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Yakṣa. Collective name for supernatural beings in Hinduism, who inhabit the countryside and forests, but became especially associated with the sacred trees in villages. They can assume any form, and often appear as the servants of Kubera, the god of wealth. They can be beneficent or malevolent, but are usually known as punyajana, ‘good beings’, to propitiate them in advance.

In Jainism, they are attendants on each of the twenty-four tīrthaṅkaras.

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