Ayurvedic Varna/Color Therapy and The Gunas or Laws of Nature and Life

I have studied many different color theories in order to derive my specific method of chromatic healing- which incorporates Dr. Dinshah’s scientific case studies from the Women’s Hospital in Philadelphia, ancient Ayurveda, anthroposophical recommendations through Steiner’s work and modern concepts on color therapy as recommended through Stanley Burroughs.  

Color therapy can be applied mystically and for the most part I stay away from things that are not sound. In my book “Beyond Natural Cures” I showed how in mystical ayurveda the colors were only applied to chakras “intuitively” in the late 20th century.  I have also explained color healing theories and even jyotish (gem color therapy though astrological charting).  Here I will explain Varna or color therapy and it’s uses in the Ayurvedic healing continuum.

In Ayurveda, color or varna or colors are said to be the seven rays or deities of the sun (surya)-the planets therefore correlate with color (see jyotish in my book “Beyond Natural Skincare & Weightloss”).  Varna therapeutically, is regarded as having more of an effect on the mind rather than on the body.   Varna effects the three doshas or personal constitution such as kapha/water, pitta/fire and vata/air and also effects the three gunas or three qualites that are the fundamental laws of nature and life.  These three gunas are sattwa which encorporates purity and creation, raja which is maintance and tamas which is dissolution,lethargy and destruction.  All shades of varna have sattwic, rajasic or tamasic effects on the mind.

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Sattwa Shades  bring joy, harmony and serenity. These are white, gold, violet and blue.

Rajas shades bring energy and movement such as yellow, orange, red and purple  THese are bright, flashy and artificial as in neon. Combination of opposite shades like green and red also do this.

Tamas shades bring inertia, congestion and slowness.  They are dull, dark and muddy.   These colors are brown, black and gray.

Doshas/constitution and Varna:

Brown:  Kapha +, depressing but grounding

Red: Kapha -, Vata +, hostility violence but stimulating, warming and strengthening.

Body system: heart, blood, circulation

Orange: Vata and kapha -, pitta +: moving, aggravating but energizing, stimulating

Body system: paralysis, thyroid, digestive system

Yellow: Vata and kapha -, pitta +:  superficial and hyperactive but induces clarity, motivation and stimulation.

Body system: nervous system, arthritis, brain, pancreas, parasite infestation, lymph

Green: Vata and Pitta -, Kapha +:  Retention but calms, harmonizes and balances.

Body system: metabolism, liver tonic, pituitary gland

Blue: Vata & kapha +, pitta -:  cold naturing, disconnected, isolated but meditative and independent.

Body system: tumor reduction, sleep induction, pineal gland, infections, inflammation.

Purple: Suppress anger but gives authority and prestige.

Body system: reduces heart pain, dialates blood vessels, rheumatic complaints and cysts

Violet:  Suppress emotions but helps with detachment and devotion

Body system:  Spleen, white blood cell building, antibiotic, calming

Gold: vata and kapha -. pitta +:  Harmonizes mind, strengthens heart, immunity and endocrine system.

Keep in mind that color therapy is a science and there are many different schools of thought and even misinformation.  Most of the information you find on the internet about color is not without benefit, but not exactly therapeutically conducive.  Another thing, other researchers in the field offer different types of recommendations. For instance, ayurveda and Dr. Dinshah made no mention of the color peach but anthroposophy presents the color peach which is a mixture of red, orange, pink and white as one of the most healing colors, especially for children.  Peach which is the color of blood mixed with lymph, the color you see when you look at blood under a slide is a soothing, nurturing, warming and comforting.

I have found that Dinshah’s red filter when placed under a 25 watt bulb actually illuminates as peach and that the scarlet filter which is one red, yellow and blue filter actually illuminates as a true red.  All aspects of color therapy are beneficial to orgonomy as they help to release emotions before treatment, such as the color magenta which is the color the baby sees in the womb.

To get the most therapeutic benefit and actually heal your body or disease with color therapy one has to be skilled with scientific color application such as placement timing, and color depth and degree and constitutionality-without this foundation color therapy for health becomes just another obscure health fad.

Please join me for my next article on deeper concepts of ayurveda!

Tirtha, Swami Shiva. (1998). The Ayurveda encyclopedia.

Ayurveda Holistic Center Press, NY.

Would you like to contact Dr. Aurore for her specialized Aurore-Vedic detox and body/mind natural health consults, on-line or in office?

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