Bengaluru: In Indian history, the orange flag has been largely used by Hindus, Sikhs and even Buddhists. It would not be an exaggeration to say that most of us would have seen monks clad in ochre robes moving around in monasteries all over India.

It is also hoisted on top of temples and instils feelings of pride and courage.

But have you ever wondered why the color of the flag is saffron or in simple terms orange in colour?

Swami Nirbhayananda, a senior Hindu monk says there are primarily three reasons for this:

1.       “The colour orange is the colour of fire. Fire signifies renunciation. A monk who has given up on the enjoyments of this world burns his desires and passions symbolically by wearing these robes. So, it symbolises sacrifice.”

2.       “Secondly, the colour of the sun is also orange. Sun stands for knowledge and impartiality. The rays of the sun never confine themselves to particular region of the earth and distribute themselves equally. In the same way, a monk or an adherent of the Bhagwa flag should never resort to nepotism or get bound to one particular dogma or doctrine. Through his knowledge, he should lead one and all to the goal supreme, that is god realisation.”

3.       “Thirdly, it is debated that that the colour roughly resembles that of mud. Mud, to a monk, is a constant reminder of the ephemerality of the world. Irrespective of the material gains a man possesses, ultimately, one has to return to the mud (through death). So, it helps him concentrate his energies on things not transient. It leads him towards the goal supreme.”

Ultimately, this flag is only an external symbol, guiding a man to travel inwards and extricate himself from the snares of the world, by courageously fighting them.