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Padmini – Beautiful Woman - Sensuous Woman In Kamasutra and Ratirahasya

Padmini is a soft sensuous type of woman classified in Sanskrit poetry. She is referred to in the treatises on sexual love, Kamasutra and Ratirahasya by Vatsyayana and Kukkoka, respectively, as the most perfect form of feminine excellence – a beautiful woman with regard to physical beauty.

Padmini – Beautiful Woman

  • Padmini is described as having a pleasing face like the full moon.
  • Her body is as soft as a mustard flower.
  •  She is well clothed.
  • Her skin is fine, tender and fair as a yellow lotus.
  • Bright and beautiful, her eyes are like the orbs of the fawn, well-cut with reddish corners.
  • Her bosom is hard, full and high.
  • Three folds or wrinkles cross her middle, at about the umbilical region, and she has a good neck.
  • She has a well-proportioned body and walks with a swan-like gait.
  • Her nose is straight and lovely.
  • Her yoni resembles a lotus bud, and her love seed (kama salila) is perfumed like a lily that has newly burst.
  • Her voice is low and musical as a note of a kokila bird.
  • She is the symbol of the coveted ultimate beauty and grace described in superlative terms. Such, then, is Padmini, the lotus woman.
Kukkola in his Ratirahasya also describes Chitrini (art woman), Sankhini (conch woman) and Hastini (elephant woman). These exquisite women occupy the center stage of poetic imagination.

Keshavadasa used this classification in Hindi poetry for his female protagonists. In his delineation, Padmini has soft curves, a pinkish complexion and smells like a lotus flower.

Medieval Sufi poets, writing in Awadhi, the prevalent dialect in Hindi, used these types of heroines (nayikas) more often that the Bhakti poets. They mystic poets conforming to the Yogic tradition often use similar categories to describe their mystical states.

Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (1996) Translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton – Omni Media Electronic Book South Jordan
The Modern Review (1956) R Chatterjee – Prabasi Press Private Ltd Kolkata
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VII page 564