Nayika, Nāyikā: 15 definitions


Nayika means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Natya Shastra

Nayika (नयिक).—The heroine or mistress (nāyikā) are known to be of eight kinds such as,

  1. vāsakasajjā (one dressed up for Union),
  2. virahotkaṇṭhitā (one distressed by separation),
  3. svādhīnabhartṛkā (one having her husband in subjection),
  4. kalahāntaritā (one separated from her lover by a quarrel),
  5. khaṇḍitā (one enraged with her lover),
  6. vipralabdhā (one deceived by her lover),
  7. proṣitabhartṛka (one with a sojourning husband),
  8. abhisārikā (one who moves to her lover).

Heroines in a nāṭaka should be of these conditions.

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

Nāyikā (नायिका) refers to the “heroine” in a dramatic representation, as used within the classical tradition of Indian dance and performance, also known as Bharatanatyam.—In the depiction of any mood or sentiment, a dance performance or a dramatic representation takes the medium of the hero (nāyaka) and the heroine (nāyikā). Quite often, the hero’s role may be that of gods or divine personalities and the heroine’s role may be of goddesses or devotees of the gods and the goddesses. In a solo dance recital, an individual dancer depicts the roles of both the hero (nāyaka) and the heroine (nāyikā) and all the characters that are present in the song are also portrayed by the individual through his/her gestures, actions, emotions and the song.

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 nāyika.

The nāyikās (heroines) are generally classified into three types:

  1. Svakīya or Svīya,
  2. Parakīya or Anya,
  3. Sāmānya or Sādhāraṇa.

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). The classifications of the heroines are based on their maturity, their relationship with the heroes, their character and their different emotional states. When a dance is choreographed the first point that comes to mind is what type of nāyikā is present in the song, whether she is married or unmarried. The next point that comes to mind is what the emotional state of the nāyikā is and, depending on that, the type of nāyikā is determined on for the choreography.

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).

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Nāyikā (नायिका) refers to:—Heroine; especially refers to Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the other gopīs. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Semantic Scholar: The Brahmayāmalatantra (dissertation)

Nāyikā (नायिका) or Vīranāyikā refers to a “heroine”, according to Kṣemarāja’s quote while commenting on Netratantra verse 19.55.—Accordingly, “A woman who at night becomes naked, urinates, then circumambulates, and would consume blood—and then with hair unbound, would subdue—she sādhakas should know to be an ucchuṣmikā, a heroine [i.e., vīra-nāyikā]”.

Note: The Nepalese manuscripts collated attest two substantive variants: prāśayate for prāśayed, and vīra-vatsalā for vīra-nāyikā.

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Tessitori Collection I (hinduism)

Nāyikā (नायिका) refers to “female characters”, according to the Amaracandrikā by Sūrata Miśra (dealing with Poetics and Erotics), which is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—Sūrata (or Sūrati) Miśra was a Brahman of Agra who has at least ten works to his credit, several of which testify to his sustained interest in poetics, understood as rhetorical figures (alaṃkāra), classification of female characters in relation to love (nāyikā-bheda) and esthetics (rasa). This trend is illustrated by his commentaries on Keśavdās’s Kavipriyā and Rasikapriyā, and by the present work which was composed in VS 1794 = 1737 century.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Nāyikā (नायिका) is the name of Dūtī (i.e., messengers of Lord Vajrapāṇi) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Nāyikā).

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Nayika (नयिक) refers to the “heroine (of Cakrasaṃvara)”, according to the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi [i.e., Cakrasamvara Meditation] ritual often performed in combination with the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi, which refers to the primary pūjā and sādhanā practice of Newah Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhists in Nepal.—Accordingly, “Now thus beginning the great words, from whose tantra is concluded, In praise (of) you, Vajravārāhī, the heroine (nāyikā) of Cakrasaṃvara. And Cakra Nāthā, innately pure, (with) divine rows (of) jewels adorning (her) body, All limbs always adorned in heroism, praising the power of the highest eternal union”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

nāyikā : (f.) a female leader; mistress.

Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

nāyikā (नायिका).—f (S) The female of a nāyaka, a conductress, a mistress.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

nāyikā (नायिका).—f The female of a nāyaka, a con- ductress, a mistress.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Nāyikā (नायिका).—

1) A mistress.

2) A wife.

3) The heroine of a poetic composition. (According to S. D. a nāyikā is of three kinds svā or svīyā, anyā or parakīyā, and sādhāraṇastrī. For further classification, see S. D.97-112, and Rasamañjarī 3-94; cf. anyastrī also).

4) A kind of musk.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Nāyikā (नायिका):—[from nāyaka > nāya] a f. See nāyikā

2) [from nāya] b f. (of yaka q.v.) a noble lady, [Vetāla-pañcaviṃśatikā]

3) [v.s. ...] mistress, courtezan (cf. nākādhipa-)

4) [v.s. ...] the heroine in a drama, [Sāhitya-darpaṇa] etc.

5) [v.s. ...] an inferior form or Śakti of Durgā (of which there are 8, viz. Ugra-caṇḍā, Pra-caṇḍā, Caṇḍôgrā, Caṇḍa-nāyikā, Ati-caṇḍā, Cāmuṇḍā, Caṇḍā, and Caṇḍa-vatī; cf. kula-n), [Catalogue(s)]

6) [v.s. ...] a class of female personifications representing illegitimate sexual love (they are called Balinī, Kāmeśvarī, Vimalā, Aruṇā, Medinī, Jayinī, Sarveśvarī, Kauleśī), [Religious Thought and Life in India 188]

7) [v.s. ...] = next, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.] =

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Nayika (नयिक) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Ṇaia.

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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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Nāyikā (नायिका):—(nf) a heroine; procuress; -[bheda] in Indian Poetics, the study of the different categories and sub-categories of heroines/female characters.

context information


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Nepali dictionary

Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

Nāyikā (नायिका):—n. fem. 1. leader; 2. wife of an actor; 3. leading female character; heroine; leading lady;

context information

Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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