The Hindu Demons
are perhaps the most awesome of all and must be driven
off by dancers wearing the most horrifying masks.
serpent Vritra is the enemy of the gods, Yama
the king of death (with his 2 dogs dragging off dying humanity),
and Ravana is the Demon King served by terrifying
rakshasas. The god of wealth, Kubera, is attended
by demons both male (yakshas) and female (yakshinis).
Hindu belief, an asura ('breath,' or even 'not god') is
a divinity. In the oldest part of the Rig-Veda
the word is tantamount to 'Supreme Deity,' just as Ahura
is the god of the Zoroastrians.
asura came to mean not divinity but demon and the
Brahmans speak of
contests between the wicked asuras and the good gods.
came, it is said, from the breath of Pajapati
(or from his belly when he became pregnant), who was the
origin of 'gods, men, fathers, Gandharvas, and Apsarases'
from water; the bad creatures may be from drops of water
spilled. Likewise we may more or less accidentally have
got the Rakshasas and Pisachas.
father of men, says the asuras derive from 'Prajapati's
Purana says they came from the groin of Brahma.
origins of these evil creatures is, as you see, debated.
In any case, asuras now is a term that covers 'the
enemies of the gods, including the Rakhasas descended
us start with Kasyapa. He was a Vedic sage who did
much creation, both of hymns and creatures. Grandson of
Brahma, father of Vishnu, grandfather of Manu,
the progenitor of all mankind. That's Kasyapa. By Diti,
Kasyapa gave birth to the Daityas, unpleasant demons
who were kratudwishas (spoilers of sacrifices);
they had to be defeated by the good gods. These Daityas
are hardly distinguishable from other creatures fathered
by Kasyapa, called Danavas, also demons.
there are Darbas (Tearers), destructive demons. And
Rakshasas (Guardians), descended from either the
sage Pulastya or (in another story) from the foot of Brahma.
These Rakshasas are goblins
and ghouls. They can be titans
or smaller but they all haunt cemeteries, disturb sacrifices,
animate corpses, devour people, harass the devout, and spread
disease and disorder. Some scholars have suggested that
they represent the barbarian peoples whom the Aryans first
encountered, then defeated.
Hindus have many devils and demons and, as with the Judeo-Christian
tradition, there are questions about their origins but a
common explanation is that they were first good and later
bad (like the fallen angels).