Vampire in Ceylonese Mythology



Yaksha is an enchanted spirit of Sri Lanka whose ways of devouring victims are similar to that of the vampires of the West.  They are also known as the vampires of Sri Lanka.  There are two identity of the Yaksha, one was not offensive, generally assign in preserving the nature especially on the mountainous areas.  The other identity devours those travelers who were lost in the woods.

The Yaksha is also known in India, they were depicted as male warriors while the female which are referred to as yaksinis are beautiful woman with round face and large breasts.

In other accounts the Yaksha in Sri Lanka is also referred to as Yaka.  The Dala-Kumara Yaka, Kalu-Kamara Yaka and Riri Yaka.  The Kalu Kumara Yaka is a demon that usually preys on the children.  This creature was often held responsible for the disease of the children and also for miscarriage.  The Kalu Kumara Yaka was used to be an arhat until it fell in love with a princess that eventually turned him into a demon.

The accounts on Yaksha can also be found at the Sacrifice for a Stanza.  It states:

The monster was a Yaksha, so inhuman and awe-inspiring, with the eye so furiously glaring on Buddha, and the mouth stained with dripping blood. It was this monstrous devil that had just recited those two lines which had so greatly inspired him that he thought they came from a mouth other than that of this evil genius.
…..
It is told in the story that Buddha asked a favor to the Yaksha before he devoured him.  He asked for him to finish the line and that Buddha would engrave the prose to the stone using his own blood and after that the yaksha can do as he pleases.  But when the Yaksha was done and Buddha was prepared to meet his destiny, the Yaksha changed into a goddess.  It states:


When the Yaksha finished, Buddha made one of his fingers bleed, and with the dripping blood inscribed the whole stanza on the rock. This being done, Buddha threw himself over the precipice in order to fulfill his promise. But behold! at this crisis the hideous vampire suddenly changed his features, he became Sakrendra, a reigning god of the heavens and a most powerful guardian angel of Buddhism. Buddha, falling into the abyss, was miraculously received in the arms of this god, who now honored and revered him. The heavens showered flowers and the universe resounded with divine music.

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