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Yakshini in Hinduism – Worship Of Good - Peaceful Goddess Yakshi

Yakshini are spouse of Yakshas as per Hindu Puranas and they are goddesses worshipped in Hinduism. These goddesses are blessed with Ashtaaishwarayas and they bless devotees. They are peaceful and good supernatural beings that help people in distress. Please note that this article is about Yakshi as peaceful goddess and not the yakshi who is ghost or evil spirits (which is popular today).

As per Ashtavakra Gita, Yakshini represent Trishna.

It is believed that Shiva blessed Yakshinis with power to perform miracles, predict future and take various forms. This is mentioned in the Halasya Mahatmyam.

Yakshini are worshipped widely in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bengal and parts of Maharashtra and Telangana. Please note that Yakshini is known as Yakshi in many of these places.

There are family Yakshini who are family deities – Paradevatha of a family. They are given a special spot in the house usually it is a corner spot in which grains are filled. This place is considered holy and is a puja room for the family. Ancestors who had worshipped Shiva-Parvati or who died suddenly or protecting the family become Yakshinis. They reside in the family protecting wealth and those living in the family. The main offerings to family Yakshis are kheer (pal payasam – sweet made from rice, milk and sugar), cooked rice and sweet made by mixing jaggery, coconut and rice flour.

Yakshini also worshipped in temples as the main deity or Upa Devata.

There are 32 types of Yakshini as per Mantramahavarnam. They are Vichitra, Vibhrama, Hamsi, Mandana, Ghanta, Kalakarni, Mahabhaya, Mahendri, Shankhini, Chandri, Smashana, Vadayakshi, Meghala, Vikala, Lakshmi, Kamini, Shathapatrika, Sulochana, Bhishini, Janaranjika, Vishala, Shobha, Kapalini, Vilasini, Nadi, Kameshwari, Swarnarekha, Surasundari, Manohari, Pramadha, Ragini, Naghakeshika, Nemini, Padmini, Swarnavathi and Rathripriya.

Uddaddamaratantra and Tantraraja Tantra text also mention above 32 names of Yakshis.

In temples Yakshi is worshipped as Sundrayakshi who wears bindi on forehead. The bindi can be red or black in color. In some regions especially in Kerala, Yakshi is worshipped as Kannadi Bimbam (a mirror like image crafter on metal or stone).

When Yakshis are worshipped as murti in temples they should be like a beautiful woman with big bosoms and beautiful long eyes. This is stated in the 50th chapter of Agni Purana.

It is stated that eating the naivedya or Prasad offered to Yakshinis will help in clearing the sin of killing a living being. This is mentioned in the 84th chapter of Vana Parva of Mahabharata.

In North Kerala, kolams of yakshis are performed during Theyyam performance. The most popular among them are Kari Chamundi and Pullibhagavathi. In South Kerala, yakshi kolam is an important part of kolam thullal. 

Sundariyakshi roopam is found on walls in Triprayar, Morazha, Trichakrapuram, Vaikom, Poundarikapuram, Thazhathangadi Thali, Manganam, Thrikodithanam, Vaikundapuram (Kodumon), Padmanabhaswamy Temple and Panayannarkavu. 

Sundariyakshi holds mirror in right hand, the left hand is drawing tilak on forehead, the right hand is on kamukumaram form and wear white color clothes.