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The origins of the Rakshasas is unknown due to conflicting stories - according to the Hindu epic known as Ramayana, Rakshasas were created from Brahma's foot; other sources claim they were descended from the god Pulastya, or from the ancient Khasa, or from the gods Nirriti and Nirrita.
Rakshasas were notorious for disturbing sacrifices, desecrating graves, harassing priests, possessing human beings and generally causing destruction and mischief. Their fingernails were said to be venomous and they fed on human flesh and spoiled food.
They were adept shapechangers and magicians with a talent for casting illusions.