yuga, VarNa and colour

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sat May 17 20:42:57 UTC 1997

At 03:25 PM 5/17/97 BST, you wrote:
>At 3:16 +0200 17/05/97, Luis Gonzalez-Reimann wrote:
>>At 12:00 PM 5/15/97 BST, Mikael Aktor wrote:
>>>Indeed it seems to be correct that the straightforward relation between
>>>varNas (B, K, V, Z) and colours (white, red, yelow, black) is more part of a
>>>popular tradition than it is warranted by ancient and classical texts. But
>>>there is a tendency among scholars to reiterate this tradition _as if_ it
>>>were a textual one.
>>The texts usually identify the four yugas with the four colors, and as the
>>varnas are sometimes associated to the yugas, the relation is probably
>>indirect.  It is a symbolical correspondence that is frequently applied to
>>sets of four.
>>According to the Mbh, the color of Narayana/Visnu/Krsna throughout the yugas
>>is white, red, yellow and black (Mbh 3.148.16,23,26,33); but soon after it
>>is said to be white, yellow, red and black (Mbh 3.187.31).
>>Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
>>University of California, Berkeley
>	This exchange between red and yellow is very interesting to me
>because I believe this two colours are linked to warriors in eurindian
>	So I have some requests about dice game:
>	What is the meaning of -para in dvApara ? (if 'more than', that's a
>bit confusing).
>	I know kRta the better and kali the worst, but what about treta and
>dvApara ?
>	Regards,
>Dominique THILLAUD
>Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

The names of the dice throws, K.rta TretA, DvApara, and Kali, are associated
with the descending numerical sequence 4-3-2-1.  TretA comes from tri (3),
and DvApara from dva (2.  They are obvious cognates of other IE names for
the same numbers.  K.rta is the past passive participle of the root k.r, "to
do".  It means "done" and, by extension, "well done" or "good."  So K.rta is
the winning throw, TretA is the next one down, then folow DvApara, and the
worst (and losing) throw is Kali.  These na

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