Rakshasa (fiction)

Rakshasa (Fiction)

Rakshasa (fiction)

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The term Rakshasa, originally referring to a demon in Hindu mythology, has been used in western literature and culture. The following are some examples:

In Lord of Light

In Roger Zelazny's novel Lord of Light the Rakshasa, there spelled "Rakasha", are a type of extraterrestrial beings consisting of "stable fields of energy". They were present before the arrival of humans on the planet of the novel, and apparently native to it.

The Rakasha were supposedly once material beings, but long ago used unspecified technology to move their atman into energy fields. This gave them immortality, but "born of matter they do ever lust after the flesh" (p. 32). Although it might seem rather foolish of the Rakasha to use highly advanced technology to abandon bodies and then find that they preferred having flesh after all, they have the power to sometimes possess human bodies. Because a mortal who inhabits a body dies with it, unless he transfers his atman into an unused body, while a Rakasha can survive the destruction of its resident body, the Rakasha's choice does give them advantages that not making it would have lacked.

Their natural shape is that of a glowing flame, although they can briefly take nearly any shape they choose to. In their normal shape they are capable of flying, seeing in all directions and surviving most attacks by material weapons (although some compounds can repel them). When inhabiting a human body, they lose the power to fly...
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