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TheRobeinBuddhistScriptures:ItsDevelopment ThroughSocial&CulturalContexts
Assoc.Prof.Dr.PhramahaSomjinSammapanno, DeputyRectorforAcademicAffairs MahachulalongkornrajavidyalayaUniversity Bangkok,Thailand

KeyWordsfoundintheBeginningoftheBuddhasPeriod: 1.Kasaya,UttarasangaandColor
1 Intheearlyperiod oftheBuddhascareer,thereisnoclearcutevidenceconcerning

theclothingstyleoftheBuddhaandBhikkhus,orwhatkindofclothwasusedinthosedays. WeareinformedthatPrinceSiddhatthaleftthepalace,hadhishaircutandpartookinthe priestlifeatthebankofAnomaRiver.Heledhomelesslifeamongtwogroupsofrecluses: Samana(priest)andBrahmana. Havingtakenupthepriesthood,SamanaSiddhatthaapproachedtwohermits:Alara RamagottaandUddakaRamabutta,withaviewtolearnthepracticesandreachliberation. ThenSamanaSiddhatthaattainedeightattainmentsfourformtrancesandfourformless trances.Thereisalsonoevidenceofthecolorandclothingstylethatthetwohermitswore andused. HavingachievedEnlightenment,theBuddha(SamanaSiddhattha)gavehisfirst sermontogroupoffiveBrahmanas:Kondanna,Vappa,Bhaddiya,Mahanama,letyoulead religiouslifefortheendofsuffering.Intheseevents,therearenomentionsofwhatever appearanceofrobesthattheywore,thecolor,shape,orsize.It,however,isreasonablefor usheretoassumethatthepeopleinthosedayswhotookpriesthoodmightwearwhatever clothastheydidbeforebeingthepriest.Inthematterofrobe,therewasnospecific
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EditorCommentTraditionsuggeststhatthegod,Indra[asSakka]offeredasetofrobestoSiddhattha,an accountofthiscanbefoundfrom: http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/g/gotama.htmaccessedon5 May2007,whichstateshegivesallhisornamentstoChanna,andwithhisswordcutsoffhairandbeard, throwingthemupintotheair,whereSakkatakesthemandenshrinesthemintheClmanicetiyainTvatimsa. TheBrahmGhatikraoffersGotamatheeightrequisitesofamonk,whichheacceptsandadopts.Here,there isnomentionofthestyleofrobes.However:http://www.buddhanet.net/bud_lt04.htm,accessedon5May2007, statesthatSiddhatthaputonhermitrobes. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/buddha.htmlsays:"Soatalater time,whenIwasstillyoung,blackhaired,endowedwiththeblessingsofyouthinthefirststageoflife,having shavedoffmyhair&beardthoughmyparentswishedotherwiseandweregrievingwithtearsontheirfaces Iputontheochrerobeandwentforthfromthehomelifeintohomelessness."Thisquoteoriginatesfromthe Majjhimanikaya,MahasaccakaSuttaMN36.

regulationforthedisciplesoftheBuddha.Theidentitywhichmadethemdifferfromother groupsofrenunciates,were:hairstylesandbeard shavedofftomarkthatthesepriests belongedtoSamanaSakyaputtagroup.However,onepassageinSamantapasadika,the VinayaCommentarytellsusthattheBuddhausedtheredcoloredrobe,asfoundinthat commentary:


2 TheBuddhaspreadstherighthandfromtheredcoloredrobe ,talkstothe

personswhodesiretobeamonkwithsoundlikeaBrahmanssoundcometo bemonk,letyouleadreligiouslifefortheendofsuffering.Soonafter finishingthesewords,thelaitydisappears,monkhoodappears.Anordination isaccomplished.Thosepeopleshavethebaldhead,dressedinKasava (ochrerobe,orsaffronrobe)wearingone,coveringoneandputtingoneon shoulder. Thekeyissueswehavegotherearethoseoftherobescolorandthestyleofdressingof themonks.Eventhoughwecannotbesurethattheredcolorhasbeenfixedandthestyle ofwearinghasbeenfixedbytheBuddha.AnotherpassageinVinayaPitaka,Mahavagga, mentioningtheBuddhassayings: Omonks,nowletyougiveanordination(tothepeople)inthosedirections,in thoseruralareas.Monksshouldgiveanordinationlikethisinthebeginning, youinformthemwhodesiretobeamonktohavetheirhairandbeardcut,to putonKasaya(Kasava),toweartheupperrobeopeningoneshoulder,togive thehomageatthefootofmonks ThekeywordsaboutrobeswegothereareKasayawithitsmeaning(implyingitscolor) andUttarasanga.Kasaya(Kasava)meansrobedyedwithastringentdecoction(some definition:dyedwithorangecolor),thesaffronrobe.Uttarasangameanstheupperrobe. ItisassumedthatthereclusesinthosedaysusedtheUttarasangatodifferentiate themfromotherpeopleinsociety.WhenhereticalteachernamedUruvelaKassapa(of UruvelaSenanigama,orBodhgaya)wasconvertedtotheBuddhasdoctrine,healsowore theupperrobe(Uttarasanga)openingoneshoulderandapproachedtheBuddhatoaskfor ordination.Thisstoryservesasevidencetocomesomeextent. TracingbacktothemeaningofKasaya(Kasava),eventhoughitisnotclearwhatthe exactcolorreallyis,wecanassumeinsomeextentfromtheBuddhasallowanceaboutsix kindsofrobedyesdyefromroots,dyefromstems,dyefrombark,dyefromleaves,dye fromflowersanddyefromfruits.Consequently,theKasayamaycompriseofanycolor

HerePaliTermisRattapamsukulacivaraRatta(red),Pamsukula(rags)fromadustheaporrobesfromacoffin.

dependinguponthesedyes.Thekeypointisthatitshouldbemixedcoloritshouldnotbe
3 purecolor.WefinddatainVinayaPitaka,Mahavagga asfollows:

Whenthegroupofsixmonksworerobesthatwerealldarkgreenetc.,theBuddha, havingknownthismatter,said: Omonks,robesthatarealldarkgreen[orblue]arenottobeworn,robesthat areallyellowarenottobeworn,robesthatareallredarenottobeworn, robesthatareallcrimsonarenottobeworn,robesthatareallblackarenotto beworn,robesthatarealldyedbrownishyellow[thecolorofacentipedes back]arenottobeworn,robesthatarealldyedreddishyellow[thecolorof witheredleaves]arenottobewornWhoevershouldwearone,thereisan offenceofwrongdoing. 2.Wearingstyle ThenoteworthypointinthismatterisPaliphraseEkamsamUttarasamgam Katvaputtingontheupperrobewithoneshoulderopen.Thisphraseisavailableinall classesoftheBuddhistscripture.Thewearingstyleinthismannerwasatraditionof ancientIndiansinthosedays.WhentheancientIndianshadaplantoapproachtheElder, orthesacredplace,traditionallytheyliketoputontheupperrobewithoneshoulderopen. Thisishowtowearwhentheyarestayingintheirowndwellingplace. Howdidthemonksinthosedaysdresswhentheywentoutside?Inthismatter,the PaliphrasePattacivaramadayashouldbetakenintoconsideration.Pattacivaramadaya meanstakingalmsbowlandyellowrobe.Thispassageisusedtodescribethescenein themorningtimewhenthemonksaregoingtotravelaroundforalms.Itisassumedthatin thetimeoftheBuddha,whenthemorningtimecomes,thesessionfortravelingforalms,the monkswhilestayingwithinthedwellingplaceareawearonlytheinnerrobe(Antaravasaka) andtakethealmsbowlaswellasupperrobe(Civara=Uttarasanga),soonaftertheygetout ofthedwellingplaceareanearlytovillagearea,thentheyweartheupperrobe (Uttarasanga). Itisverystrange.OnepassagesupportingthiseventfoundinBuddhist literarywork[Ed.:citationneeded]states,asfollows: Inthemorning,monksworetheinnerrobe,tookthealmsbowlaswellas upperrobe(CivaraUttarasanga)traveledintheValanjacity foralms. Another[sourceneeded]passageisasfollows:
3Recall:Iallowyou,monks,sixkindsofdyes:dyefromroots,dyefromstems,dyefrombark,dyefromleaves, dyefromflowers,dyefromfruits. astranslatedbyI.B.HornerintheVinayaPitakaVolumeIV,MahavaggaVIII, p.405PaliTextSociety1996. Today,standarddyedrobesarepurchasedprimarilybylaypeopleforoffering tomonks.

Atthattime,theBlessedOneworetheinnerrobe(Antaravasaka),tookthe almsbowlaswellasupperrobe(CivaraUttarasanga)accompaniedby AnanadatheElder 3.Pamsukula ThemonksinthebeginningoftheBuddhastimemostlysoughtwearingclothby themselves,frompublic/commonplaces.Sometimesvillagersmaywrapacorpsewith cloth,takeittotheforestandleaveitthereintheburialgroundssometimesthevillagers threwawaytheuselesscloth.ThesediscardedclothsarecalledPamsukulawhichmeans clothondustheap(ragrobes).Themonkswhowantedtheclothformakingtherobes (Civara)pickedupthismaterialtomakethewearingrobe.Thisistheoldtradition.Later, householdersbegantosupportmonkswithmanyrequisitesandotherfacilities.Themonks acceptedthisconvenienceforleadingtheholylife.Therewerenodifficultiesinseekingthe clothforthem.Themonks,therefore,hadtwostandardsofconductpertainingtotherobe receivingtherobefromhouseholdersandsearchingfortherobefromdustheap(ragrobe). ThelatteroneiscalledPamsukulikanka. 4. Sanghati(outercloak)andCivara(likelyupperrobe)

ThewordsSanghatiandCivarawerepopularlyusedwhentherelationsystem betweenpreceptor(Upajjhaya)andpupil(Saddhiviharika)hadbeensetupintheBuddhas
4 period.ThesetwowordswereseeninmonasticcustomscalledUpajjhayavatta and 5 Saddhiviharikavatta

Thenoteworthypointisthatinthemethodsofallordinationsexceptmethodcalled
6 Yatticatutthakammaupasampada, therehavebeennowordsSanghatiandCivara.

Whatdoesitmean?InthebeginningoftheBuddhastime,intheprocessof ordaining,therewasnoregulationabouttherobe. Itwasnotnecessaryforthesonsof respectablefamilies(Kulaputta)topreparetherobes.Theycouldseekandobtainitafter gettingordination.Lateron,anonappropriatesituationoccurredintheSangha:villagers blamedthemonkswhowentaroundforalmswithoutwearinganyrobe(nakedmonks).The Buddhasetforththerule

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Theserviceframeforpupiltotakecareofpreceptor. Theserviceframeofpreceptortotakecareofpupil. 6 ThiskindofordinationistheSanghasofficialactivity.Thiswordmeanstheactivitywithonemotionandthree announcements.

Omonks,youshouldnotordainthesonsofrespectablefamilies(Kulaputta) whodonothaverobes(Civara),youwhoordainedtheonementionedabove, aresentencedtoanoffenceofwrongdoing. AftertheBuddhaallowedthemonkstousetheordinationmethodcalled Yatticatutthakammauppasampada,thepersonwhodesiredtobeordainedhadto preparetheeightrequisites.Thethreerobeswerealsoincludedinthese. HouseholdersClub ThepassagesinVinayaPitaka,Mahavaggahelpusmuchinthisstory.Beforethe Buddhasallowancethemonkstoreceivetheclothgivenbyhouseholders,themonks mostlysearchfortheclothfromcemeteryintheforest.Lateron,thedoctornamedJivaka
7 KomarabhaccarequestedtheBuddhatoreceivetheClothcalledSiveyyaka. Besidethis,

JivakaKomarabhaccaaskedtheBuddhatogiveanallowancetothemonkstoreceivethe clothgivenbyhouseholders.TheBuddhagaveanallowanceasfollow: Iallowyou,Omonks,householdersrobes.Whoeverwishesmaybearag robewearerwhoeverwishesmayconsentto(accept)householdersrobes. AndI,Omonks,commendsatisfactionwiththeoneortheother. HavinggotanallowancefromtheBuddhainthismatter,atthattimevariouskindsofrobe materialsaccruedtothemonks.Thenitoccurredtothemonks:Now,whatkindofrobe materialsareallowedbytheBuddha,whatarenotallowed?Theytoldthismattertothe Buddha.TheBuddhasaid: Omonks,Iallowsixkindsofrobematerials:linen,cotton,silk,wool,coarse hempencloth,canvas. Nowatthattime,themonksconsentedtohouseholdersrobes,butbeingscrupulous,they didnotconsenttoragrobes. Theconfusionoccurredtothemonks:theBuddhaallowed onlythehouseholdersrobes,hedidnotallowtheragrobes.TheBuddhasaid:Omonks,I allowhimwhoconsentstothehouseholdersrobestoconsentalsotoragrobes.AndI,O monks,commendsatisfactionwithboth.Later,however,thetraditionofusingtheragrobes becamemuchadmiredamongtheOrder.Itisthestrictwayforeradicationofthe defilements.ThistraditioniscalledPamsukulikangawhichmeansthemonksendowed withstrictqualitybyusingtheragrobesindailylife.

SiveyyakatheclothwhichisusedbythepeopleofKuruStatetowrapthecorpseandtakeittothecemetery. Thevultures(hatthikingasakuna)takethecorpsewithSiveyyakatothepeakofHimalayaMountain,pullitfrom thecorpseandtheneatthecorpse.Theforesthuntersseethatcloth,pickupbringitandgivetotheKing.

RobesCutPattern: InthebeginningoftheBuddhasperiod,themonksmayusevariouspatternsfor robes.ThepassagesinVinayaPitaka,Mahavagga,tellusthatoneday,theBuddhasetout ontourforDakkhinagiri.TheLordsawthefieldofMagadha,laidoutinstrips,laidoutin lines,laidoutinembankment,laidoutinsquares.Havingseenthis,theBuddhaaddressed theVenerableAnanda,saying: Now,doyouAnanda,seethefieldofMagadhalaidoutinstrips,laidoutin lines,laidoutinembankment,laidoutinsquares?...Areyouable,Ananda,to providerobeslikethisforthemonks? ThentheVenerableAnanda,havingprovidedrobesforseveralmonks,approached theBuddhaandshowedtherobesprovidedbyhimtotheLord.ThentheBuddha,onthat occasion,addressedthemonks,saying: Omonks,cleverisAnandaOmonks,ofgreatintelligenceisAnanda,inas muchashecanunderstandindetailthemeaningofthatwhichwasspokenby meinbrief,andcanmakeacrossseamandcanmakeashortcrossseam andcanmakeacircularseamandcanmakeacentralpieceandcanmake sidepieceandcanmakeaneckpieceandcanmakeakneepieceandcan makeanelbowpieceandwhatiscutupmustberoughlydrawntogether, suitableforreclusesandnotcovetedbyopponents. Iallowyou,Omonks,an outercloakthatiscutup,anupperrobethatiscutup,aninnerrobethatis cutup. TheseBuddhassayingstellusthatbeforethisthemonksrobesarenotcutupin piecesastheyhavebeenseeninthepresentday. FollowingtheBuddhasaddressto Ananda,monksbeganusingthepatternderivedfromMagadhafields. ThreeRobes AftertheBuddhagaveanallowanceformonkstoreceivetherobematerialsgivenby householders,manyrobesaccruedtomonks.OnedaytheBuddhasetoutontourfrom RajagahatoVesaliaccompaniedbyseveralmonks.Someofthosemonksputabundleof robesontheirheads,someontheirbacks,someontheirhips. Havingseentheseundesirablescenes,itoccurredtotheBuddha:Thesefoolish menhaveturnedtooquicklytoabundanceofrobessupposeIweretosetalimit,wereto establishboundsastorobesformonks? Onenightinthewintertime,theBuddhasatdownintheopenairwithonlyonerobe. Asthefirstwatchwasending,theLordbecamecold,thenheputonasecondrobe. Asthe

middlewatchwasending,theLordbecamecold,thenheputonathirdrobe.Asthelast watchwasending,theLordbecamecold,thenheputonafourthrobe,Atthattimethe Buddhawasnotcold.ThenitoccurredtotheBuddha: SonsofrespectablefamiliesinthisDhammaandVinayasusceptibletocold, afraidofcold,areabletokeepthemselvesgoingwiththreerobes.SupposeI weretosetalimit,weretoestablishboundsastorobesformonksandwereto allowthreerobes? Iallowyou,Omonks,threerobes:adoubleSanghati(outer cloak),asingleUttarasanga(upperrobe),asingleAntaravasaka(innerrobe). InthebeginningoftheBuddhasperiod,theKasayarobewasusedaswearingand coveringmaterials,theupperrobe(Uttarasanga)wasusedasoneshouldercovering.After theBuddhasallowanceofthreerobes,threekeyPaliwordsSanghati,Uttarasangaand Antaravasaka,werewellknowntothepublic.Sanghatiwasusedforcoveringoutsideto releasethecold.Uttarasanga8 wasusedforcoveringwithoneshoulderopen. Antaravasaka9 wasusedforcoveringthelowerbodyarea. Onlythreerobesareallowedforeachmonk. Accordingtothedisciplinaryrule,the extrarobeisnotallowed. Whoeverwantstopossessanextrarobe,theymustabideby somerulesthatis,theextrarobemustbeassigned. Thatis,theownermonksmustmake itbelongtoanothermonk. ThisprocessiscalledVikappa(maketherobebelongtotwo persons,coowners),andafterthattheownermonksmustgetanallowancefromtheother coownermonkbeforeusingthoserobesotherwisetheyaresentencedtoanoffenceof
10 expiationinvolvingforfeiture.

ThreeRobesandSomeVinayaRules WhentheBuddhaallowedmonkstoreceiverobematerialsfromhouseholders,many householderssupportedthemonkswithrobes. Themonksalsocollectedtherobesof variouskinds,varioussizes,variouscolors,variousformats,etc. Thesebehaviorscaused unsatisfactorinessamonghouseholderswhosawtheeventsorheardofthose. Therefore,


11 asaconsequencetheBuddhasetforththerulesoftrainings involvingrobes:

1.Rulesformonks(Bhikkhu) (1) Whoevermonkshouldwearanextrarobe,thereisanoffenceofexpiation involvingforfeiture.

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AccordingtothecurrentThaiBuddhisttradition:theUttarasangaorCiavaraisforcoveringthebody. TheAntaravasakaisthelowerskirtlikecoveringcalledSabongintheThaiBuddhisttradition. 10 PaliphraseforexpiationinvolvingforfeitureisNissakkiyapacittiya.Itisthenameofonekindofoffence. 11 PaliphraseforrulesoftrainingsisSikkhapadani.

(2) Whentherobematerialissettled,whenamonkskathina(privileges)havebeen removed,ifthismonkshouldbeaway,separatedfromhisthreerobesevenfor onenight,thereisanoffencetoexpiationinvolvingforfeiture. (3) Whentherobematerialissettled,whenamonkskathina(privileges)havebeen removed,ifrobematerialshouldaccruetothemonknotattherighttime ThesedataareseeninVinayaPitaka,(Bhikkhu)Vibhanga. Therearemanymore rulesoftrainingsinvolvingmonksrobes. ThekeywordshereareextrarobeKathinaand righttime. ThePalitermextrarobeisAtirekacivara. Itmeanstherobe(Civara)other thanthreerobeswhicharefixedbytheVinayarule. TheKathinaheremeansthespecialmeritoriousperformanceinthespecialperiod,
st th withinonemonthafterrainretreatstartingfrom1 waningmoondayof11 lunarmonthto th th 15 waxingmoondayof12 lunarmonth. Thetimeduringtheseperiodsaredeterminedto

betherighttimehere. ThePalitermfortherighttimeisCivarakala.
th th Therighttime(Civarakala)canbeextendeduptothe15 waxingmoondayof4

lunarmonthinthefollowingyearincasethemonkshavepassedthreemonthsofrain retreat,participatedinKathinofferingandrejoicedinit,thentheyhaveprivilegesforfive monthstobeawayfromtheirthreerobes.Thereisnooffenceofexpiationoccurringto them.Inreality,therearemanymeaningforthewordRighttime. Onlyonemeaningis saidhere. Apartfromtherighttimementionedabove,monksareallowedtokeepextrarobefor tennights,afterthatthemonksmustmaketheextrarobebelongtoanothermonk(thisis calledVikappa=maketherobebelongtotwopersons),andgetanallowancefromthat monkbeforeusingthoserobesasmentionedearlier. 2.RulesofNuns(Bhikkhuni) Thenunsmostlyabidebythesamerulesoftrainingsasthemonksdo(181rulesof trainingsaregeneralformonksandnuns,130rulesoftrainingsarespecificfornuns). Inthe matterofnunsrobes,theregulationinvolvingrobesisbasicallythesameasmonks,with somedifferences: Below,aremanypassagesfoundinVinayaPitaka,(Bhikkhuni)Vibhanga: (1) Whoevernun,thinkingthatrobematerial(given)notattherighttimeisrobe material(given)attherighttime,havingallotteditshouldhaveitdistributed,there isanoffenceofexpiationinvolvingforfeiture. (2) Whoevernunshouldwearanextrarobe,thereisanoffenceofexpiation involvingforfeiture.

(3) Whoevernun,nothavinggivenupherhouseholdrobe,shouldmakeuseofit, thereisanoffenceofexpiation. TheinterestingissuewhichisdifferentbetweenVinayaruleofmonksandVinayafor nunsinvolvingrobesisthatthenunsareallowedtopossessfiverobes,whilethemonksare allowedtopossessthreerobes. Theextrarobe,therefore,fornuns(Bhikkhuni)meansother robethanthesefiverobes. ThreerobesformonksareSanghati(outercloak),Uttarasanga (upperrobe),andAntaravasaka(Antaravasaka),BathingrobeandBreastwrapping. TraditioninthePresentDayThailandIncomparisonwiththeBuddhasPeriod 1.WearingStyle Thewearingmanneroftherobes,intheBuddhasperiod,wasveryimportantand wasoftenassociatedwithnoblebehavioror,inthegoodtraditionofmonks. Monks shouldkeepthestateoftheirrobesintheirmind,thoughthereisnotgraveoffenceoccurring tomonkswhodonotfollowregulations. InVinayaPitaka,(Bhikkhu)Vibhanga,therearemanypassagesfoundinthesection involvinggoodtraditionofmonkssuchas:attheBuddhastime,thegroupofsixmonks dressedwiththeinnerrobehangingdowninfrontandbehind,putontheupperrobe hangingdowninfrontandbehind.TheBuddhasetforththeserulesoftraining: ThisruleoftrainingshouldbeobservedbymonksIwillweartheinnerrobeall round. Theinnerrobeshouldbewornevenly[paralleltotheground]thusroundworn aroundforcoveringthecircleofthenavel[bellybutton],thecirclesoftheknees. Whoever, outofdisrespect,dresseswithaninnerrobehangingdown[unevenly]infrontandbehind, thereisanoffenceofwrongdoing.Inanothersectionoftheserulesfortrainings,the Buddhasetforththeserulesoftraining: AruleoftrainingshouldbeobservedbymonksNotliftinguptherobeswillI gositdownamidstthehouses. Themonksshouldnotgositdownamongthehouseswiththerobesliftedup. Whoeveroutofdisrespecthavinglifteduptherobeononesideoronboth,goessitsdown amidstthehouses,thereisanoffenceofwrongdoing. Inprinciple,thewearingstyleofThaimonksconformstothedisciplinaryrules.There maybesomemannersthataredeviated,dependinguponlocaltraditionsandsituations.It isnoteworthythatintheBuddhasperiod,theSanghati(outercloak)wasusedasoutside coveringcloth.TheUttarasanga(upperrobe)wasusedascoveringcloth(openingone

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shoulder).TheAnataravasaka(innerrobe)wasusedasputtingoncloth.Onthecontrary, ThaimonksinthepresentdayusetheSanghati(outercloak),asputtingcloth(onleft shoulder),Uttarasanga(upperrobe,orCivara)astotalcovering,orcoveringcloth(opening oneshoulderconformingtosituations),Anataravasaka(innerrobe,orSabong)asputtingon cloth(fromwaistdowntohalfofleg).Nowadays,therearetwodressingmethodsaccording totraditionofThaimonks: (1) totalcoverdressingissubdividedintwo 1) foldingclockwisetheedgeofUttarasanga(upperrobe,orCivara),liftingit up,thenputtingonleftshoulder,pressingthefoldwithlefthand. 2) foldinganticlockwisetheedgeofUttarasanga(upperrobe,orCivara), liftingitup,thenputtingonleftshoulder,notpressingthefoldwithleft hand,butspreadingtherighthandout. (2) halfcoverdressingissubdividedintofour 1) (a).wearingbyputtingtherobeonleftshoulder,or(b).pleatingtherobe thenputtingitonleftshoulder,or(c).layingovertherobeonthebackor (d).foldingtherobethenputtingitonleftshoulder. Moreover,ThaimonksinthepresentdayliketopleattheUttarasanga(upperrobe), putitonleftshoulder,andthenputtheSanghati(outercloak)onit,thentighteningitby wrappingaroundthebodywithsmallcloth[likeanouterbelt],especiallywhenthey participateinceremonywithinanymonastery. 1. Color TherearefourmaincolorsofrobesinThailandthatthemonksusenowadays:saffron robe(yellowbutindeedsimilartomoderndaysafetyorange!),blackcoloredrobe[rarely observed],redcoloredrobe,andthecolorderivedfromtheheartwoodorcoreofthejackfruit tree.

2. RobesLookandSize TheBuddhasetaregulationthattherobesmustbecutup,consistingofmany piecesofcloth.Themonksarenotallowedtowearrobesthatarenotcutup.Whoever shouldwearone,thereisanoffenceofwrongdoing.Themonkshavetopreparerobeslike thefieldofMagadha.Therearepartsofrobesasfollows:acrossseam,acircularseam,a shortcircularseam,acentralpiece,asidepiece,aneckpiece,akneepiece,anelbow

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piece.Thereisalinebetweentheseparts.[Robesarenottoappearasbeingfromasingle pieceofclothbutsewedtogetherfromstrips.] Concerningtherobessize,whatistheupperlimit?Whatisthelowerlimit?Thereis noexactlimitofsize.Butthesmallestrobeshouldatleastconsistoffivesections(Khanda), thebiggestoneshouldconsistofelevensections,itshouldnotbebiggerthanthis.Inthe Buddhasperiod,thesizeofrobemightdependuponthebodysizeofmonks.Asadata foundinVinayaPitaka,(Bhikkhu)Vibhanga,thereisonlyregulationasfollows: Whoevermonkshouldhavearobemadethemeasureofawellfarersrobe (Sugatasrobe),ormore,thereisanoffenceofexpiationinvolvingcutting down(Chedanaka).Thisisthemeasurehereofawellfarersrobe(Sugatas robe)forawellfarer(Sugata):ninespansoftheacceptedspaninlength,6
12 spansinbreadth thisisthemeasureofawellfarersrobe(Sugatasrobe)for

awellfarer(Sugata). TheThaitextVinayamukhaVol.12tellusthatthereisanapproximatelylimitfor theSanghati(outercloak)nottobelongerthan6cubits,notbroaderthan4cubits. Wecall itSanghatiintheThaitradition.TheUttarasanga(upperrobe)shouldnotbelongerthan6 cubits,notbroaderthan4cubits. WecallitCivaraintheThaitradition.The Anataravasaka(innerrobe)shouldnotbelongerthan6cubits,notbroaderthan2cubits. WecallitSabongintheThaitradition. ThreeRobes,VinayaRulesandtheModernDayContext Discussingaboutthecolorfirstly,whenwetalkaboutthemonksrobes,theEnglish termyellowrobeisusedallthetimes.Inreality,arethemonksrobesreallyyellow? What exactcoloraretherobes?AsthepassagefoundinSamantapasadika,theVinaya CommentarytellsusthattheBuddhausedredcoloredrobes. HavingconsideredthemeaningofKasaya(Kasavasaffronrobe)andtheBuddha allowanceaboutsixkindsofrobedyesasmentionedinVinayaPitaka,Mahavaggaearlier wecanassumethattheKasayashouldcompriseofanycolordependinguponthematerial usedforthecolordye.Severalsubstancesshouldbeusednotasingularpurecolorof mixedcoloration. Whatevercolorrobesdonotmatter,conditionthatthoserobesshouldnotbealldark green,allyellow,allred,allcrimson,allblack,alldyedbrownishyellowandalldyedreddish yellow. Themonksmusthaveacommonsenseofusingtherobethatmaybewhatever

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1spanofSugataisequalto3spansofthemiddlesizedmaninthepresentday.

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color. Theyshouldnotwearrobesthatreflecttheirdefilementsandagainsthouseholders feeling. Forexample,therobesshouldnotbedecorativedesigned,theflashycoloredrobes arealsonotsuitable,andthegraycoloredrobesarenotsuitableformonks. Therobes


13 colorshouldbeinaccordancewiththedisciplinaryrulepluslocaltradition.

Secondly,discussingabouttheformatofrobestherobescanbeonepieceofcloth consistingoffive,six,seven,eight,nine,ten,orelevensectionslikeafieldofMagadha.Or itmaybeonepieceofclothlikeanAntaravasaka(innerrobe:Sabong)inThaimonks tradition.OritcanbetrousersliketheMahayanamonksdress.Itdoesnotmatter, dependingupontraditionandsituations. Thirdly,concerningthenumberofrobes,itshouldbethreerobes.Wehavealready knownthefactsaccordingtothedisciplinaryrules,monksareallowedtopossessonlyone setofthreerobes(Sanghati,Uttarasanga,andAntaravasaka).Theextrarobeisnot allowed.ThepurposeofVinayarulesinthismatteristoinformthemonksnottodisturbthe villagersinvolvingrobes. TalkingalookatthesituationsintheBuddhasperiod,therichhouseholdersliketo supportmonkswithrobesthatmakemonksindulgeincollectingtherobes.Supposethose monkstravelandstayinsomeplaceswherethepoorhouseholdersarestayinghowcan theysupportmonkswithrobes?AccordingtoVinayarules,themonksarenotallowedto askrobesfromthehouseholderswhoarenottheirrelatives.Whoevermonksdoso.There isanoffenceofexpiationinvolvingforfeiture. Inthepresentdaycontext,threerobesformonksandfiverobesfornunsasfixedin Vinayarulearesuitable.Whenthemonksneedonemoreortwomorerobes,thereare manyexceptions,orchannelstoproceedwithoutviolatingtheVinayarules.Additionally,in someplacesandsometimes,themonksmaywearwinterclothesinthewinter,apartfrom threerobes,dependinguponsituationsbutmonkshavetokeepintheirmindthatonlythree robesarepermitted. Fourthlyconcerningthesize,itisnoteworthytomentionthatintheBuddhasperiod, whenwetalkaboutthreerobes(Pali:Ticivara)itmeans:Sanghati(outercloak), Uttarasanga(upperrobe),andAntaravasaka(innerrobe),andthesethreerobeswerethe samesize. Latertime,thereisloosestipulationthattheSanghati(outercloak)shouldnotbe longerthansixcubits,notbroaderthanfourcubits. TheUttarasanga(upperrobe)should notbelongerthansixcubits,notbroaderthanfourcubits.TheAntaravasaka(innerrobe)
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[Editorscomment:additionally,robesshouldnotbeembroidered,orresemblerobesofothersects,according todifferentpassagesfromtheVinaya.]

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shouldnotbelongerthansixcubits,notbroaderthantwocubits,conditioningthatthesizeof thoserobesshouldnotbeequaltoawellfarersrobe(Sugatasrobe). Thewearingstylemayalsobevariedintimesandplaces. Incasetherearenoindicatorsthatthewearingstyle,color,format,sizeand whateverinvolvingrobesconformingtooragainstthedisciplinaryrules. Howcanwejudge thecasethatwhichoneisright,whichoneiswrong?DuringtheBuddhastime,acertain consciousnessaroseamongsomemonks,astothisandthatoccasion,thinking:Now,what ispermittedbytheLord? Whatisnotpermitted? Pertainingtothisepisode,andinorderto judgefutureconsiderations,reflectionshouldbedirectedupthissectionintheVinaya Pitaka,Mahavagga: 1. Whateverhasnotbeenobjectedtoasnotallowable,ifitfitsinwithwhatisnotallowable andgoesagainstwhatisallowable,thatisnotallowable. 2. Whateverhasnotbeenobjectedtoasnotallowable,ifitfitsinwithwhatisallowableand goesagainstwhatisnotallowable,thatisallowable. 3. Whateverhasnotbeenpermittedasnotallowable,ifitfitsinwithwhatisnotallowable andgoesagainstwhatisallowable,thatisnotallowable. 4. Whateverhasnotbeenpermittedasallowable,ifitfitsinwithwhatisallowableandgoes againstwhatisnotallowable,thatisallowable Finally,wehaveknownverywellthattherobesareoneoffourrequisites,whichare necessitiesoflifeaccordingtoBuddhisttradition. TheBuddhainculcatedthemonks,saying Beforeusingrobesandafterusingrobes,monkshavetodeliberatelythinkoverthree robes,thinkingthatthreerobesareusednotforanyotherpurposes,butforprotectingthe bodyfromcold,heat,mosquitoes,etc. Themonksandnuns,therefore,shouldfollowthe Buddhassaying. Weshouldadjustourselves,inthemeantimewedonotviolatetherules amidstmoderndaymaterialism. Thedisciplinaryrulescomefirst.Thenthemonksand nunstravelaroundtheworldtopropagatetheBuddhasTeaching,theycanadoptandadapt therulessuitableforeachsituationforthebenefitsandhappinessoftheworld.