Ceremonial Donka Robe
Ceremonial Donka Robe

Ceremonial Donka Robe


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Ceremonial Donka Robe is hand-tailored in Nepal. The donka, a maroon or maroon and yellow wrap shirt with cap sleeves, is one of the three mandatory robes of an ordained sangha in the Tibetan tradition, the other two being the zen and the shamthap.

A donka has a number of segments, each with its own symbolism and meaning. The collar segment forms a ‘V’ around the neck, symbolizing the jaws of Yama, the lord of death. This reminds us that we could die at any moment and so must make every moment of our life meaningful.

The two sleeves are said to resemble the trunks of elephants and the armholes of the elephant’s eyes. In Buddhism, the elephant sometimes symbolizes the two main types of ignorance. Thus the two sleeves and their holes teach us that we should strive to overcome the two types of ignorance.

The blue piping on both donka sleeves symbolises Buddha’s secret teachings and reminds us to practice them.

This exquisite brocade donka is a unique, thoughtful offering for one’s teacher or abbot, creating immeasurable merit for the sponsor, and creating the causes for Dharma to remain.


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