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For many years clothing has been used as a form of cultural identity. On the other hand, clothing is used to define a person’s occupation. For example, people working in white collar jobs dress differently from casual workers. Also, clothing is used to differentiate people according to religion. For example, Muslims dress differently from Hindus. Therefore, clothing distinguishes people according to different cultures, age groups, social-economic class, religion, occupation and gender.
Most people perceived Buddhism as a way of life rather than a religion. Buddhists were identified through their dress code. Buddhists were primarily viewed as teachers who taught people how to be happy and how to live peacefully in the society. The dress code of Buddhists was mainly robes (civara). Among the first requirements of the monks is to wear a robe as they enter the villages. It was mandatory for them to wear all three parts of their robes before entering the villages. The probe consisted of three parts an outer robe, upper robe and inner robe. The parts were worn on different parts of the body as an over garment, shoulders and torso, from the waist to the knees respectively.
In addition to the robes, Buddhist also wears a bracelet with 108 beads and beads. The beads were a symbol of the human passions that were assured by the Avalokiteshvara as they told the beads. The completion of a cycle of mantras was symbolised by three extra beads on the Mala. The three beads also represented the three jewels of Buddhism. The three jewels were Sangha, Dharma and Buddha. The penetrating power of the Buddhas was symbolised by the string that passed through all the beads. In Buddhism, mala is worn as a bracelet whereas priests wear them around their necks.
The Buddhists never biased people for what they believed in or what they wore. Therefore, Buddhists was more of a way of life than a religion. Buddhists were highly regarded in the community as profoundly religious people. Although modern Buddhists wear freshly made robes, they are still made of simple pieces of clothes made of discarded shroud and bits of rags to symbolise their simple spiritual lifestyle.
The monks perceive that Buddhist clothing represents a visible way of intention and uniformity to the world. Also, the robes cover the entire body that people cannot judge you according to bodily attributes. The robes enable people to concentrate on the monks’ teachings rather than his or her bodily attributes.
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