The great battle of Asuras involved the march of their soldiers upon the mountain of gods like “ants crawling up a hill.”  By meditation on war, armor, and weaponry, the Asura overcame their Deava enemies through assimilation of demons, spirits, and ghosts: either corporeal beings of physical demonic body, one such creature being the Rakshasha, or spirits which possessed other humans (see wefuke).

Rakshasa were most often depicted as mean, fierce looking, ugly, large as hills, black as soot, with two fangs protruding down from the top of the mouth, having sharp claw-like fingernails, and growling like beasts. They were also depicted as cannibals with an insatiable hunger, who could smell the scent of animal, man or flesh from great distances.  

Reflecting the conflicting alliances of Deavas and Asuras, there were both good and evil rakshasas, and as warriors they fought alongside the armies of both good and evil.  They were expert illusionists, capable of blending within any rank and file troops in service of whatever lord held their alliance, particularly under cover of darkness.  When the Atharim ended the godwars, Rakshasas took to unprecedented dining on human travelers and terrorizing human settlements.  All too poignantly, in the Indonesian and Malasyian languages, rakshasa means “monster.”  Today, they indwell dark, quiet places in the world, continually dining on human flesh, and emerge at night, scampering fast and nimble in shadow.

Categories: Mythos