I came across a post of an atheist page on facebook that stated that "varna means color, so varna might attribute to color based discrimination along side cast based discrimination" is that true?

  • This may be related a bit but not 100% true..Arjuna's color was dark but he was Kashtriya and not Shudra..
    – YDS
    Jan 20, 2018 at 20:29
  • Arjuna, as, ā, or ī, am, white, clear, the colour of day; of silver; (as), m. the white colour . arjuna is cognate with latin argentum (silver).
    – S K
    Jan 20, 2018 at 21:13
  • @SK May be u r talking about some other Arjuna..Here is what Arjuna said "Krishna, my tenth appellation, was given to me by my father out of affection towards his black-skinned boy of great purity.' - sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04044.htm So as per my little understanding he was black-skinned...and not only Arjuna but also Draupadi was of darkish complexion (thats why Krishnaa is her another name)..
    – YDS
    Jan 21, 2018 at 5:43
  • Varna can mean color, the 4 varnas and also the alphabets like Swaravarna, Vyanjanvarna etc..
    – Rickross
    Jan 21, 2018 at 5:56
  • 2

1 Answer 1


Varna can mean color but has no connection with any discrimination. Varna can not be translated as caste either.

Vaisampayana said,’ Hearing these words of Arjuna, O chastiser of foes, Nakula of mighty arms and a broad chest, temperate in speech and possessed of great wisdom, with face whose colour then resembled that of copper, looked at the king ….’

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section Xii

Mahabharata says the following about Draupadi.

Yudhisthira answered the chief of the deities once more, saying, - ‘O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwell anywhere, separated from them. I desire to go there where my brothers have gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, of ample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with great intelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone.’

Mahabharata Mahaprasthanika Parva Section III

Neither Nakula nor Draupadi were Shudras.


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