Yaksha or ‘Yakṣa’ in Sanskrit language and ‘Yakkha’ in Pali language is a semi-deity mentioned in both religion and literature. According to Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain scriptures, yaksha is the attendant of gods, and the guardian of religion and religious sites. A male yaksha is called ‘Yaksha’, a female one is called ‘Yakshi’ or ‘Yakshini’. Sometimes Yaksha is referred to in combination with the words ‘Asura’, ‘Kumbhanda’, ‘Guhyaka’, ‘Daitya’, or ‘Danava’, ‘Rakshasa’ and ‘Mara’.
Yaksha literally means a person who deserves an act of worship, one whom people give offerings to, and a being who that receives offerings. According to traditional belief in India, yakshas are the nature-spirits and classified as one of the deities. They live in forests and mountains.
They are often benevolent, but sometimes mischievous, capricious, and very sensual. Also, they have magical abilities and can transform themselves into different appearance. They are associated with water, fertility, trees, forests, soil, mountains, and wealth. From another point of view, they are fierce, envious, and malicious. They persecute humans and appear as ghosts, demons, and evil spirits that haunt rural areas, roads and capture humans and animals to eat in a similar manner to rakshasas.
Yakshas are often given homage as guardian deities of a city, district, lake or well like Nagas and Earth goddess. This may have its roots in the indigenous peoples of India. Yaksha worship coexisted with the sacrifices of priests in the Vedic era. Later, yakshas are regarded as the guardian deities of the world and the custodians of treasures (minerals and gems) that are hidden in the earth