varna and jati

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sat May 22 09:44:15 UTC 1999

> I respectfully disagree. While 'varNa' does mean 'social caste',
> and literally also means color, it does *not* mean skin color,
> nor does it mean race. Or at least, it doesn't unequivocally mean
> so.  Translating (or even footnoting) as such would be misleading.

> From what I have seen on varNa, I think that the most correct
translation into English would be "heraldic color". It is not race or
skin color related, and there is a similar use of color Western
Indo-European languages. French-readers may consult Bernard Sergent on
the subject of symbolic colors, see p. 435f of Les Indo-Europeens.

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

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