The Racial Interpretation of the Vedas
European Vedic interpreters used the racial idea to explain
the Vedas. The Vedas speak of a battle between light and darkness, between the Sun God and
his manifestations and the demons of darkness. This was turned into a war between
light-skinned Aryans and dark-skinned Dravidians.
Such scholars did not bother to examine the fact that most
religions and mythologies including those of the Ancient American Indians, Egyptians,
Greeks and Persians have such an idea of a battle between the forces of light and darkness
(which is the symbolic conflict between truth and falsehood), but we do not interpret
their statements racially. In short, Europeans projected racism into the history of India,
and accused the Hindus of the very racism that they them-selves were using to
dominate the Hindus.
European scholars pointed out that caste
in India was originally defined by color, which is how they translated
the Sanskrit them varna, the basis of caste. In vedic thought Brahmins
are said to be white, Kshatriyas (warriors) red, Vaishyas (merchants)
yellow, the Shudras (servants) black. Hence the Brahmins were deemed
to have been originally the white Aryans and the Dravidians the dark
Shudras, whom the Aryans enslaved.
However, the colors of the different
classes refers only to the gunas or qualities of each class, which
represent different energetic types of human being. White is the color
of purity (sattva guna), dark that of impurity (tamoguna), red the
color of action (rajoguna), and yellow the color of trade ( also
rajoguna). To turn this into races is simplistic and incorrect. Where
is the red race and where is the red race and where is the yellow race
in India? And when have the Kshatriyas been a red race and the
Vaishyas a yellow race?