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What color represents karma?

Karma is a concept that originated in ancient Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. It refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect, where intent and actions influence the future in terms of good or bad outcomes. Representing such an abstract concept visually can be challenging, but throughout history certain colors have become associated with karma, fate and destiny.

In this article, we will explore the symbolism and meanings behind the main colors connected to karma, their origins and significance across different cultures and spiritual traditions. Understanding these color representations can provide insight into how karma has been visualized and understood globally across time. This includes examining colors like red, white, black, yellow and green among others.

Let’s start by looking at some quick facts on karma and color symbolism:

Quick Facts on Karma and Color

Karma is an ancient Indian religious concept adopted by Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism
It refers to the cycle of cause and effect and the idea that intent and actions determine future outcomes
Certain colors have become associated with karma and fate across history and cultures
Red, white, black, yellow and green are some of the main colors connected to karma
The symbolism stems from cultural and religious stories, texts and traditions

This quick overview provides context on how karma became tied to symbolic colors over time. Next let’s look at some of the key colors associated with karma in more detail.


Red is commonly connected to karma, fate and destiny across multiple cultures. In many Asian traditions, the color red represents good fortune and luck. Red is an auspicious color in Chinese culture and also connects to the life force and vitality in Native American culture.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, red is associated with shakti, or divine feminine creative power. The red ‘dot’ or bindi placed between the eyebrows of Hindu women symbolizes prana, or the life force, and is connected to the ajna or ‘third eye’ chakra representing intuition and inner wisdom.

Red strings are worn in many traditions to ward off evil and bad karma. Other symbolic red objects believed to protect against misfortune include the evil eye pendant in the Mediterranean, the Turkish nazar, and the Chinese knot.

So in summary, some key connections between red and karma symbolism include:

Red Color and Karma

Luck and good fortune in Asian cultures
Vitality and life force in Native American culture
Divine feminine energy in Hinduism and Buddhism
Third eye chakra intuition in Hinduism
Protection against evil and misfortune across many traditions

Red’s globally symbolic ties to karma stem from cultural stories and spiritual beliefs around fortune, destiny, intuition and protection.


The color white has its own important karmic symbolism across many traditions and cultures. In Western cultures, white is considered the color of light and purity. Angels are depicted in white representing goodness.

In many Eastern cultures, white is the color of mourning and death. White flowers are brought to funerals, and white clothing is worn by the bereaved. This stems from the color’s tie to metal in the five elements system – metal represents fall and dusk in the seasonal cycle.

White animals like white buffaloes, elephants, deer and whales are considered sacred signs of prophecy and good fortune in some Native American and Eastern cultures. A white dove also symbolizes peace.

In Feng Shui traditions, white is connected to the mythical White Tiger, guardian of the West, representing the metal element and the harvest season. Overall, some symbolic white and karma associations include:

White Color and Karma

Purity and goodness in Western culture
Mourning and death in Eastern cultures
Sacred prophecy in some Native American and Eastern traditions
Peace when depicted as a white dove
Harvest and autumn seasons in Feng Shui

White represents differing aspects of karma, destiny and the life cycle across spiritual philosophies and traditions.


The color black absorbs all light in the visible spectrum, often being associated with darkness, mystery and the unknown. In Western cultures, black can represent evil, death and mourning. Black cats in particular have been tied to bad luck and witchcraft.

However, in many Eastern cultures, black is connected to water and carries more positive meanings. In Feng Shui symbolism, black represents the life-giving element of water, associated with winter, the direction North, and the Black Tortoise guardian.

The Hindu goddess Kali, though fierce in appearance, represents the life-affirming darkness of the womb and the promise of new life. Her blackness reflects absorbing and transforming all color and light into new creation.

So black can have opposing associations with karma:

Black Color and Karma

Evil, death and mourning in Western cultures
Life-giving waters in Eastern Feng Shui
New life and transformation in Hindu goddess Kali

Overall, black symbolizes the unknowns of karma, destiny and existence – foreboding and mysterious in some traditions yet life-sustaining in others.


Yellow is traditionally connected with optimism, enlightenment and hope across cultures. It is the color of sunshine, associated with joy and warmth. Yellow signifies intellect in many Eastern traditions, as it relates to the life-giving solar plexus chakra in Hinduism.

In some Native American tribes, yellow butterflies represent the soul and its eternal life. In parts of Asia, yellow is sacred and imperial, associated with royalty. It represents courage, power and magic in ancient Persian, Egyptian, and Norse cultures.

However, in some Western cultures, yellow indicates deceit, hazard or cowardice. Judas was often depicted in yellow during the Renaissance, giving it an association with betrayal. But in general, yellow resonates with uplifting karma associations like:

Yellow Color and Karma

Warmth, joy and optimism
Wisdom and intellect in Hinduism and Buddhism
Eternal soul in Native American tribes
Sacred imperial color in parts of Asia
Courage and power in ancient myths

The karmic color meanings of yellow are rooted in solar radiance, sacred intellect and inspiration.


The color green is most famously connected to karma through the traditions of Ayurveda and yoga, where it represents balance, growth and renewal.

In many healing arts, green is the color of the fourth or heart chakra, Anahata, representing love, harmony and connection. Plants and herbs are used in holistic medicine to rebalance the body’s energies and physiology.

Jade amulets are worn in some Asian cultures to attract prosperity and luck. Jade stone beads are used for meditation and cleansing in spiritual Feng Shui traditions. Green is also sometimes connected to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and can have sacred meaning in Islamic artistic traditions.

Some key meanings linking green and karma include:

Green Color and Karma

Balance and growth in Ayurveda
Harmony and love in heart chakra healing
Prosperity and luck in Asian amulets
Spiritual cleansing in Feng Shui
Sacred meaning in Islam

Green connects to karma through healing practices and symbolizing renewal across spiritual traditions.


In summary, while abstract concepts like karma have no inherent color, various symbolic color meanings have become associated with ideas of destiny, fate and the cycle of cause and effect over centuries and across cultures.

Red resonates with life force and good fortune, while white ties to purification and sacred rites of passage. Black can represent life’s mysteries and green connects to healing and renewal. Yellow indicates the radiance of inspiration and intellect.

These colors provide a visual shorthand for communicating complex spiritual ideas related to karma, fate and the unfoldment of our souls across time. Understanding the karmic color symbolism in different traditions is one way to glean insights on our collective human journey.