What are Buddhist Monk Robes?

Buddhist monk robes are the garments that Buddhist monks and nuns wear. These monastic robes are also known as Kasaya which is named after saffron dye and also monk robes are called “Civara” in Sanskrit and Pali.

When talking about modern Buddhist monk clothing it interestingly goes all the way back to the Lord Buddha’s Era 2500 years back where Buddhist monk robes were made without using complex machineries. At the ancient times Buddhist monk attires were very simple and were made up by sewing discarded rags after washing and dyeing, which are usually cloths that were soiled by child birth or used as shroud to wrap dead bodies before cremation. In the old days monks would go find those cloths from cremation grounds or dump sites and clean them first and then dye them by boiling with tree parts or spices.  

Why do Buddhist monks wear robes?

Lord Buddha has given the simplest answer for why Buddhist monks wear robes. He said I use Buddhist monk robes to ward off cold and heat, ward off the touch of mosquitos and flies and to cover the body parts which may cause shame.

What do Buddhist Monk Robes Symbolize?

What do Buddhist Monk Robes Symbolize?
What do Buddhist Monk Robes Symbolize?

According to Buddhist monks, Buddhist monk clothing express a visible way of uniformity and intention to the world. It symbolizes stripping down all the personal attributes and aspects that one would easily use to define you or identify who you are.

The Robes also helps monks to remember their vocation which is to live apart from the worldly affairs so that one day they can attain nirvana without trapping in temptations.  

Why do Buddhist monks wear different color monk robes?

Why do Buddhist monks wear different color monk robes
Why do Buddhist monks wear different color monk robes?

It is said that in Buddha’s time saffron used to be the dominant color as saffron was the most common dye available at that time. Considering that saffron is not a good dye other colors might have emerges as alternative dyes.   

Buddhist monks mainly wear Orange, Yellow or Maroon, Saffron color Buddhist monk Robes depending on their region.

In Southeast Asian countries most of the monks wear Orange color monk robes while Tibetan and Myanmar monks wear Red robes and some monks in Sri Lanka, Thailand wear Yellow robes.

Orange has now become the color choice of Theravada Buddhist monks in Southeast Asia.

So the color preference of Buddhist monk robes varies with the culture of the region.

Which color robe did lord Buddha wore?

In most of the ancient Buddhist arts which were found in Sri Lanka and India, the Lord Buddha was shown wearing red color robes. So it can be assumed that Lord Buddha used to wear Reddish Saffron robes.

What are the parts of Buddhist monk costume?

According to ancient records, the robes worn by Theravada Buddhist monks of Southeast Asia considered to be unchanged that of the robes worn by ancient monk of Buddha’s era 25 centuries ago and it has three main parts.


Uttarasanga is the outer cloth as well as the most prominent part of the monk robe and usually entire left shoulder is wrapped using Uttarasanga and leaves the right shoulder open.


Antaravasaka is the inner robe and worn under the Uttarasanga to cover the lower body.


Sanghati is a large rectangular extra two fold robe which is used to cover upper body for warmth.

What are the most comfortable Buddhist monk Robes and Where to buy them?

There are a lot Monk costume type which are made using different material such as cotton, silk, wool or plant fibers.

If you are looking for a comfortable Robe to gift to a monk then you should buy a pure cotton Thai or Tibetan Buddhist monk robe as they are woven using 100% pure cotton. If you want to buy a Buddhist monk robe for cheap price you can search in EBay or Etsy as there are heaps of online sellers that sells monk robes.

You can also follow the bellow link to buy handmade pure cotton Tibetan Buddhist monk robe from a trusted seller on Etsy as there are choices of colors such as Orange, Yellow and Maroon.

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