Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
Within Sanskrit drama, it describes the good-natured jester or clown who often provides comic relief, usually through explicitly humorous action and gestures. It could also refer to a character that ridicules social norms. He is an essential part of the narrative and a close ally of the hero. According to Bharata, there are four kinds of vidushakas — Lingi or Tapasa, linked to the celestial hero; Dvija or Brahmin, the companion of a royal hero; Rajajivi, an employee connected with a minister (or merchant); and Shishya, a pupil who accompanies a Brahmin teacher.