- Transcending the decorative values and emotional association, Hinduism which is so in tune with nature, gives a spiritual meaning to almost every color
- The Hindu population identifies colors with philosophy and tradition and is often used as a tool for worship
- Red symbolizes passion, power, strength, and purity and is of utmost significance in the Hindu religion
The way we view and perceive the wonderful world around us is because of life is given to it by colors. Colors not only define what we see but have also been proven to induce emotions and generate thoughts that can drastically change our state of being. We often associate colors to feel like how anger and passion can be associated with warm colors like red and orange, and sadness and calmness are linked to colors like blue and green.
Colors when used to depict natural elements like the sun, the earth, and the sky, become the symbolic representation of that element possessing all of its characteristics and functions. Transcending the decorative values and emotional association, Hinduism which is so in tune with nature, gives a spiritual meaning to almost every color. The Hindu population identifies colors with philosophy and tradition and is often used as a tool for worship. Saints dress in saffron to symbolize purity and blue is associated with the Hindu deity Krishna.
Here are some of the colors and their significance-
Red symbolizes passion, power, strength, and purity and is of utmost significance in the Hindu religion. In the wedding ceremonies, brides wear red clothing, put red dye in their hair, and place a red dot on their foreheads as it signifies purity. It also depicts fertility as the clay earth is red and produces many harvests. Red is also the color of shakti. Deities depicted in red are those who are charitable, brave, and protective. According to the traditions, on the death of a woman, her body is wrapped in a red cloth for the cremation.
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Saffron which is composed of shades of golden-yellow and orange represents the fire which burns the impurities and cleanses itself in the process. Holy men and ascetics who have renounced the world dress in saffron as it represents purity and religious abstinence. The color saffron is also representative of lightness and wisdom, qualities that the saints possess.
Green represents the natural world that the deities created and symbolizes purity, peace, and happiness. It also is symbolic of the happiness, peace, and harmony that the deities bring to Hindus. Fertility, life, and rebirth that are found in nature are also represented by the color green.
Purity, cleanliness, peace, and knowledge are what the color white represents. Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, is always shown as wearing a white dress, sitting on a white lotus. White is also symbolic of death in Hinduism. A Hindu widow wears a white dress in mourning as it represents their need to reflect back to the world and detach themselves from society while grieving.
The sky, the oceans, the rivers and lakes that make up most of what we see are blue. It is symbolic of the peacefulness of nature. Many Hindu gods, such as Vishnu, Krishna, and Shiva, are depicted as having blue skin as it represents calmness and intuition. A deity like Lord Rama and Krishna who has the qualities of bravery, manliness, determination, the ability to deal with difficult situations, of stable mind and depth of character are colored blue.
Often depicted in the clothes of wise Hindu deities, such as Vishnu, Krishna, and Ganesha, the color yellow symbolizes stability and knowledge, and spring. As the color of the sun, yellow also represents the characteristics of the sun, such as light, warmth, and happiness. It is also the color of spring which activates the mind.
– prepared by Ajay Krishna. Twitter: @ajkrish14