Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby starter » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:49 am

I wonder if monastics are allowed to wear shoes, scarf or hat in winter, and sunshade in the summer, in and outside their monasteries. It's not good for health not to wear shoes, scarf or hat when it's cold, windy or snowing. Also it's not good to get sunburn without a hat in the summer ... I know some monastics do wear shoes and hats (not really due to illness) . Is that acceptable according to the Pāṭimokkha?

Thanks and metta!
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby appicchato » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:09 am

Depends on the locale...some are, some aren't...different countries (different weather extremes) have differing policies concerning your query...like everything else, 'it's all relative'...
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby starter » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:59 pm

Hello aoicchato,

Thanks for your comments. How about in the US and Canada? I'd think it should allowed due to the weather and health considerations.

Metta to all!

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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby Coyote » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:05 pm

If anyone has the time, could they please post the relevant rules from the patimokkha concerning this?

Much appreciated
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:27 pm

Sekhiyas 23-24.

I will not go [sit] with my head covered in inhabited areas: a training to be observed.

Covered here means covered with a robe, a scarf, or other similar piece of cloth. Sk 24 does not apply when one is sitting in one's residence in an inhabited area. The allowance for "one who is ill" under both rules means that one may cover one's head when the weather is unbearably cold or the sun unbearably hot.


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Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby starter » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:29 pm

"84. Should any bhikkhunī, not being ill, use a sunshade and leather footwear, it is to be confessed. [Sunshade: Cv.V.23.3; Footwear: See Mv.I.30, Mv.V.4.3, Mv.V.5.2]"

-- Does it mean non-leather footwear is allowed?
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby kilanta » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:01 am

starter wrote:"84. Should any bhikkhunī, not being ill, use a sunshade and leather footwear, it is to be confessed. [Sunshade: Cv.V.23.3; Footwear: See Mv.I.30, Mv.V.4.3, Mv.V.5.2]"

-- Does it mean non-leather footwear is allowed?


From Thanissaro Bhikkhu's exposition of the buddhist monastic code (mentioned earlier in Bhikkhu Pesala's post):

Footwear. The Canon mentions two kinds of footwear, leather footwear (upahana) and non-leather footwear (pāduka). Generally speaking, leather footwear — of very specific sorts — is allowable, while non-leather is not. At present, using the Great Standards, rubber is included under leather for the purposes of these rules.
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby starter » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:40 am

kilanta wrote:
starter wrote:"84. Should any bhikkhunī, not being ill, use a sunshade and leather footwear, it is to be confessed. [Sunshade: Cv.V.23.3; Footwear: See Mv.I.30, Mv.V.4.3, Mv.V.5.2]"

-- Does it mean non-leather footwear is allowed?


From Thanissaro Bhikkhu's exposition of the buddhist monastic code (mentioned earlier in Bhikkhu Pesala's post):

Footwear. The Canon mentions two kinds of footwear, leather footwear (upahana) and non-leather footwear (pāduka). Generally speaking, leather footwear — of very specific sorts — is allowable, while non-leather is not. At present, using the Great Standards, rubber is included under leather for the purposes of these rules.


It seems to me that it should be the opposite according to the above-cited bhikkuni monastic code. I thought that leather footwear is not allowable because of the killing of animals for leather.

Metta to all!
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:50 am

Don't look for logic in all the scriptural references against killing of animals, for instance some say its perfectly OK to hire someone to kill an animal so you can eat it, but not at all OK to hire some one to kill a person for you. It just doesn't make any sense. And if you look at the current anti vegetarian sentiment of a lot of Therevada Bhikkhus, you begin to wonder if 2000 years ago these same kinds of rationalization were used to change and or/edit the Buddha's intent when the sutras where compiled.

Certainly today a person that hires a hit man to kill someone is at least as guilty as the person that does the actual killing, to think this is any different for animals, defies common sense logic.
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby Nippapanca » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:20 am

With regard to footwear and headcover, a monk is allowed to wear sandals which do not cover the toes or heels, and to cover his head with a cloth (like a fold of his robe, or his sitting cloth), inside the monastery or in uninhabited areas, like a forest, or if he is unwell. So if, for example, it's blazing hot and he'd burn his feet walking on hot pavement, then it would be allowable to wear sandals even in town. Hats, caps, and also turbans are out. It is my understanding that wearing shirts, thermal underwear, etc. is technically not allowable. It is allowable to wear thick robes though, and to wear a cloak made of woolen felt called a pavara or pavurana. Monks in the West, however, prefer to wear tropical attire in accordance with SE Asian tradition, and then wear shirts, etc. underneath. I must admit that wearing a felt blanket in cold weather makes it difficult to accomplish useful work. But monk robes aren't really designed for work either.

And it really is not allowable for a monk to order, or even hint, to have an animal killed. And if a monk even suspects that an animal was killed for his sake, he is forbidden to eat its flesh.
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Re: Are monastics allowed to use footwear and headcover?

Postby Martin Po » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:44 am

Wearing is used to protect a bhikkhu from hot weather, cool weather, from mosquitoes etc.
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