The Races of Ancient India
Mahabharata: Shantiparvan 6934.
Oriental Department, June, 1895
Of the Brahmans, white is the color; of the Kshattriyas, red; of the Vaishyas, yellow is the color; of the Shudras, black.
There was no difference of colors; formerly all this world was put forth divine by the Evolver; it came to be colored through works.
They who were fond of love and feasts, fiery, warlike, fierce, undutiful, red-limbed,— these twice-born became Kshattriyas.
Those who relied on cattle for a livelihood, who were yellow, who lived by ploughing, who were undutiful,—these twice-born. became Vaishyas.
Those who were fond of injury and unrighteousness, greedy, living by any work, black, fallen from purity,—these twice-born. became Shudras.
Duty, in these verses, means the station in life to which it p/eased the Brahmanical hierarchy to call the other classes.