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n.1.(Hindoo Myth.) A kind of demigod attendant on Kuvera, the god of wealth.
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The Buddha, the Blessed One, was honoured, praised, respected and worshipped by kings, ministers, the wealthy, city dwellers, merchants, caravan leaders, devas, nagas, yaksas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras and mahoragas--that is to say, revered by devas, nagas, yaksas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras and mahoragas--the Buddha, the Blessed One, the Illustrious One (jnato), (29) the Greatly Meritorious One, [while] residing in the Kutagara Hall by the shore of the Markatahradatira, in dependence [for alms] on [the city of] Vaisali, together with his community of disciples, obtained supplies of robes, alms bowls, beds, seats and medicines for the sick.
The attendants to either side of the main figures in both panels seem to be yaksas, which are usually associated with Kubera.
Such a military, protective role would indeed fit Vajrapani/Trailokyavijaya, whose historical role 'had always been called the 'general of yaksas (yaksasenapapati)'.
Owen devotes a chapter to the yaksas (m) and yakyis (f), but her interest is more than simply iconographical.
and delights the mind of the beloved, and it subdues bhutas, pretas, pisacas, and yaksas.
The subjects, represented in both art and text, include yaksis and yaksas (female and male nature deities), beautiful women and young girls, kings and queens, the Buddha, aristocratic couples, and Hindu deities (featured particularly in Chapter 4).
His investigation uses an all-inclusive term "spirit-deities" for beings such as yaksas, nagas, guhyakas, bhutas, pretas, gandharvas, pitrs, kumbhandas, pisacas, vrksadevatas (rukkhadevatas), vetalas, mahoragas, devaputras, vidyadharas, kimpurusas.
To gain some idea of the book's range one has only to glance at the table of contents: here we find architectural motifs, elements of landscape, geometrical patterns, lotus rhizomes, floriated scroll work, the treatment of animals in their various aspects, the kirtimukha motif, amorous couples, nagas, garudas, divine flying figures notably gandharvas, apsaras, vidyadharas, dwarves of various types, udaremukhas with a face for a stomach kinnaras (half bird, half human), kiratas (forest dwellers), yaksas including Manibhadra, Purnabhadra, and Kubera, yaksinis.
Chapter three, "Fusion of Two Bodies," gathers examples of Ardhanarisvara and Harihara where two different bodies are fused into one unique body, and also examples of addorsed bodies (or heads) of Yaksas, Kuvera, Scythian males, Ganesa, and Buddha/Bodhisattva icons.
Although usually yaksas were described as being indifferent towards organized religion, some were converted to Buddhism and held strictly to the Buddhist codes.