pūtana ［富単那］ (; futanna): A class of spirits described in Buddhist scriptures. Pūtanas can be either evil or good spirits. As evil spirits, they are said to inflict harm upon humans and animals. Depicted as ugly and foul-smelling, in China they are known as “stinking spirits,” or as “stinking demons.” In the “Universal Worthy” (twenty-eighth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Bodhisattva Universal Worthy addresses Shakyamuni Buddha: “World-Honored One, in the evil and corrupt age of the last five-hundred-year period, if there is someone who accepts and upholds this sutra, I will guard and protect him, free him from decline and harm, see that he attains peace and tranquillity, and make certain that no one can spy out and take advantage of his shortcomings. No devil, devil’s son, devil’s daughter, devil’s minion, or one possessed by the devil, no yaksha, rākshasa, kumbhānda, pishācha, kritya, pūtana, vetāda, or other being that torments humans will be able to take advantage of him.” A pūtanā (pronounced with a prolonged final “a”), the female form, is said to inflict a particular illness upon children. As good, or benevolent, spirits, however, pūtanas are said to work to protect Buddhism. They are regarded as retainers of Wide-Eyed, one of the four heavenly kings said to protect the Buddha’s teachings.