Rakshasi, Rakṣasī, Rākṣasī, Rakshashi: 8 definitions


Rakshasi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Rakṣasī and Rākṣasī can be transliterated into English as Raksasi or Rakshasi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Rākṣasī (राक्षसी):—Fourth of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Khecarī, according to the Kubjikāmatatantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Rākṣasī, represent the eight directions of the compass (from east to north-east) and are presided over by the Bhairava Saṃvarta and his consort Rudrāṇī. Khecarī is the first of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the element ether or space.

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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (R) next»] — Rakshasi in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Rākṣasī (राक्षसी) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Rākṣasī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Rākṣasī (राक्षसी).—A mind-born mother.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 16.
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Google Books: An Esoteric Exposition of the Bardo Thodol Part A

Rakṣasī (रक्षसी):—One of the six ‘Queens of Yoga’ projecting the rites of enrichment—The blackish tiger-headed Rakṣasī, (meaning a ‘cannibal demon’) drinking from a kapāla guards the southern petal. Rakṣasī directs the most refined manasic attributes of this piṅgalā line to be integrated with the pranas of the Base of Spine and Sacral centres.

The tiger represents the saṃskāras of strong passions that are well hidden in the jungles of desires, and which can spring out at any moment to overwhelm the individual. Such passions are eventually transformed into the ambrosial bodhicitta contained in the skull cup, signifying the mastery of all aspects of human relationships and sexual union. The (kundalinī) potency veiled by the Base of Spine centre will then be conveyed into the entire Earthy circulation of the Gonad centres. Until then the cup contains the intoxicating liquor of infatuation with the pleasure of the gratifications of the form and loving relationships, which the tiger stalks at first. Later he yogically seeks out the inner Fire of the psychic heat.

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Rākṣasī (राक्षसी) refers to one of the female world-guardians (lokapālinī) of the Medinīcakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the medinīcakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. Rākṣasī is associated with the charnel ground (śmaśāna) named Mūkana; with the tree (vṛkṣa) named Bijjora; with a female serpent (nāginī) and with a female cloud (meghinī).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

rākṣaśī (राक्षशी).—f & a Properly rākṣasī.

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rākṣasī (राक्षसी).—f (S) pop. rākṣasīṇa f A female rākṣasa. rākṣasaṇī pīṭha kāṇḍitāta gharāmadhyēṃ -rānāmadhyēṃ -tēthēṃ A phrase expressive of extreme desolation. Is. xiii. 21.

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rākṣasī (राक्षसी).—a (rākṣasa) Relating to a Rakshas. 2 fig. Outrageous, atrocious, daring, desperate--actions: violent, harsh, rough--remedies: gross, unseemly, enormous--food, eating; forming such compounds as rākṣasī kṛtya-karaṇī-khāṇēṃ-bhāṣaṇa-ghōḍā-bāga- mañjala-jōra and others in order.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

rākṣasī (राक्षसी).—a Relating to a rākṣasa. Outrage ous; daring; violent.

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rākṣasī (राक्षसी).—f A female rākṣasa.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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