Reply To: Yaksha

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Ordinarily the attitude of the Yakshas (Yakkhas,in Pali) towards man is one of benevolence. They are interested in the spiritual welfare of the human beings with whom they come in contact and somewhat resemble tutelary genii. In the Atanatiya Sutta, however, the Yakkha king, Vessavana(King of the North from the 4 Heavenly Kings’ fame), is represented as telling the Buddha that, for the most part, the Yakkhas believe neither in the Buddha nor in his teachings, which enjoin upon his followers abstention from various evils and are therefore distasteful to some of the Yakkhas. Such Yakkhas are disposed to molest the followers of the Buddha in their woodland haunts.

The Atanatiya Sutta contains a vivid description of the Yakkha kingdom of Uttarakuru, with its numerous cities, crowds of inhabitants, parks, lakes and assembly halls. Vessavana is also called Kuvera, and the Yakkhas are his servants and messengers. They wait upon him in turn. The Yakkhinis(female Yakkhas) draw water for him, and often are so hard worked that many die in his service. Mention is also made of Yakkhadasis who have to dance and sing to the devas during the night. Early in the morning they drink a cup of toddy (sura) and go off into a deep sleep, from which they rise in the evening ready for their duties.

Vessavana is also one of the protector of Dhamma.


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