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Monday, June 30, 2008

Girish is white

After hearing, back in the days, from my senior-most Guru-brother Nirañjan Prasād Dās that Lord Shiva is white-complexioned and my friend Carukṛṣṇa in Rādhākund suggested the same I have been hoping to find some indication of it in śāstra. Today I found this exquisite verse in Sanātan Goswāmī’s Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta (2.3.50)

karpūra gauraṁ tri-dṛśaṁ dig ambaraṁ 
candrārdha-mauliṁ lalitaṁ tri-śūlinam
gaṅgā-jalāmlāna jaṭāvalī-dharaṁ
bhasmāṅga-rāgaṁ rucirāsthi mālinam

His body coloured gaura like camphor, having three eyes, being dressed just by the directions (naked), wearing a half moon crown and carrying a lovely trident, wearing matted locks sprinkled by Ganges-water, His body anointed with ashes and wearing a lovely garland of bones…..”

Though the word Gaura is usually translated as golden, Monier Williams gives as first meaning ‘white’ -
white , yellowish , reddish , pale red, shining , brilliant , clean , beautiful
white , yellowish (the colour), the filament of a lotus , gold

This finding is added as a footnote to page 5 of ‘Satsanga with Niranjan Prasad Das’, on, linktab 'Articles'.


  1. Already found some more shastrik evidence, with a little help from my friends, though there is unfortunately no Sanskrit text available.
    Shiva Purana 30.32-35 "Exquisitely white in complexion, the handsome lord Śiva, the
    friend of the distressed, the ocean of mercy....."
    Shiva Purana, 49.34
    "Let me see Pārvatī always as mother with reverence due to elders, O lord who are as white as snow, necklace, moon, conch and the Kunda flower."

  2. rudrazca zuklaH "..and Rudra is white..."- Jiva Goswami, Brhad Vaisnava tosani tika on Bhagavat 10.3.20

  3. bhasmAvaguNThAmala rukma-deho [Srimad Bhagavat 3.14.25] 'His golden immaculate body covered with ashes'.

  4. pAncAli patayah srutvA
    pAncajanyasya nisvanam
    pancAsya pazya muditAH
    pancAsya pratimAM yayuH

    [Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 3.3.84]

    "Look! The five Pandavas, hearing the sound of the Pancajanya conch, became white like Pancanan (five-headed Shiva) in great joy." [reading of Jiva Goswami]