Color of Skin

Paliath Narendran dran at
Thu May 15 16:45:55 UTC 1997

D.H. Killingley wrote: 

> There is a text which _denies_ the correlation between varna and skin 
> colour: the _VajrasUcI Upanishad_. This text has been printed many times; 
> the most accessible is in Radhakrishnan's _Principal Upanishads_. There 
> is a substantially different recension published by A. Weber in 
> Abhandlungen der Ko"niglichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 
> (1859), pp. 205-6. Rammohun Roy published a version which shows some 
> similarities to Weber's as against the usual recension (reprinted 
> in _rAmamohana granthAbalI, part 4, pp. 45-8). 

Isn't there a work _vajrasuucii_ attributed to the poet
aSvaghosha?  I recall reading a Malayalam translation of it, by
Prof. E.R.  Sreekrishna Sharma, long ago. If I remember right, it
is also an attack on the ` by birth' approach.

Any relation between this and the upanishad? Is aSvaghosha's work a
commentary on the upanishad?

Another question on colours in the Mahabharata: wasn't Draupadi
dark (krshNaa)?


Paliath Narendran
Associate Professor                    URL:
Department of Computer Science         phone: (518)442-3387
University at Albany --- SUNY          fax:   (518)442-5638
Albany, NY 12222                       

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