What is the definition of woman? Can we ever define woman. Normally people think women are species who have tender body, rosy cheeks and pinkish lips and very vulnerable and dependent. Usually we can know about woman about their delicate body but this is not true.
But this definition is only defining the physique of women. Many cultures define the women in their own way. In Hinduism women are define in unique way we can get little bit of knowledge from the extract from Veda “ Her father protects(her) childhood, her husband protects(her) in youth, and her son protects(her) in old age, a woman never fit for independence., Manusmriti 9.3”.
In this definition we can see that muni is thinking a woman as a burden of his family and woman can never be independent of her own but in this generation we can see that woman are independent and taking their own decisions to do whatever need to do for their live. But we have another definition of woman in Hinduism “A women is form of energy (shaktiswarupini) or an aspect of shakti. She is mata, the mother goddess, or devi the auspicious one. As a young child she is kanya, the goddesss Durga. As a wife she is patni and saha dharma charini, a partner in her husband’s religious duties. As a mother she is worthy of worship (matrudevobhava).
According to this definition women are the form of shakti and they are playing different roles in a man’s life. This definition is doing justice to woman and is very pleasant to know woman are form of goddess and they have their own individuality and they can make a mans life heaven by doing her duties and giving the man power by devoting herself completely to her family and woman have also have right to take decision by acting as a partner in her husband’s life. Can a man need a definition I don’t think so because they are not an endangered species and they didn’t have to struggle for their life as women did. We women don’t have a time to define a man because we have so many problems which have to sort out first.
In ancient literature women are basically categorized in four types Padmini , Sankhini , Hastini and Chitrini.
1 .Padmini- This type women are very rare. They are most beautiful, pious, graceful, round body as well as face (..devi bhogya Basundhara..._), su-hasini, su-bhasini,charu-hasini and calm. They are like Devis. Their fragrance is like that of lotus. By their grace full charm, they can mesmerize Gandharve, Kinnara and Jakhas and even enemies.
2. Shankhini- This type of Women are beautiful, intelligent and sharp as well as smart. They are like crunch, the sankha. Their body structure is balanced, their energy level is high and they are independent. They are difficult to crack. Gargi, Baidhehi, Surabandhya etc. belonged to this class.
3.Hastini- This type of ladies are graceful, healthy, little bulky, and fragile. They like any food stuff under the earth. They are graceful, homely, late risers, late sleepers,aristocrat, fun -loving, like hunting and socializing. Entertainment is the final destination in their life. They can not take decisions but create problem if you take decisions. They start with "no "and end with "yes." They are contended ,peace loving and of 'chaltahai' attitude.
4.Chitrini- These type of women are basically slim figures. They like to be in pencil like appearance. They love 'singar' and 'srungar' both. They love themselves first and they do things very fast! They like to change dresses frequently, use cosmetics often and can not get out of bed room without lipsticks. Their appetite is low but run to the restaurants frequently.
This kind of categorization shows how men from ancient times have been curious about women.