By Swami Harshananda
Barhiṣads literally means ‘those seated on the barhis or sacrificial grass’.
Barhiṣads are a class of pitṛs or manes born of the sage Atri. They are described as the manes of demons like the daityas and dānavas as also demigods like yakṣas, the gandharvas and other similar beings. Sometimes they are described as one of the two classes of beings created by Brahmā, the Creator, the other class being the agniṣvāttas. They are members of the council of Yama, the Lord of death and perform māntric rites for the dead.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore