Classifications Of Naya Shastra

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CLASSIFICATION OF WOMEN

Nayakaa (the hero) and Nayika (the heroin) are the focal points in Natyasastra. Nayikas have been divided into total 384 kinds on the basis of their age, characteristics, behavior and their position in love affairs; similar to those in Manusmriti.

The 25th chapter of the Natya Shastra describes three kinds of women: Uttama, Madhyama and the Adhamma women. The Uttama women are shown to have high tolerance level, are adroit in the strategies of kamatantra and are highly desired by men for their fertility. They are the women of the superior nature. The Madhyama women or middle women are shown to be jealous and malevolent characters who are proud and short tempered but can be pacified quickly. The Adhamma women are degenerate women who get angry without a cause and are inherently ill natured. The Uttama women most probably belonged to the Brahmin family, the Madhyama were the high caste
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While expressing different emotions; there is clear distinction of male and female expressions of joy, love, hatred and so on. For instance, fear by a Nayika is to be expressed by moving of eyeballs, throbbing and shaking limbs, glancing sideways out of fear, looking for someone to rescue them, weeping loudly and putting their arms round the man. But a man in a similar situation cannot seek refuge in a woman. A Nayaka is supposed to express fear by expressing consternation, slowly letting go of the women or by looking distraught or worried. Similarly, anger in women is expressed by tearful eyes, touching of the chin and the lips, shaking of the head, knitting of the eye-brows, keeping silent, curling of the fingers, leaving of garlands and ornaments and assuming the Ayata posture . A Nayaka, if angry is allowed to resort to violent means. A woman was expected to be the epitome of grace and tenderness. Even her exhibit of anger is not supposed to be filled with

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