Color of monks’ robes

Why the color of monks’ robes is always either yellow or reddish brown? A foreigner once asked me this question and I could not answer him. https://dmc.tv/a3451

Dhamma Articles > Question and Answer for Life
[ Nov 9th, 2006 ] - [ read : 18244 ]
 
 
Question:
Venerable Luang Phaw, Sir, I would like to ask why the color of monks’ robes is always either yellow or reddish brown. A foreigner once asked me this question and I could not answer him.
  
 

Answer
by Venerable Dhattajeevo Bhikku
 
  Daughter, in Lord Buddha’s times, the color of monks’ robes was uneven. The reason was in those days, people used wood and tree rubber to dye cloth to make robes for monks. Sometimes, the rubber was taken from fruit trees and the colors were different.

For example, when I was a kid studying a grade school, I used to help my uncles to dye cloth to make robes for monks. They used color extracted from wood of  jackfruit trees. The colors of wood of these jackfruit trees varied from brownish yellow to yellowish.

Since Lord Buddha’s times, people have been using a dying technique that helps protect the robe from getting old too soon. The rubber from certain types of trees has a medicinal quality that can stunt the growth of bacteria in threads.

Dark brown color from certain types of wood is good for dying robes because the darkness of the color makes stains less noticeable.

Certain types of rubber prevent cloth from retaining humidity, and that is the main objective of dying.

So, in Lord Buddha’s times, it was common to see monks in different shades of robes. But the monks did not make an issue out of this.

However, it was different in Lord Buddha’s case. With the unsurpassed strength of his merit, he always received robes that had a color similar to the flame of a burning candle.

That’s the kind of color that pleases the eyes. Unlike pink or red, this flame-like color does not inspire lust. It inspires faith because it is not meant to be a decoration. 
 

The robes that some arahants wore had the color similar to the skin of an adolescent cow, which varies from brownish to dark brown.

 

Whatever the color is, it should be the same throughout the entire piece of robe. Monks wear three pieces of robes: waistcloth, upper robe, and outer robe.


These three pieces of robes should be in the same shade of color. It wouldn’t look nice if a monk wears three pieces of robes in three different shades.


These days we rarely use wood to extract color for dyeing. If we did what people had done in the past, many trees would have quickly disappeared from forests. So, nowadays people use dying chemicals and synthetic colors instead. As long as they produce traditional colors of monks’ robes, it’s all right.

When do I mean by ‘traditional colors’? I mean the most popular color used in a certain locality. For example, in Sri Lanka , the most popular color for monks’ robes is maroon. That’s probably because in the past Sri Lanka had a lot of wood of this color. And, that color remains in vogue to this day.

Monks in Burma wear a different color. Whereas monks in Thailand wear another color similar to what was obtained from wood in the olden days. Perhaps, that is why it is a popular color here.

In the past, forest monks in Thailand extracted colors from certain types of wood to dye cloth. Naturally, the color was dull but nobody minded. If somebody asked about the color, they’d just say it was suitable for nomadic monks who were always on retreat pilgrimage.

City monks have to use a synthetic dyeing agent instead because they cannot get wood in urban areas. They make sure to use an appropriate shade, not bright red or candy pink, but yellow. Gold yellow is also acceptable.

When they feel like going on a pilgrimage, they will wear robes of a different color similar to the color of wood used in olden days.

I’d say we shouldn’t take the difference in the colors of monks’ robes so seriously that it becomes a subject of argument. After all, these robes are just basic necessities for monks to live a happy life.

Whatever the color, the most important thing is that after once a person starts wearing this kind of robe he has to behave like a good monk. He has to follow all the rules of being a monk and study the teachings of Lord Buddha. He has to do all this so that he can serve as a field of merit for lay people.

When lay people meet a monk who is a fertile filed of merit, they should offer to give him basic necessities so that he can continue to do his job as a moral teacher and teach us invaluable lessons.


http://goo.gl/khYcK


พิมพ์บทความนี้



Related articles

      Conscripted Soldiers
      Five rooms which affect your habit :- dining room
      Five rooms which affect your habit :- restroom
      Five rooms which affect your habit :- Bedroom
      Five rooms which affect your habit :- Dressing Room
      Five rooms which affect your habit :- Working Room
      The white lie
      Merit from Offering Drinking Water to the Lord Buddha
      Mice died because of poisoned food
      Drink to keep us warm
      QA for Life :- The bad offering
      The Story of the Chicken Stars
      The Blood Donation


ปฏิทินวันพระ
ปฏิทินวันพระ

ธุดงค์แก้ว ศุกร์ เสาร์ อาทิตย์
ธุดงค์แก้ว ศุกร์ เสาร์ อาทิตย์

ปฏิบัติธรรมสมาธิแก้ว
ปฏิบัติธรรมสมาธิแก้ว

ปฏิบัติธรรมสมาธิแก้ว
บวชนานาชาติ

ตารางตักบาตรทั่วไทย
ตารางตักบาตรพระทั่วไทย

ตารางตักบาตรทั่วไทย
ศึกษาธรรมะทางไกล DOU

บวชพระ
สมัครบวชพระ

ค่ายปิดเทอม
ค่ายปิดเทอม

ธรรมะเพื่อประชาชน
ธรรมะเพื่อประชาชน

พุทธประวัติ
พุทธประวัติ

พุทธสุภาษิต
พุทธสุภาษิต

พระไตรปิฎก
พระไตรปิฎก

เคล็ดลับสุขภาพจากพระไตรปิฎก
เคล็ดลับสุขภาพจากพระไตรปิฎก

พระศรีอริยเมตไตรย์
พระศรีอริยเมตไตรย์

สามเณรอรหันต์
สามเณรอรหันต์

ธรรมกาย
ธรรมกาย

บทสวดธัมมจักกัปปวัตตนสูตร พร้อมคำแปล
บทสวดธัมมจักกัปปวัตตนสูตร พร้อมคำแปล

วัดในพระพุทธศาสนา
วัดในพระพุทธศาสนา

โครงการหมู่บ้านศีล 5 ประชาเป็นสุข
โครงการหมู่บ้านศีล 5 ประชาเป็นสุข

ความดีพื้นฐานสากล 5 ประการ
ความดีสากล 5 ประการ

สื่อการเรียนรู้พระพุทธศาสนา
สื่อการเรียนรู้พระพุทธศาสนา

ร้านหนังสือออนไลน์
ร้านหนังสือออนไลน์

Social Network กับงานพระพุทธศาสนา
Facebook Fanpage


รับแจ้งข่าวภัยพระพุทธศาสนาบนสังคมออนไลน์
รับแจ้งข่าวภัยพระพุทธศาสนา
บนสังคมออนไลน์ (Social Network)

สื่อประกาศขอขมาต่อวัดพระธรรมกาย
สื่อประกาศขอขมาต่อวัดพระธรรมกาย


สมัครเป็นอาสาสมัคร
สมัครเป็นอาสาสมัคร