Color of Skin

sac51900 at sac51900 at
Tue May 13 23:22:55 UTC 1997

> Date:          Tue, 13 May 1997 22:19:46 BST
> Reply-to:      indology at
> From:          GANESANS at
> To:            Members of the list <indology at>
> Subject:       RE: Color of Skin

>                 COLOR OF SKIN
>                **************
> Prof. P. Claus wrote:
> +varna is related to an abstract color scheme, with white
> +associated with Brahman, red with Ksatriya, or yellow with
> +Vaishya, black with Sudra; and various steriotypical behaviours
> +correlated with this.
> Can anybody please give some references? I want to know how black color
> of skin is associated with things mean from Indian writings.

I don't think there is a clear relationship between skin color and
varna, although some later writers may have confused these issues.
Is there really anything to confirm, for example, that Ksatriyas
were supposed to be of  red complexion while Vaisyas were 

The colors are more likely symbolic.  Red stands for blood
and the planet Mangala and is suited for warriors. Yellow is the
color of gold and makes sense for merchants.  Sudras work the
dark  earth, and brahmins wear white clothing(?).

Paul Kekai Manansala

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