Temple idols are in black: Why ?

The ‘idols’ of the ‘gods’ in the temples are generally black in color or in white color. Stones of other colors are not used to carve the statues of the ‘gods’ as the sastras [scriptures] don’t recommend this and this doesn’t mean that the ‘god’ is in back color. This has many reasons and meanings as in any saying of the scriptures but, here one such reason is brought to light.

We do understand the world with our ‘mind’ but, the ‘god’ is something beyond the grasp of the mind. The Hindu scriptures are saying this as, avaak manasa gocharam, this implies - beyond the grasp of the mind and thought. On the other hand, it is a common practice to mention something as being in the dark or black – when nothing is known or when we are uncertain about the ‘thing’ concerned. Even the modern scientists term the unknown thing as – black hole, black box, etc. So, the ‘idol’ of the ‘god’ in the temples is made with ‘black’ color generally, due to the fact that we don’t know anything about the ‘god’. Even the ‘god’ realized persons fail to say anything about the ‘god’ because - god the truth can’t be expressed in words.

Another point is that – according to the modern science, physics in particular – the black color is the perfect absorber. Only due to this reason, the ‘pupil’ in the eye is black; the nose tip is also in black for all the animals generally – for eye and nose have to absorb light and scent respectively. So, ‘god’ in black – implies that ‘god’ can absorb all the beings [souls, the worlds] into ‘it’, thereby bestowing ‘moksha’ or emancipation. For this reason too, the statue of the ‘god’ is in black color.

Another reason is that – philosophically the color ‘black’ reflects ‘universality’ and omnipresence. So, no wonder in representing the ‘god’ in ‘black’ color, the ‘god’ being present in everywhere.

On the other hand, the ‘idol’ of the ‘god’ is in white color in some temples. This is due to a different reason. ‘White’ color implies – purity, piousness, brilliance, etc., and these are all the qualities of the ‘god’. So, the ‘idol’ in the temples is made in ‘white’ color.

Only few reasons are presented here and there are still some more religious reasons behind this - but, honestly I agree that I don’t know the ‘scientific’ reasons behind them.

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