Red and White on Indian Temple Walls

Ever wondered why ancient Indian temple walls are painted in repetitive thick panels of red and white? 

Well, it is pretty basic and primal. Red in this case stands for the menstrual blood and white stands for semen. In other words, it stands for the two all powerful concepts - the female principle and the male principle - the two binary opposite forces. It is in fact the yin and yang of ancient Indian philosophy. 

The same two colours are repeated in the sacred marks painted on the foreheads of Hindus. Those who are followers of Lord Vishnu, wear the V-shaped white mark (which actually signifies the feet of Lord Vishnu) and a red line inside the V-shape (which signifies Goddess Lakshmi, who is Lord Vishnu's consort). The same goes for the sacred mark of those who follow Lord Shiva (there are three horizontal lines in white that stands for Lord Shiva, and a red circle in the middle that stands for his consort Goddess Parvati). 

Red and White is of utmost importance in the ancient Indian concepts. It is the union of the two opposing forces, and only in union is their balance and harmony, that leads to great power and potential as well. 

Susan Mathen