Is "Racial color blindness" covered in the Buddha's teaching? What would be the closest Buddhist concept that covers it? Is there a scripture that teaches colorblindness?

Could it have originated from the Buddha's teaching, Christianity, both or somewhere else? Does anyone know what Thích Nhất Hạnh taught MLK about colorblindness?

  • Do you mean anti-racism? I closed this question as a duplicate assuming it's about racism. If it's not, I'll reopen it. Possibly duplicate of Buddhism and Racism.
    – ruben2020
    Jan 17, 2023 at 13:39
  • Come on, don't close my gosh darn question down. It's not about racism. It's about colorblindness. A totally separate concept.
    – Lowbrow
    Jan 17, 2023 at 13:55
  • like why is your heart green? like that of course i assume...
    – blue_ego
    Jan 17, 2023 at 14:58
  • 1
    What is "colorblindness"? The biological condition of not being able to identify colors correctly? What do you mean?
    – ruben2020
    Jan 18, 2023 at 8:43
  • 2

2 Answers 2


From racial color blindness (wikipedia):

A color-blind racial ideology can be defined as holding the belief that an individual's race or ethnicity should not influence how that individual is treated in society. This is further divided into two dimensions, color evasion and power evasion. Color evasion is the belief that people should not be treated differently on the basis of their color, while power evasion posits that systemic advantage based on color should have no influence on what people can accomplish, and accomplishments are instead based solely on one's own work performance.

This sutta quote still covers it best, I feel:

“Don’t ask about birth, ask about conduct;
for any kindling can kindle a flame.
A steadfast sage, even though from a low class family,
is a thoroughbred checked by conscience.
SN 7.9

Any kindling, any piece of wood, can be used to kindle a flame.

Don't discriminate the type of wood or kindling.

Essentially color blindness.


The Buddha was anti-caste and pro-feminism. Keep in mind this is still limited by the world of India 2600 years ago. The caste system is comparable to racism.

When someone ordained, their caste as a lay person became irrelevant. A monk who was a brahmin (priestly caste) and a monk who was a worker, were treated the same.

MN 93 - The Buddha critiquing the caste system.

If a woman/girl had been married and wanted to ordain, they could become a full monk (bhikkhuni) in two years. So, a formerly married girl as young as 12 could become a novice monk and then at 14, she could become a full female monk (bhikkhuni). But people had to be at least 20 years old to become a full male monk (bhikkhu).


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .