The supernaturals

There are different types of supernatural beings in Hindu mythology. They have different qualities and powers to cause harm to humans and other creatures. Here is a brief differentiation between them:

  • Bhoot
    • A bhoot is a ghost or a spirit of a dead person who has not attained liberation or rebirth. A bhoot can haunt places, possess living beings, or cause diseases and misfortunes. A bhoot is usually invisible, but can take any form it likes. A bhoot can be pacified by performing rituals or offering food and water.
  • Pretha
    • A pretha is a type of ghost or spirit that suffers from extreme hunger and thirst. A pretha is also known as a hungry ghost or a pretatma. A pretha is the result of bad karma or unfulfilled desires in the previous life. A pretha has a huge belly, a long neck, and a small mouth. A pretha can only be satisfied by offerings of food and water, or by the grace of God.
  • Pisacha
    • A pisacha is a flesh-eating demon or goblin that feeds on human energy. A pisacha is also known as a pishach or a pishacha. A pisacha has bulging veins, protruding red eyes, and sharp teeth. A pisacha can shapeshift, become invisible, or possess humans and alter their thoughts. A pisacha can be driven away by mantras, prayers, or holy objects.
  • Rakshasa
    • A rakshasa is a powerful and malevolent demon that opposes the gods and the humans. A rakshasa is also known as a raksasa or a rakshas. A rakshasa has various animal features, such as horns, claws, fangs, or tails. A rakshasa can also shapeshift, fly, or create illusions. A rakshasa can be killed by weapons, spells, or divine intervention.
  • Asura
    • An asura is a superhuman being that competes with the gods for power and wealth. An asura is also known as an asur or an asurah. An asura can be good or evil, depending on their actions and intentions. An asura has great strength, intelligence, and magic. An asura can be defeated by the gods, the humans, or their own arrogance.
  • Daitya
    • A daitya is a giant or a titan who is the offspring of Diti, the mother of demons, and Kashyapa, the father of gods and demons. Daityas are often at war with the gods, and some of them are very powerful and influential, such as Hiranyakashipu, Hiranyaksha, Mahabali, and Prahlada.
  • Danava
    • A danava is a demon who is the offspring of Danu, another mother of demons, and Kashyapa. Danavas are also enemies of the gods, and some of them are very skilled and cunning, such as Maya, Vritra, Shukra, and Bali.
  • Naga
    • A naga is a serpent or a dragon who lives in the underworld or the ocean. Nagas are usually benevolent and wise, but some of them can be hostile and venomous, such as Kaliya, Vasuki, Takshaka, and Shesha
  • Gandharva
    • A gandharva is a celestial musician or a singer who entertains the gods and the humans. Gandharvas are usually friendly and artistic, but some of them can be mischievous and lustful, such as Chitrasena, Tumburu, Haha, and Huhu.
  • Yaksha
    • A yaksha is a nature spirit or a guardian of the treasures who dwells in the forests or the mountains. Yakshas are usually wealthy and generous, but some of them can be greedy and violent, such as Kubera, Manibhadra, Karkotaka, and Nalakuvara.

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