lit. a demon. Rakshasa is generally translated as demon, but they are not necessarily demons. They are a different kind of people who do not subscribe to the laws of society. A rakshasa is one who is ruled by his own passions, his own lust, and his own needs. Conquest, rape, and grabbing things are normal for him.
▵ From Stagnation to Radiance
Shiva himself said that when women outnumber men on this planet, at that time Kali Yuga will come to an end. Right now here [referring to the number present at the consecration] women clearly outnumber men. When Kali Yuga ends the next yuga is supposed to bring forth better people. It will bring forth devas. The word ‘deva’ literally means a radiant being.
Essentially, all life upon this planet is solar-powered. It is just that some life holds what comes to it; some life radiates what comes to it. If you choose to radiate, you become a deva. If you hold back you become a rakshasa. Not because you do something that somebody thinks is bad do you become a rakshasa. You become a rakshasa because you have no sense of giving.
Giving does not necessarily mean this or that; just that your life process is a giving. When you are this way, giving will happen the way it needs to happen. It is not that you have to think, ‘Where should I give? How much should I give? What should I give?’ That calculation destroys everything. If there is a certain sense of giving in everything that you are, if you become a giving, you become a deva. Sitting here, consecration after consecration, if you continue to remain a rakshasa – ‘what can I get’; ‘what can I get’ – you will get a stone in the end or maybe nobody will even bother to put a stone.
▵ From Stagnation to Radiance (Isha)
▵ Why Yogic Practices are Often Done in Sets of Three (Isha)