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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
  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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