Ashtanayika, Aṣṭanāyikā, Ashtan-nayika: 2 definitions


Ashtanayika means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Aṣṭanāyikā can be transliterated into English as Astanayika or Ashtanayika, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)

Aṣṭanāyikā (अष्टनायिका) refers to the “eight heroines” in a dramatic representation, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24 and the Abhinaya-sāra-saṃputa chapter 2.—The aṣṭanāyikās (eight heroines) who are separately described in eight ways according to their different emotional states or moods towards the hero. Chapter 24 of the Nāṭyaśāstra and chapter II of Abhinaya-sara-samputa speak of these aṣṭanāyikās in detail.

The aṣṭanāyikās are:

  1. Vāsakasajjā (readily dressed up for union),
  2. Virahotkaṇṭhitā (distressed due to separation),
  3. Svādhīnabhartṛkā (one who has her husband under her control),
  4. Kalahāntaritā (one estranged due to quarrel with the lover),
  5. Khaṇḍitā (one annoyed with her lover),
  6. Vipralabdhā (one jilted by the lover),
  7. Proṣitabhartṛkā (one whose husband is abroad), and
  8. Abhisārikā (one who approaches the husband or lover herself).

In a dance performance, the heroines (nāyikās) play a vital role. Most of the songs are composed as if the heroine is expressing her feelings towards the hero. So there is wide scope for the dancer to exhibit his/her talents by bringing to mind the different classifications of the nāyikā. The heroines are again classified into three types, depending on the characters in a song or the play. They are: (1) Uttama (the superior), (2) Madhyama (the mediocre), and (3) Adhama (the inferior).

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing Dramatic plays (nataka), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

Discover the meaning of ashtanayika or astanayika in the context of Natyashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashtanayika in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Aṣṭanāyikā (अष्टनायिका).—(of śrīkṛṣṇa) रुक्मिणी, सत्यभामा, जाम्बवती, कालिन्दी, मित्रवृन्दा, याज्ञजिती, भद्रा (rukmiṇī, satyabhāmā, jāmbavatī, kālindī, mitravṛndā, yājñajitī, bhadrā), and लक्ष्मणा (lakṣmaṇā). (of indra) उर्वशी, मेनका, रम्भा, पूर्वचिती, स्वयंप्रभा, भिन्नकेशी जनवल्लभा (urvaśī, menakā, rambhā, pūrvacitī, svayaṃprabhā, bhinnakeśī janavallabhā) and घृताची (ghṛtācī) (tilottamā). (In Erotics) वासकसज्जा, विरहोत्कण्ठिता, स्वाधीनभर्तृका, कलहान्तरिता, खण्डिता, विप्रलब्धा, प्रोषितभर्तृका (vāsakasajjā, virahotkaṇṭhitā, svādhīnabhartṛkā, kalahāntaritā, khaṇḍitā, vipralabdhā, proṣitabhartṛkā), and अभिसारिका (abhisārikā).

Derivable forms: aṣṭanāyikāḥ (अष्टनायिकाः).

Aṣṭanāyikā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms aṣṭan and nāyikā (नायिका).

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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