skin colour

Noel Salmond nsalmond at
Tue May 13 22:51:02 UTC 1997

Is it relevant that the good guys in the Mahaabhaarata war are the sons of
Paan.d.u and that Paan.d.u means white or pale in Sanskrit?
I mention this because I noticed that the popular guru in the States, Swami
Satchidananda writes (p. xxiii) of his <The Living Gita>:

"...Dhritarashtra was blind, while his brother Pandu is said to be
white-skinned. This isn't a reference to his race. The word pandu means
white, which represents sattva, purity and tranquility. The five sons of
Pandu are the products of tranquility and represent the virtuous human

Does this contribute to, despite the good Swami's disclaimer about any
reference to race, the association of white with the preferred (however
unconsciously) in India?

Another question: P. Claus links the colour white with Brahmins and red
with Ks.atriyas. I would also like to know the source for this. 
When we see red and white vertical stripes painted on the outer walls of
Hindu temples in India what does this symbolize? I assumed the red
represents the goddess, or are we looking at sattva and rajas? Would
someone please educate me on the meaning of these stripes.

Noel Salmond

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