Asuras (Sanskrit: असुर) are a class of beings in Indic religions. They are described as power-seeking demons related to the more benevolent Devas (also known as Suras) in Hinduism. In its Buddhist context, the word is sometimes translated "titan", "demigod", or "antigod".[1]

Asuras depicted in the Samudra Manthana bas-relief from Angkor Wat

According to Hindu scriptures, the asuras are in constant battle with the devas.[2]: 2–6 Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with good or bad qualities. In early Vedic literature, the good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra.[2]: 4 In the earliest layer of Vedic texts Agni, Indra and other gods are also called Asuras, in the sense of their being "lords" of their respective domains, knowledge and abilities. In later Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered "enemy of the gods".[2]: 5–11,22,99–102

Asuras are part of Hinduism along with Devas, Yakshas (nature spirits), Rakshasas (fierce man-eating beings or demons), Bhutas (ghosts) and many more. Asuras have been featured in many cosmological theories and legends in Hinduism and Buddhism.[3][4][5]

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