4

Modern Hindu organisations usually use saffron triangular flag as a unanimously accepted symbol of Hinduism. However, does the flag or colour have any significance as per authentic Hindu scriptures?

  • saffron is the color worn by sanyasis, it represents that Rajo Guna (associated with red/saffron color) has left their body (and onto their clothes). It denotes renunciation. – ram Jan 23 at 6:21
  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Historicity of the Bhagwa flag – sv. Jan 23 at 14:26
5

Not sure about flag, but the color sure have important place in Sanatana Dharma. All Rishis/Munis used to wear yellowish color'ed clothes which is nearly same as Saffron color. Here is a reference from Rigveda Suktam 10 Hymn 136:

मुनयो वातरशनाः पिशङ्गा वसते मला ।

वातस्यानु ध्राजिं यन्ति यद्देवासो अविक्षत ॥२॥

The Munis, girdled with the wind, wear garments soiled of yellow hue. They, following the wind's swift course go where the Gods have gone before.

Note: The reference to this hymn I found from wikipedia article on Sannyasa. As per my understanding from the article, It seems the English word for "soiled of yellow hue" is Saffron. That is why they referred that as Saffron when mentioning the short translation of that hymn. Hence I put Saffron in bracket since there is no direct mentioning of the word in the book but it was Wikipedia all alone.

  • Thank you, abhivadan 🙏 – user19357 Jan 22 at 10:10
  • 1
    No offence, but I think that saffron in the translation is more of an example. The word Pishanga refers to any yellow hued substance while Saffron usually goes by Sanskrit names as Kumkuma or Priyangu. I could be wrong though. – Gabe Hiemstra Jan 22 at 11:58
  • 1
    @GabeHiemstra: the usage of words in vedic sanskrit is different from that subsequent classical sanskrit. – srimannarayana k v Jan 22 at 12:12
  • 1
    @srimannarayanakv Nevertheless, since the word "saffron" is in brackets, I would advise cross-referencing it with other translations. Especially since it concenrs Griffith’s translation – Gabe Hiemstra Jan 22 at 12:54
  • 1
    Actually, upon closer inspection, the word saffron looks like an interpolation by poster here. I wonder what the motive is. – Gabe Hiemstra Jan 22 at 13:31
2

The Ochre color, which is very close to Saffron, has been prescribed as the color of an ascetic's garments.

6 A wandering ascetic should wander forth according to the rule, abandoning his relatives and free of possessions. 17 Going into the wilderness, 18 he has his head shaven except for the topknot; 19 wears a loin cloth; 20 resides in one place during the rainy season ; 21 and wears ochre clothes

Baudhayana Dharma Sutras 2.11.26.11-21


There can be similar verses in other scriptures as well and such verses must be the reason why the saffron/ochre color gradually got associated with the Hindu Sannyasis (ascetics). Not sure though about the reasons for flags to be of a particular design.

However, note that it is forbidden to perform Vedic rituals etc dressed in garments of that color.

When someone engages in the soft recitation of prayers, performs a sacrifice, or accepts a gift dressed in ochre clothes––an oblation made in this way at a rite to gods or ancestors does not reach its deity.

Baudhayana Dharma Sutras 2.15.5


But then again you have to understand that saffron/ochre is mostly associated with Sannyasis and the Sannyasis abandon fire sacrifice, Vedic rituals among many other things.

  • "But then again you have to understand that saffron/ochre is mostly associated with Sannyasis and the Sannyasis abandon fire sacrifice, Vedic rituals among many other things." No it's not associated with Sanyasis, they just happen to wear same saffron clothes like our rishis used to wear. read my answer above. – TheLittleNaruto Jan 23 at 7:02
  • Which Sanskrit words in the mantra in ur answer refer to them wearing saffron colored clothes?@TheLittleNaruto And, yes Saffron is associated primarily with the Sannyasis. It is seen as a color related to Vairagya. – Rickross Jan 23 at 7:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .