yaksha ［夜叉］ (; yasha): One of the eight kinds of nonhuman beings mentioned in Buddhist literature. In Hindu mythology, yakshas were benevolent spirits and followers of Kubera, the god of wealth, who is also referred to as Vaishravana. Buddhism later included them as one of the eight kinds of nonhuman beings who work to protect Buddhism. Yakshas are regarded as followers of the heavenly king Vaishravana who is said to dwell halfway up the northern slope of Mount Sumeru, and also as guardians of the northern quarter. In some sutras, however, they are depicted as ugly, fierce demons that torment or harm human beings. See also Vaishravana.