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The Disguises of the Demon (The Development of the Yaksa in Hinduism and Buddhism)

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Item Code: NAS547
Author: Gail Hinich Sutherland
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
Language: English
Edition: 1991
ISBN: 0791406210
Pages: 240 (5 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 520 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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About the Book

Among the most ancient deities of South Asia, the yaksa straddles the boundaries between popular and textual traditions in both Hinduism and Buddhism and both benevolent and malevolent facets. As a figure of material plenty, the yaksa is epitomized as Kubera, god of wealth and king of the yaksas. In demonic guise, the yaksa is related to a large family of demonic and quasi-demonic beings, such as nagas, gandharvas, raksasas, and the man-eating pissacas.

Translating and interpreting texts and passages from the Vedic literature, the Hindu epics, the Puranas, Kalidassa’s Meghaduta, and the Buddhist jataka Tales, Sutherland traces the development and transformation of the elusive yaksa from an early identification with the impersonal absolute itself to a progressively more demonic and diminished terrestrial characterization. Her investigation is set within the framework of a larger inquiry into the nature of evil, misfortune, and causation in Indian myth and religion.

About the Author

Gail Hinich Sutherland is Assistant Professor of Asian Religions at Louisiana State University.

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