Yaksha (Sanskrit: यक्ष yakṣa) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is yakṣī (यक्षी) or Yakshini (yakṣiṇī, यक्षिणी).

In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist mythology, the yakṣa has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yakṣa may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yakṣa, which is a kind of ghost (bhuta) that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakṣasas.

In Kālidāsa's poem Meghadūta, for instance, the yakṣa narrator is a romantic figure, pining with love for his missing beloved. By contrast, in the didactic Hindu dialogue of the Yakṣapraśnāḥ "Questions of the Yakṣa", it is a tutelary spirit of a lake that challenges Yudhiṣṭhira. The yakṣas may have originally been the tutelary gods of forests and villages, and were later viewed as the steward deities of the earth and the wealth buried beneath.

In Indian art, male yakṣas are portrayed either as fearsome warriors or as portly, stout and dwarf-like. Female yakṣas, known as yakṣiṇīs, are portrayed as beautiful young women with happy round faces and full breasts and hips.

See also: Yaksha Kingdom

Read more about YakshaYakṣas in Buddhism, Yaksha and Yakshini in Jainism

Other articles related to "yaksha":

Buddhist Mythology - Yaksha
... The Yaksha are a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots ... The Yaksha are ruled over by Kubera, the Lord of wealth ...
The Last Vampire 2: Black Blood (1994)
... As she is the oldest vampire now that Yaksha is dead, it is up to her to figure out what is happening ... Eddie Fender, whose vampiric abilities rival those of Yaksha himself ... and with Ray's help, deduces that Eddie must have found the remains of Yaksha from the explosion and used his blood to change himself ...
The Last Vampire (1994)
... flashback narrates Alisa's life and explains who Yaksha is ... saved the child and Sita decided to name the child "Yaksha", meaning "begot from a Yakshini." Yaksha grew to be a beautiful man in a short period of time ... her home, was attacked and dragged away by Yaksha ...
Yaksha, Komi Republic
... Yaksha (Russian Якша) is a settlement in Troitsko-Pechorsky District of the Komi Republic, Russia, located in the upper streams of the Pechora River ... The Pechora is not navigable above Yaksha, and even Yaksha itself is reachable by boat only during the late spring and early summer, when the water level is higher ... In the past, Yaksha was the northern (Pechora) end of the portage road connecting Cherdyn in the Kama River basin with the Pechora ...
Jagaddhatri - Pauranik Lore
... appeared before the Devatas in the form of effulgent Yaksha ... Bewildered by its presence one by one the Devatas approached Yaksha ... The Yaksha asked him what he could do ...