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Eight Fold Classification Of Heroine As Lover In Hindu Literature

Hindu literature offers an eight fold classification of a heroine as lover. The classification portrays the heroine in different situations, expressing different feelings, sentiments and reactions towards her lover. The category is based on romance and sexual relationship and does not look into various other aspects.

The eight types of heroines based on love are:

  1. Abhisarika – one who boldly goes out to meet her lover.
  2. Kalahantarita – one who repents her hastiness in quarreling with her lover which has resulted in their separation.
  3. Khandita – one who is angry with her lover for causing disappointment.
  4. Prositapatika – one who is suffering in the absence of her beloved, who is away on a long journey.
  5. Svadhinapatika – one who is proud of the loyalty and love of her husband or lover.
  6. Vasakasajja – one who is preparing for the arrival of her beloved, by adorning herself and her surroundings to provide a pleasant welcome to her lover.
  7. Virahotkanthita – one separated from her lover and yearning for reunion.
  8. Vipralabdha – one who is disappointed that her lover has not turned up at the tryst as he had promised.

The heroines are divided into three subtypes – mugdha (inexperienced in love), madhya (partly experienced in love) and pragalbha (matured in the art of love).

Depending upon the gunas or qualities, nayikas (heroines) are classified  into the following categories.

  1. Uttama (superior) – she is always balanced, self controlled and good irrespective of the behavior of her lover.
  2. Madhyama (mediocre) – she retaliates and behaves in the same way as does her lover.
  3. Adhama (inferior) – she lacks self control and reacts against her lover in anger, jealousy and indignation.




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