Religion and Fashion

The article ” The Truth About Tibetan Buddhism” by Brendan O’ Neill talked about the author’s personal views and his own understandings of the Tibetan Buddhism.  As an outsider of the Oriental religion, he felt weird about the Buddhist religious practices and material aspects.

The approach of Tibetan Buddhism is based on pure perception, literally seeing the world just as buddhas see it: everything that appears is the deity (buddhic form). everything that can be heard is mantra (buddhic sound).

The central focus of most religions is God, or gods. But Buddhism is non-theistic. The Buddha taught that believing in gods was not useful for those seeking to realize enlightenment. Unlike other religions, the focus of Buddhism is on practice rather than belief. That’s why they need to do the painful prostration practice

Buddha’s original teaching was a cognitive architecture. Basically, it is the manual for one’s mind and body. Buddha explains the science and function of our nervous system from over 2500 years ago before anyone had an inclination of what cognitive science is.

According to some reasearchs, Tibetan Buddhist monks have the highest levels of brain activity of the group tested in the area of contentment and happiness. The techniques they teach also improve immune function and affect health along many measurable dimensions.

So the costumes of Tibetan monks are worth mentioning. In daily life, a monk wears a shawl with the front and the back decorated with yellow cloth, and a long skirt, and drapes another long shawl that is approximately 2.5 times the length of his height.

The robes they wear symbolizes simple lives. A monk’s robe is like his uniform also symbolizes that  he no longer partakes in a material world. (It is interesting to see that a symbol of such self imposed insignificance has become so significant with time.)

It is also interesting to see that they use the color red to made their robes. The color red is considered a “poor” color in Tibet so the idea of wearing red symbolizes switching attention from oneself and focusing on compassion & kindness towards other beings – one of the main principles of Buddhism. Another reason that  had become the traditional monk robe color in Tibet mainly because it was the most common and cheapest dye at one point of time.
More links about the Buddhism:

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