--> Skip to main content

Abhisarika Nayika In Hindu Stories And Drama

Abhisarika Nayika is a type of love-lorn heroine in Hindus stories, dance and drama. Abhisarika nayia is one among eight types of heroines recognized by Hindu aestheticians. She is the type of heroine who is love-lorn and is suffering due to the pranks of Kamadeva (the God of love). She goes in search of her lover or makes him come to her. Dhananjaya, the author of Dasarupaka, defines this heroine as the one who experiences intense love and yearns to be with her lover.

She is identified as sringara nayika. Treatises recognize three types of abhisarikas –

Divabhisarika – She goes in search of her nayaka in day-time itself. She is not specially dressed. She is without make up and ornaments. The nayika comes out with excuses like fetching water from the river or plucking flowers in the garden.

Jyotsnabhisarika – One who is in a white dress, wears white flowers and perfumes and goes to join her hero in the moonlight.

Tamobhisarika – One who goes to join her hero in the darkness of night. She is dressed in black or dark blue so as to conceal herself in the darkness of night, her hair being decorated with the blue lotus or nilotpala. A black tilaka adorns her forehead.

The salient characteristics of abhisarika nayika are anxiety, enthusiasm, and speed. Her aim is to join her nayaka at any cost. She is ready to sacrifice everything for this purpose.

There are, again, three classifications of this type of nayika

Uttamabbhisarika – while going towards her lover, she is unmindful of everything except her courage, which is her great asset.

Madhyamabhisarika – She takes one of her friends while going to meet her lover.

Adhamabhisarika – She waits for the opportune moment to start from the house to meet her lover.

Sanskrit poetry, devotional as well as classical, is full of depiction of such nayikas. Poet Jayadeva’s (11th century) Gita Govinda is one of the finest illustrations of abhisarika nayika.