hair's colour in sanskrit

Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at
Fri May 9 18:19:48 UTC 1997

At 18:59 9.05.97 BST, you wrote:
>JAYABARATHI <jaybee at> wrote:
>>[...] 	In the same source , Indra was described as having stout
>> 	neck, very muscular body and yellow hair and whiskers and beard.
>I thought that everything connected to Indra was supposed to be

The red colour mentioned in connection with Indra could also be due to the
fact that red is the colour of the second estate (or varna). White should be
the colour that belongs to the brahmins and black the colour that belongs to
the vish. 

>There is wide variation in the location of color boundaries among
>cultures. I suspect that the boundaries may also drift over time.
>Given this, how sure are we about the precise meaning of color terms
>in the Vedas? For example, `hari' is supposed to mean tawny, yellow
>and green! 

There is a similar problem with Greek colours. The only way to know, is when
colour terms are referred to natural phenomena that haven't changed since
ancient times. E.g. white may be referred to the egg of a hen, red to a
given kind of red berries, brown to soil etc. 

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo

Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: L.M.Fosse at
Mobile phone: 90 91 91 45

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