Author Topic: Why monks wear different color robes around the world  (Read 7821 times)

Tracy

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Why monks wear different color robes around the world
« on: November 10, 2019, 11:12:46 AM »
Why monks wear different color robes around the world

By Mala One

Sep 12, 2016

The basic clothing that the Buddha originally suggested for a bhikkhu was made from discarded cloth (‘rags’) sewn together and dyed.

After sewing the pieces together, they were just large rectangular pieces of cloth worn wraparound style.
In the beginning, it seems that there were two robes: a sarong skirt-like robe (antaravaasaka) tied with a belt, and a robe to cover the upper part of the body (uttaraasa”nga).

When the cold weather required more protection, the Buddha allowed a third robe, which was a double-thickness outer robe (sa”nghaa.ti).

For most Buddhist schools, including those whose monks wear red robes, there is no special significance to this color.

Originally monks dressed in ochre/saffron/yellowish robes, but there were some variation as the actual shade depends on the pigment used. As Buddhism spread to different regions of the world, pigments extracted from local products were used to dye the robes, producing different hues towards the maroon, brownish or plain red.

In some locations, such as Japan and Korea, robes eventually became gray, black and even bright blue.

The most common colours are seen in these countries:

Burma / Myanmar and Tibet — Red

Thailand, Cambodia and Laos- orange

Sri Lanka- Yellowish/Orangish

China and Korea — Grey / Light Blue

Japan- Black

https://medium.com/@malaonebrand/why-monks-wear-different-color-robes-around-the-world-4b7df1818cde

Ngawang

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Re: Why monks wear different color robes around the world
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 05:54:57 AM »
Thank you Tracy for sharing this interesting information. Even though there are many forms of Buddhism out there, the essence of the teachings is still the same. All forms of Buddhism originate from Buddha Shakyamuni who taught the teachings 2600 years ago. Any authentic lineage of Buddhism can be traced by to Buddha Shakyamuni with an unbroken link. This way, we will be able to know that what they are taught are authentic and they have Buddha's blessings.

Drolma

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Re: Why monks wear different color robes around the world
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 07:46:58 AM »
I have always been wondering why are the robes in so many different colours? Is there any significance with different colour. So it is mainly because of the pigments in different areas and regions. Whatever colour it is, we must always respect Sanghas. If we ever see Sanghas in a restaurant, take the opportunity to offer food to them, it is a great way for us to collect merits.