hero endowed with great energy and force. He moved promptly, had a monstrously large body and a great mystic force and could conquer all enemies easily. Speed of his movement and power though he has been born from the man, were indeed superhuman. And he exceeded by his magic power not only all human beings, but also any wizardess and magicians ".
Children born from rakshasas and people, could have and human appearance, but inherently they always remained by rakshasas. Legends narrate about the most curious peculiarities of Rakshasas to give birth to children at the moment of conception.
Rakshasas lived in "brilliant" Lanka which was one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world with perfect multistory palaces, gardens and parks.
Flying chariots of Rakshasas
The huge flying chariot "Pushpaka" (Puspaka), stolen by Ravana from his brother Kubera was one of the main places of interest of Lanka.
"It shone like pearl and soared over high palace's towers... Dressed by gold and decorated with the incomparable works of art, constructed by Vishvakarma(n), flying in cosmos spaciousnesses, like a sun beam …".
Ravana moved on this flying chariot above his possessions and the remaining world. He has arrived upon it to his uncle Marichi:
"And ten-headed, from heavens having lowered plumb,
Has descended from the chariot decorated with gold wonderfully".
He has transported the stolen spouse of Rama - Sita - upon it to Lanka:
"For Ravana here from the Heaven the chariot was descended …
… And have soared up into the blue sky, on a grief to the poor girl,
Magic horses - green, in a wonderful harness "("Ramayana", my translation from Russian translation of the "Ramayana" by V.Potapova).
The other owners of air chariots were Ravana sister, Rakshasi Shurpanakhi and Rakshasi Hidimba - the wife of one of the main heroes of the "Mahabharata", pandava Bhimasena. Here that is speaked about it in the "Mahabharata":
"Having picked up Bhimasena with herself, she [Hibimba] has risen into the Heaven and has flown with her husband about many perfect mountains, sanctuaries of gods, fascinating dwellings where sounds of the deer hoofs and the bird's songs … were always heard... Flying from one place on another with the speed of thoughts …".
Air combats of Rakshasas with gods and people
The central scenes of the "Ramayana" - air combats of Ravana and Rama, and also Lakshmana, Rama's brother, with Rakshas Indradzhit. In these combats both parties used some peculiar powerful weapon which can be compared with the nuclear weapon. Here is how the combat of Ravana with Rama in the "Ramayana is described:
"But the rajah of demons the chariot has guided headlong
Onto the valiant imperial son that the troops has headed ...
... And against the weapons that Ravana has selected perfidious,
Well-behaved tsarevitch has prepared the weapon of Suparna …
… As hard diamond or Indra an arrow thunderous,
Weapon has taken Ravana, to slay Rama believing …
It has thrown up a light, both frightened a look, and reason
Weapon, glitter and hardness of which was similar to diamond …
…It has flown in the sky, blazing by light … ".
See my photos of wall pictures, bas-reliefs and statues of Rakshasas in the section "Disappeared inhabitants of the Earth in the sculpture and painting of Thailand and Cambodia"
Read my other works in the subsection "Many-armed and many-headed creatures"
© A.V.Koltypin, 2009
I, A. Koltypin the author and translator of this work give permission to use this for any purpose except prohibited by applicable law, on condition that our authorship and hyperlink to the site http://earthbeforeflood.com is given.
The section "Aboriginal inhabitants"
Read my works "Great antediluvian civilizations of Fomorians, Rakshasas, Viyevichs and Nagas. General characteristic and their role in the world history", "Blue skin as an attribute of longevity" and "Giants and titans - predecessors and contemporaries of people. What was the growth of gods and demons?"