DooDoot wrote: ↑Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:20 pm
Therefore, what made the bhikkhu robes different to ordinary dress in the Buddha's time?? Merely colour? Merely being made from rags or discarded cloth?
The Buddha was a master in branding and the Vinaya has a whole section on robe materials.
Reading through it, it becomes obvious fairly quick, that at least some of the materials forbidden were so for the sole reason, that the clothing of his sect should differ sufficiently from those from other teachers, that they could not be mistaken. Unluckily we do not know, which particular styles as mentioned in the Vinaya as forbidden were worn by whom in particular.
In addition, the BUddha was very clear that his disciples should never wear typical householder styles of the time.
Lastly, there are detailed rules to exactly how many pieces a robe should contain, how it was cut, what exact coloring had to be used -- so one might again come to the conclusion, that the Buddha was well aware that the robes he asked his followers to wear would mark them out unmistakably and at first sight.
So yes, while robes might have been worn by many other followers of different masters (eg the Jains, etc), the Buddha created a unique and immediately recognizable style.
“A kusa-grass garment … a bark-fiber garment … a garment of bark pieces … a human hair blanket … a horse tail-hair blanket … owls’ wings … black antelope hide, (each of which is) a sectarian uniform, should not be worn. Whoever should wear one: a grave offense.”—Mv.VIII.28.2
“A garment made of swallow-wort stalks … of makaci fibers (§) should not be worn. Whoever should wear one: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.VIII.28.3
“Robes that are entirely blue (or green) should not be worn. Robes that are entirely yellow … entirely blood-red … entirely crimson … entirely black … entirely orange … entirely beige (§) should not be worn. Robes with uncut borders … long borders … floral borders … snakes’ hood borders should not be worn. Jackets/corsets, tirīta-tree garments … turbans should not be worn. Whoever should wear one: an offense of wrong doing.”—Mv.VIII.29
“Woolen cloth with the fleece on the outside should not be worn. Whoever should wear it: an offense of wrong doing.”—Cv.V.4
“Householders’ lower garments (ways of wearing lower cloth)—the ‘elephant’s trunk,’ the ‘fish’s tail,’ the four corners hanging down, the palmyra-leaf fan arrangement, the 100 pleats arrangement—are not to be worn. Whoever should wear them: an offense of wrong doing” …. “Householders’ upper garments are not to be worn. Whoever should wear them: an offense of wrong doing.”—Cv.V.29.4
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.