Canto 3: The Status QuoChapter 20: Conversation Between Maitreya and Vidura

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.20.21

devas tān āha saḿvigno

māḿ jakṣata rakṣata

aho me yakṣa-rakṣāḿsi

prajā yūyaḿ babhūvitha

SYNONYMS

devaḥ — Lord Brahmā; tānto them; āha — said; saḿvignaḥ — being anxious; do not; māmme; jakṣata — eat; rakṣata — protect; aho — oh; me — my; yakṣa-rakṣāḿsiO Yakṣas and Rākṣasas; prajāḥ — sons; yūyam — you; babhūvitha — were born.

TRANSLATION

Brahmā, the head of the demigods, full of anxiety, asked them, "Do not eat me, but protect me. You are born from me and have become my sons. Therefore you are Yakṣas and Rākṣasas."

PURPORT

The demons who were born from the body of Brahmā were called Yakṣas and Rākṣasas because some of them cried that Brahmā should be eaten and the others cried that he should not be protected. The ones who said that he should be eaten were called Yakṣas, and the ones who said that he should not be protected became Rākṣasas, man-eaters. The two, Yakṣas and Rākṣasas, are the original creation by Brahmā and are represented even until today in the uncivilized men who are scattered all over the universe. They are born of the mode of ignorance, and therefore, because of their behavior, they are called Rākṣasas, or man-eaters.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness