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This is similar to my previous questions:

How do Apsaras look? What are their physical characteristics and physical appearance?

How do Rakshasas look? Physical appearance of Rakshasas?

But now I am asking how do Daityas and Danavas look?

Rakshasas are described in detail in Hindu scripture, but I haven't come across a detailed description of how Daityas and Danavas look.

Do they look just like ordinary humans?

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  • Well, not really. They look different, but I don't know exactly how they look different. Sep 21 '20 at 23:03
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    @ThePreserver Have you seen one?
    – Ikshvaku
    Sep 29 '20 at 21:26
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First, look at this tree of life in Hinduism made with trial and error so we are on the same page:

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(Viṣṇu form for race above race name)

  • Dānava:

From: https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Rig_Veda/Mandala_10/Hymn_72, the word Mārtāṇḍa and the word Nārāyaṇa: Dānavas have a statis death ability. They have a completely robotic body when in their statis death and a majority (or completely) robotic body when alive. By default, they look spherical. Being robots, their bodies have a lot of geometric shapes and jagged edges.

  • Daitya

From: https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/shiva-purana-english/d/doc226407.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andhaka#:~:text=In%20Hindu%20mythology%2C%20Andhaka%20(Sanskrit,asking%20for%20his%20wife%2C%20P%C4%81rvat%C4%AB.&text=In%20some%20versions%20of%20his,son%20of%20Shiva%20and%20P%C4%81rvat%C4%AB, http://mahabharata-resources.org/harivamsa/vishnuparva/hv_2_23_mpr.html, https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/vishnu-purana-wilson/d/doc115952.html, the word Nivātakavaca: I have concluded that Andhaka is Nṛsiṃha Nivātakavaca and Prahlāda is Śarabha Daitya. Daitya look like Śarabha, which is shown here: https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/shiva-purana-english/d/doc226408.html. They also presumably have wings like a bat/pterodactyl in order to not contradict with other descriptions of Śarabha. Śarabha doesn't fight Nārasiṃha for very long. Most of the fight is with Nṛsiṃha (the associated Indra form of Nārasiṃha), who is killed, but gets up and continues the fight because he is a God and a simple thing such as being dead is not going to stop him. This whole fight is mostly about whether or not Hiraṇyakaśipu should die. Prahlāda and Andhaka are beloved relatives so don't want to harm each other more than necessary so this fight takes forever, but long story short, Prahlāda learns to protect people's souls, not their bodies, gets a new name Śarabha, which he takes a liking to, Hiraṇyakaśipu dies happy and Nṛsiṃha gets to go to sleep, because he is tired.

  • Nivātakavaca

From: https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/shiva-purana-english/d/doc226407.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andhaka#:~:text=In%20Hindu%20mythology%2C%20Andhaka%20(Sanskrit,asking%20for%20his%20wife%2C%20P%C4%81rvat%C4%AB.&text=In%20some%20versions%20of%20his,son%20of%20Shiva%20and%20P%C4%81rvat%C4%AB, http://mahabharata-resources.org/harivamsa/vishnuparva/hv_2_23_mpr.html, https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/vishnu-purana-wilson/d/doc115952.html, the word Nivātakavaca:: This one's easy because of how much it is referenced with stories about Andhaka/Bhṛṅgi/Nṛsiṃha (this guy has a lot of names) and the name Nivātakavaca being a dead give away. They are fleshless cyborgs, with only their bones made of living matter and the rest of their body being robotic. For more information look here: https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/shiva-purana-english/d/doc226407.html

  • Rākṣasa

From Kalki Purāṇa chapter 16: Rākṣasas look vaguely like giant floating Portuguese man o' war and are so gigantic that even when five years old they are large enough to make a garland out of dead elephants.

  • Yakṣa

From https://www.themathesontrust.org/library/33-questions: Yakṣas, despite being inseparable from their beloved twin race, the Rākṣasa, look absolutely nothing like Rākṣasa. They look close to cranes and the name Kubera implies they are fearsome in appearance. So like a crane, but terrifying.

Maybe I'll do the other races someday.

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    I don't think robots and cyborgs exist in Hinduism, those are all science fiction concepts.
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 26 '20 at 20:22
  • @Ikshvaku Cyborgs seem the most logical way to describe limbs that are not made of living matter. Robots seem the best way to explain how the Dānava can bring themselves back to life from the dead. They need something to make the decision that is not alive e.g. A.I. Oct 26 '20 at 20:26
  • What... what makes you think asuras are artificial intelligence? That explanation isn't needed; you can bring people back to life with siddhis (supernatural powers).
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 26 '20 at 20:33
  • @Ikshvaku 1. Only the Dānava are that robotic. 2. Supernatural powers also work but the key point is that Dānavas bring themselves back from the dead, not necessarily other people. They also can stay dead for a very long time, because of the implication that Mārtāṇḍa is not from this universe as his corpse was just found one day. That means a non-living entity would have to make that decision. Robots also explain why their flesh does not rot away. Oct 26 '20 at 20:39
  • I've never heard that danavas can bring themselves back from the dead, where is that written?
    – Ikshvaku
    Oct 26 '20 at 20:47

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