Yakshi, Yakṣi, Yakṣī: 10 definitions


Yakshi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Tamil. 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 Yakṣi and Yakṣī can be transliterated into English as Yaksi or Yakshi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Yakṣī (यक्षी).—(YAKṢIṆĪ). Women folk of Yakṣas. Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 50 mentions that the images of Yakṣī to be installed in temples should have fixed and long eyes. Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 105, states that Yakṣiṇī is a Devī and by eating the prasāda (naivedya) of the Devī one would be absolved of the sin of Brahmahatyā (killing a Brāhmaṇa).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Yakṣi (यक्षि).—Women of the Yakṣas.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 90. 9.

2) Yakṣī (यक्षी).—One of the ten pīṭhas for images with three mekhalas; this gives one plenty of cows.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 262. 6, 8, 17.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Yakṣī (यक्षी) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. ). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Yakṣī) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Yakṣī (यक्षी) refers to one of the eight Yoginīs (yoginī-aṣṭaka) associated with Kāmākhya (corresponding to the eastern face of Bhairava), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—[...] The eight Yoginīs (yoginyaṣṭaka): Viśālā, Pārthivā, Yakṣī, Dhūrjaṭī, Viṣabhakṣaṇī, Sarvasiddhipradā, Tuṣṭi, Icchā, Siddhipradāyakī.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

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

Yakṣī (यक्षी) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Yakṣa forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Agnicakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the agnicakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Yakṣī] and Vīras are red in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Yakṣī (यक्षी) or Yakṣiṇī together with the Yakṣa compose the Śāsanadevatās or “attending deities” of the Tīrthaṃkaras.—“A Yakṣa is a devotee of the Tīrthaṃkaras”, so defines a Jaina liturgical text. According to the Jaina belief, Indra appoints one Yakṣa and Yakṣī to serve, as attendants of each Tīrthaṃkara. The Yakṣa would be on his right side and Yakṣiṇī on his left. Thus, they also came to be called Śāsana-devatā or attendant spirits. According to Hemacandra, a Yakṣa originates from the particular religious spirit of a Jina. Hence, we can take, in all strong probability, that the Yakṣa was the leader of the disciples and Yakṣiṇī was the first female convert.

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Yakṣī (यक्षी):—[from yakṣa > yakṣ] a f. a female Yakṣa, [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc. (yakṣīṇām prathamā yakṣī = durgā, [Harivaṃśa])

2) [v.s. ...] Name of Kubera’s wife, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [from yakṣ] b f. of yakṣa above.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Yākṣī (याक्षी) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Jakkhī.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Yakṣi (ಯಕ್ಷಿ):—

1) [noun] a female belonging to the class of demi-gods Yakṣas.

2) [noun] a wife of a demi-god of this class.

3) [noun] a wife of Kubēra, the chief of this class.

4) [noun] a woman skilled in black-magic and supposedly having supernatural power by a compact with the devil or evil spirits; a witch.

5) [noun] (jain.) a class of demi-goddesses.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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Tamil dictionary

Source: DDSA: University of Madras: Tamil Lexicon

Yakṣi (யக்ஷி) noun < yakṣī. Female of the yakṣa class. See இயக்கி [iyakki], 1.

context information

Tamil is an ancient language of India from the Dravidian family spoken by roughly 250 million people mainly in southern India and Sri Lanka.

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