Yakshas: personifications of spirit

Terracota Yakshas, Sunga period- 1st century BC; found in West Bengal)- Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York. US public domain via wikimedia
Terracota Yakshas, Sunga period- 1st century BC; found in West Bengal)- Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York. US public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung calls spirit an “immaterial substance or form of existence”. Yet this “immaterial substance” tends “towards personification” [1].

In the image above, we see Yakshas as personification of the nature spirits. “Yakshas were deities connected with water, fertility, trees, the forest, and the wilderness. Yakshis were their female counterparts and were originally benign deities connected with fertility.

Yaksha and yakshi images of stone and terracotta have been found at many sites in the subcontinent. Indicating that their worship was an important part of popular religion in ancient India” [2]. The yaksha are said to be caretakers of “the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots” [3].

Reference:

  1. Carl Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – CW 9i, para 385-8
  2. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the … By Upinder Singh
  3. http://www.britannica.com/topic/yaksha