IS WHITE COLOUR GOOD OR BAD? (Post No.11,072)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 11,072

Date uploaded in London – –    1 JULY 2022         

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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Is white  colourless?

No. it consists of seven colours which you see in Rainbows. If you send a white ray through a prism, you can see all the seven colours.

So one can say white means colourless or a combination of seven colours.

In the same way, white is used for good and bad things. It has two different faces!

WHITE COLOUR has both good and bad connotation in many cultures.

The word white came from Sanskrit and Tamil. This confirms my hypothesis that all ancient languages in the world originate from India. Hindus spread the culture in the world.

Swheta in Sanskrit becomes (s)white in English and other languages.

Vellai in Tamil becomes Byely in Russian and other languages.

All of us know that B=V; oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam changed Sanskrit uPama into uVama in Tamil.

Bandi in Sangam literature becomes Vandi in modern Tamil

(Upama= simile, Bandi=cart)

One can trace back any ancient word to Sanskrit or Tamil. That confirms Lord Shiva gave both the languages to the humanity.

Xxx

Tamil Poet Valluvar condemns White!

Tamil poet Tiru valluvar used the colour word VENMAI/white for absolute foolishness; folly of all follies. See Tiruk Kural 844.

The folly of all follies is the arrogant presumption,

Of the fool, that he is wise- Kural 844

(The very word folly is nothing but Tamil word vellai/white; FOLLY= VELLAI

Linguists know v/w= p/f/b)

வெண்மை எனப்படுவ தியாதெனின் ஒண்மை
உடையம்யாம் என்னும் செருக்கு.-844

வெண்மை/White= Folly of all follies

XXX

But the same Valluvar used the white colour in a different way in Kural 714.

It is proper to be radiant  before the brilliant, but before simple WHITEfolk,

One will do well to assume colour of slaked lime – Kural 714

What he says is ‘display your intelligence in front of an assembly of learned men.

But when you speak to innocent, ordinary people, you become the ‘colour of white lime’

Vaan suthai vannam = colour of slaked lime.

‘Be mortar white become illiterate’

(Slaked lime is a mixture of sand and lime= mortar).

Vannam is Sanskrit word varnam.

According to  Valluvar here, colour white stands for simple and direct speech.

In Tiru Valluvar’s days (Jain period in Tamil Nadu; around 4th or 5th centuries CE), Jains had two sects: Whiteclad sect (Svetambarar) and Skyclad sect (Dikambarar).

Probably Valluvar supported Dik (Direction, Sky) Ambarar ( clothes, dress) .

Digambarar did not wear anything; they were naked saints. For them sky is the dress/cloth.

ஒளியார்முன் ஒள்ளிய ராதல் வெளியார்முன்
வான்சுதை வண்ணம் கொளல்.-714

வான்சுதை வண்ணம்/colour of mortar or slaked lime.

Xxx

In Tamil white also means innocence; ‘as white as milk’ is a saying in Tamil.

He is so innocent that he thinks ‘all that is white is milk’.

Famous Tamil poetess Avvaiyar said

White folks have no bad thoughts (Whites are of guileless nature)

Here she did not mean white skinned Europeans.

White is one who is of guileless nature; without deception.

வெள்ளைக்கில்லை  கள்ளச்சிந்தை – கொன்றைவேந்தன்

வெள்ளை/white folk

Xxx

White in Sanskrit

White stands for Fame, Purity and Victorious in Hindu culture.

Vedic Brahmins wear only white clothes.

All the priests in temples wear only pure white clothes.

Parsee and Christian priests followed Brahmins.

Pythagoras , Greek philosopher of Sixth century BCE , who mastered Hinduism, spread all the Hindu thoughts to the West.

Pythagoras recommended that singers of sacred hymns should wear white. He might have seen Vedic Pundits. Till this day, those who practise and preach Vedas wear pure white cloth.

Popes also followed Hindu priests.

Ven Kotrak Kudai, the white umbrella, signified a Great Emperor. It is in all the ancient Sanskrit and Tamil literature. Apart from kings, only Vedic Brahmins, who did Soma Yaga were given White Umbrellas (See Kanchi Shankaracharya’s Vijaya Yatra book)

Tamil kings followed all the customs of their North Indian counterparts including Rajasuya, Asvamedha Yagas, erecting Yupa pillars and constructing Eagle shaped Yajna Kundas/Fire altars ( see my earlier articles for the details)

Xxxx

WHITE in Russian

In Russian, the adjective white is frequently used to denote excellence.

The Russian for white ‘byely’ (derived from Tamil Vellay) is also found in words and phrases for delirium tremens, a hut with a chimney, a cataract in the eye, foam and a dandy .

xxx

Melville’s English novel, Moby Dick entitled ‘The Whiteness of Whale’ described white colour differently.

In its third paragraph, which must be one of the longest sentences in literature, Melville lists examples from a variety of cultures of whiteness as emblematic of virtue, innocence, beauty, goodness, honour and the division of the human race itself, giving the Whiteman  ideal master ship over every dusky tribe.

But the paragraph, or sentence ends, ‘yet for all those accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honourable and sublime, there yet looks elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than the redness which affrights in blood’

And the chapter closes with the reflection that the ‘palsied universe lies before a leper’, and the image of the infidel (or the man who has ceased to believe in God), who ‘gazes blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps al the prospect around him.’

Xxx

The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a White Dove. At the same time, Ghosts are also portrayed wearing White Clothes.

White has this negative symbolic meaning, primarily because of its association with the ‘pallor of death’. In dreams ‘ a white horse is often linked to the notion or experience of death. The rider on a pale horse  appears in regions where death can intervene (Aeppli).

White flag stands for Peace.

In Chinese symbolic tradition, white is the colour of age, autumn, the West and misfortune, but also of virginity and purity. White is generally considered the Chinese colour of mourning.

In alchemy brightening or whitening is a sign of black matter transformed into the philosopher’s stone.

Please note Pale, Pallor are also derived from Vellai in Tamil (V=P)

Source Books:-

Tirukkural by Tiruvalluvar

Kondraiventhan by Avvaiyar

Tamil Proverbs Book

Th Book of Babel- Words and the Way we see it, Nigel Lewis, Viking, 1994

Dictionary of Symbolism, Hans Biedermann, Translated by James Hulbert, Facts on File, 1992

Xxx subham xxx

Tags – white, vellai, Moby Dick, Sveta, Avvaiyar,Tiruvalluvar, Tirukkural

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