Buddhist religious clothing, amulets & talismans

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In Buddhism, religious clothing is not required however, many Buddhists choose to wear special clothing as a sign of respect for the Buddha and his teachings.

It is important to remember that the purpose of religious clothing is not to show off or to attract attention, but rather to express respect and reverence for the Buddha and his teachings.

Buddha taught that the path to enlightenment is within each of us, and that we all have the potential to achieve it.

The monk & nun robe

Lao Walking Monk

Lao Walking Monk

The most common type of Buddhist religious clothing is the robe, which is worn by and nuns.

The robe is a symbol of the monk’s or nun’s renunciation of worldly possessions.

The robe is typically made of simple, natural materials such as cotton or linen.

The color of the robe varies depending on the tradition, but is typically a light shade such as yellow, orange, or brown.

In some traditions, the robe is dyed with a special dye that is believed to have spiritual properties.

The robe is worn draped over one shoulder and fastened at the waist with a belt.

If you are considering wearing religious clothing, it is important to consult with your teacher or spiritual advisor to ensure that you are doing so in a way that is appropriate for your tradition.

Amulets & talismans

Somdej Wat Rakang

Somdej Wat Rakang

Buddhists may also wear special amulets or talismans as a form of religious clothing.

Amulets and talismans are often made from materials that are considered sacred or powerful, such as metal, stone, wood, or bone.

These amulets are often inscribed with sacred texts, images, or they simply decorated with auspicious .

Amulets and talismans are believed to protect the wearer from harm and to bring good luck.

They are often worn as part of a religious practice or as a sign of devotion to a particular deity.

Amulets and talismans are not just restricted to Buddhists; many people of other faiths also wear them.

Buddhist jewelry

Buddhists may also wear special jewelry such as bracelets or necklaces that are inscribed with religious symbols made by artisanal craftspeople.

Buddhist jewelry can be worn as a sign of faith, as a fashion statement or given as a gift to loved ones.

Some Buddhist jewels are also passed down from generation to generation or sold to raise money for charities.

Buddhist jewelry is often considered to be sacred and is treated with great care.

Glossary of Buddhist religious clothing

This is a glossary of some religious clothing and garments worn by diverse Buddhist practitioners around the world.


A (絡子) is a traditionally Japanese garment worn around the neck of Zen Buddhists who have taken the precepts. It can also signify Lay Ordination. It is made of 16 or more strips of cloth, sewn together into a brick-like pattern by the student during their period of preparation for their jukai or ordination ceremony.

Draped garment

A is a garment that is made of a single piece of cloth that is draped around the body; drapes are not cut away or stitched as in a tailored garment. Drapes can held to the body by means of knotting, pinning, fibulae, clasps, sashes, belts, tying drawstrings, or just plain friction and gravity alone. Many draped garments consist of only one single piece.

Kasaya (clothing)

Kāṣāya are the robes of fully ordained Buddhist monks and nuns, named after a brown or saffron dye. In Sanskrit and Pali, these robes are also given the more general term cīvara, which references the robes without regard to color.


Pratheedhi, a loose garment was a part of the bride's attire made of simple strip of cloth. Pratidhi was an unstitched garment similar to almost all contemporary clothes that were wrapped around the body in different ways. The women were fastening it up at the back. The materials were usually animal skin, cotton, wool, or silk.

Pratheedhi, a loose garment was a part of the bride’s attire made of simple strip of cloth. was an unstitched garment similar to almost all contemporary clothes that were wrapped around the body in different ways. The women were fastening it up at the back. The materials were usually animal skin, cotton, wool, or silk.


(作務衣) is the work clothing of Japanese Buddhist monks, worn when engaged in samu.


and “Ni-fo-si-na” were the costumes of śramaṇa people in India. In the 7th century, the Chinese traveler Xuanzang described Sramana’s dress as three different types of robes, which were different in style and cut according to the school they belonged to. Some robes have small or large flaps, though some have narrow or wide borders. The Sang-kio-ki provides cover for the left shoulder while concealing the two armpits. On the right, it is worn closed, while on the left side it is open. It has a longer length down to the waist. The Ni-fo-si-na was a loin cloth, It was plaited in folds and fastened around the loins with a cord. It doesn’t have any tassels or griddles. Different schools were using different colours of the garment, such as red and yellow.


(Stanmasuka) was a loose wrap cloth for the upper body. It was a chest band used in ancient India. It was a simple upper garment of the females during the ancient time similar to the mamillare or strophium used by the Roman women. Stanapatta was a part of Poshak. Kālidāsa mentions kurpasika, another form of breastband that is synonymized with uttarasanga and stanapatta by him. Innerwears for lower parts were called nivi or nivi bandha. The Skandamata sculpture of Malhar depicts the use of stanapatta and kanchuki in ancient times.

Temple robes

describe the ceremonial clothing worn in the performance of ordinances and ceremonies in a temple.


An is a loose piece of upper body clothing. It is a single piece of cloth that falls from the back of the neck to curl around both arms and could also drape the top half of the body. An Uttariya is similar to a veil, a long scarf and shawl.

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