Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film ‘Pathaan’ has made people just as excited and outraged. For his die-hard fans, it’s a long-awaited return to the big screen.However, the song besharam run (literally, Shameless Colors) caused a certain section of Hindu society to oppose Deepika Padukone in a saffron-colored bikini. . Social His media outrage turned into actual violence on January 5 when members of the Bajrang Dal vandalized a poster of the pattern at his shopping mall in Ahmedabad.
Hussein Darwai, a former Member of Parliament of Maharashtra, then told Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that instead of “talking about religion every day,” he would stop wearing saffron-colored clothes and ” “Be a little more modern,” he reportedly advised, angering the BJP.
Saffron is a color that is closely associated with Hindu religion and culture. From the robes of a Hindu monk to his RSS banner, saffron takes center stage in Hindu imagery. In particular, the adoption of saffron as a symbol for Hindutva political projects is a modern phenomenon, although the importance of saffron in Hindu society can be traced back to Vedic times. So what does saffron mean in the world of Hindu religious culture?
Color of Sacrifice and Abandonment
The power of symbols often lies in their ability to evoke resonant meanings through simple imagery. Derived from the color of fire or flame, saffron has long symbolized sacrifice in Hindu traditions. Hindu ascetics and monks have traditionally worn ocher/saffron colored robes. Color represents the renunciation of material life, an integral part of Hindu and Buddhist philosophies.
Agni’s central position in the Rigveda
The Rig Veda is the oldest surviving Sanskrit text, dated by scholars between 1500 and 1200 BC. It contains over 1,000 hymns and prayers to God, providing a glimpse into modern life and addressing spiritual and metaphysical issues.
In the Rig Veda, Agni or Fire God is one of the three central deities along with Indra and Soma. The first hymns of the Corpus are dedicated to Agni, and almost all Vedic rituals involve some form of fire ritual. Agni is conceptualized as being on three levels: fire on earth, lightning in the atmosphere, and sun in the sky.
This triple presence allows Agni to become a messenger between the gods and humans in the Vedic scriptures.
The relationship between fire and chastity
Another reason for Agni’s importance in the Vedas is the importance of fire in early societies. When humans waged war against nature, the use of fire fundamentally changed the shape of civilization. The Vedas are aware of this. Fire is used not only for warmth, but also to purify matter and humans.In the Ramayana (a text written much later than the Vedas), Sita Agni Pariksha To prove her chastity after spending time in Lanka, Lavan.
Even today, fire is a central part of purification ceremonies practiced by Hindus.think Haban Also ArtieThe sacred flame is said to purify the place of worship by exorcising impurities and evil spirits. The act of holding hands to the sacred flame and transferring its heat to the head and face is essentially an act of ritual cleansing of the body and mind.
The adoption of saffron by a monk signifies purification and also an act of leaving behind the temptations of material life.
Saffron as the Color of Abandonment
The first mention of saffron-wearing ascetics is found in the tenth volume of the Rig Veda. The line is: [i.e., naked], dressed in dirty saffron rags. (Rig Veda 10.136, translated by Wendy Doniger)
Over time, Hindu ascetics adopted saffron clothing due to the relative ease of obtaining saffron-colored dyes. , giving it a yellowish-orange tint. It has been.
Buddhist monks also adopted saffron-colored robes, as Buddhism emerged in opposition to the overly ritualistic Hinduism of the time. The Buddha and his early disciples are said to have worn saffron-colored cloth dyed with various spices. Theravada monks in South Asia still wear these colors.
In many ways, modern Hindu monastic orders have borrowed heavily from Buddhist monastic orders. The Vedic religion mentioned practice, but not mendicantism. As Brahmanism responded to the growing popularity of Buddhism, multiple Hindu sects sprang up and organized, so saffron became the color of choice for abandoned orders.
Politics of Saffron and Hindutva
Today, saffron is deeply associated with Hindutva politics. This is the color of the RSS flag and is generally the predominant color in depicting Hindutva issues and slogans. After Dalwai’s comments about Adityanath’s dress, a spokesman for Udhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena (which has saffron as the party’s color) said Bhagwa (saffron) is “our soul”. “Bhagwa is more than just a color, it is a symbol of Indian culture and tradition. It is the mark of Hindavi Swaraja of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj…” a spokesperson said.
White also has a deeply resonant relationship with the high-pedestal ideals of Hinduism, which represents the purity of Brahman in the Rig Veda. Red, yellow and black represent the other Varnas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras respectively. Hindutva’s political project elevated saffron to become synonymous with Hinduism itself.