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In Hindu and Buddhist tradition, one of a race of beautiful female supernatural beings that inhabit the sky, dance for the entertainment of other celestial beings, and often attempt to seduce mortal men practicing ascetism.

[Sanskrit apsarāḥ, apsaras- and apsarā : perhaps a-, not, without + *psaras, shame; akin to Avestan fšarəma-, shame (but taken in later Hindu and Buddhist tradition as if from āp, ap-, water + saras, thing that flows, lake, the Apsaras being depicted as delighting in water).]
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References in periodicals archive ?
The K-branch world does not feature a strict divide between human and divine: Pururavas is described as an ally of the gods, coming and going among them as he pleases, sitting beside Indra in the latter's royal hall and watching the apsarases dance.
(30.) Meyer gives numerous examples of epic and Puranic episodes in which apsarases, are used to sexually seduce ascetics who accumulate dangerous amounts of tapas.
(40) He is flanked on the right by three female figures--arguably apsarases, who in Sanskrit and Old Javanese literature (41) are commonly associated with Indra.
2) are of the luminous quality feted by contemporary poets, but such flying angel figures could be regarded as either Buddhist angels (apsarases) or perhaps jade maidens, inhabitants of the immortal heavens of the Daoist cosmos, where such beings were attendants on the Queen Mother of the West.
On the walls of one room, the room most historians believe was the death chamber itself, are carved numerous apsarases. An apsaras (pronounced up'-sur-us) is a mythical celestial dancer who entertains the gods, and is said to be the sensual reward for kings and heroes who die bravely.
Although Clark maintained some accuracy in the three-pointed headdress with its gold rosettes and feather patterning, he elongated the dancer's face and made her lips rather pouty, giving her a more Western appearance than in the apsarases of Angkor Wat.
The myth and origination of apsarases are far from certain, but they are among the most plentiful images carved on the walls of Angkor Wat.
Supposedly, his retinue comprises apsarases in accordance with Brahmanic mythology.
In spite of these inaccuracies, Tonnet's identification of the main figure as Kama seems plausible to us, for both his attributes (bow and arrow) and his retinue (apsarases) are compatible with the iconography of Kama.
apsarases, raksasas, kinnaras, assamukhis, and asuras (p.
After discussing the characteristics of bhutas, pretas, pisacas, raksasas, dasyus, asuras, apsarases in his chapter on Vedic demonology, he opens his "Jain Demonology" chapter by stating: ''Apart from the Vedic gods, early Buddhism created a variety of new divinities as attendants to the Buddha ..." (which he then cites).
His shanks are Dhatar and Savitar, his [four] ankles are the Gandharvas, his [four] dew-claws are the Apsarases, his [four] hoofs are Aditi.