There are many similarities between the Yaksha Tavarnbal of the Buddhist Beliefs and the Pazuzu (The God of Flies) of the Mesopotamian Religion, are they both the same being ? Well, that’s a good question which no one seems to be able to answer.
Both these beings are said to be demons and both have a benevolent and evil characters in them. The ancients worships them as well as fear them. Why do two different cultures worlds apart share the same beliefs ?
Pazuzu (Of Mesopotamian Religion) :
Pazuzu (an Assyro-Babylonian God in Mesopotamian Religion, also known as God of Flies) is the demon of the southwest wind known for bringing famine during dry seasons, and locusts during rainy seasons. Pazuzu was invoked in apotropaic amulets, which combat the powers of his rival, the malicious goddess Lamashtu, who was believed to cause harm to mother and child during childbirth. Although Pazuzu is, himself, considered to be an evil spirit, he drives and frightens away other evil spirits, therefore protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.
Yaksha Tavarnbal (Nature Spirits/Guardian Demons) :
Yaksha (Demons) are a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, but sometimes mischievous or capricious, connected with water, fertility, trees, the forest, treasure and wilderness. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist texts, as well as ancient and medieval era temples of South Asia and Southeast Asia as guardian deities. The feminine form of the word is yakshi or Yakshini. The Yaksha Tavarnbal in Buddhism is said to be the gatekeeper or guardian demon of good people.
In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist texts, the yakṣa tavarnbal has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yaksha may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yaksha, which is a kind of ghost (bhuta) that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers, similar to the rakshasas.
In Buddhist literature, the yaksha are the attendants of Vaishravana, the guardian of the northern quarter, a beneficent god who protects the righteous. The term also refers to the Twelve Heavenly Generals who guard Bhaishajyaguru, the Medicine Buddha.
The-Mahamayuri-Vidyaraini-Sutra a Buddhist text that dates back to fourth century or earlier (it was translated by Kumarajiva) gives a large list of Yakshas throughout the classical cities in ancient India, who are invoked to seek the protection of the BuddhaDharma.
These deities of virtues and great yaksha generals are located everywhere in Jambudvipa. They uphold and protect the Buddhadharma, generating compassion.
Phra Kaew Temple (Golden Stupa) :
Phra Kaew Temple (Golden Stupa), commonly known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and officially as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha housed in the temple is a potent religio-political symbol and the palladium (protective image) of Thailand. The temple is in Phra Nakhon District, the historic centre of Bangkok, within the precincts of the Grand Palace.
The main building is the central phra ubosot next to the Golden Stupa, which houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. According to legend, this Buddha image originated in India where the sage Nagasena prophesied that the Emerald Buddha would bring “prosperity and pre-eminence to each country in which it resides”. The Emerald Buddha deified in the Wat Phra Kaew is therefore deeply revered and venerated in Thailand as the protector of the country. Historical records date its finding to the 15th century in Chiang Rai where, after it was relocated a number of times, it was finally brought to Thailand in the 18th century. It was enshrined in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew Temple in 1782 during the reign of Phutthayotfa Chulalok, King Rama I (1782–1809). This marked the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand, whose current sovereign is Vajiralongkorn, King Rama X.
More photos of Bangkok Grand Palace here.
Our group trip photos in Instagram.