Reeri Yakseya (Sinhala: රීරි යක්ෂයා) or Reeri Yakka is a demon (yaka or yakseya) in Sinhalese folklore. It is believed to be the most cruel and powerful demon of all. Although Reeri Yakseya has the body of a human, his head is that of a monkey. His skin is fiery red in colour, and he rides a red bull. It is believed that he can afflict all kinds of illnesses on humans, but hemorrhages and blood diseases are especially attributed to him.

When a man is on his deathbed, Reeri Yakseya is believed to be present at his side. On such occasions, he shows himself as an apparition bearing the appearance of a pygmy. He stands by the dying man holding a cock in one hand and a club in the other, and the corpse of a man in his mouth. This apparition is said to be only one span and six inches in height. When Reeri Yakseya assumes this form, he is known as "Maru Avatar". There are 18 other apparitions or avatars that Reeri Yakseya can assume. These apparitions are known by the following names.

  1. Reeri Yakseya (in his original form)
  2. Ree Rajja
  3. Agu Rajja
  4. Pulutajja
  5. Reeri Gopalla
  6. Reeri Buddia
  7. Reeri Watukaya
  8. Reeri Billey Dewatawa
  9. Reeri Kavisia
  10. Reeri Sanniya
  11. Reeri Curumberaya
  12. Reeri Madana Yakseya
  13. Lay Avatar Yakseya
  14. Lay Caama Yakseya
  15. Marulu Dewatawa
  16. Maru Reeri Yakseya
  17. Maru Caama Yakseya
  18. Maru Avatar Yakseya

A less popular belief is that these are not apparitions of the same demon but 18 individual demons who work together.

Reeri yakseya is believed to have more than a hundred incarnations, each time as a different person. He has been the son of a king named Sanka Pala, a son of the king of Lagal Pura and even a female demon called Ginimuru Yaksani in Hanumanta Desay, among others. Originally, Reeri Yakseya could not be controlled by any of the gods, and all feared him until the god Vishnu managed to bind him with a charmed jungle creeper.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.