Rakshasi (Devil)

(Image: Upadhya, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/Cropped)

Indian ogresses, or rakshasi, are cunning and strong, invulnerable to most attacks. With shapeshifting abilities, they often appear as beautiful women to trick unlucky men into marrying them. A rakshasi has an unquenchable thirst for blood and raw meat, leading to tricked husbands realizing that their wife is a devil eventually, but often not being able to do anything about it. If the husband does manage to do something, he will have his devil wife imprisoned, from which she will undoubtedly escape and seek revenge (Ramanujan 73-79).

The rakshasi shows the power wielded by the demons of Indian legend: to subtly manipulate human minds, an exceptionally scary prospect. Because of this power, the rakshasi seem to warn against the temptation and danger of beautiful women. Their eating of children (Ramanujan 74) also warns children against trusting anyone, especially beautiful women, too easily.


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