Kiṁnara is lit. "what sort of man?" Kiṁnaras are mythical beings with a human figure and the head of a horse (or with a horse's body and the head of a man) in later times reckoned among the gandharvas or celestial choristers, and celebrated as musicians. Kiṁnara virtues are said to include possession of jewels, prowess in mountain climbing and the musical arts, and possession of charming smiles. Aśvaghoṣa seems to be referring here to this cultured aspect of kiṁnara society. Kiṁnaras, and their female counterparts kiṁnarīs, are also depicted in Saundarananda as deeply romantic and sexual beings. In 8.12, for example, Nanda compares himself to a kiṁnara without his lover, roaming about, his semen ready, over mountain peaks.