Robe Offering

Robe Offering
Last night was the recitation of the rules (patimokkha) for the Uposatha. These days, we get some type of gifts after the meeting. The Thai donors, who are often seen on the daily meal donation board came with a bunch of slippers (flip-flops) and custom made robes from Thailand for Pa-Auk. I would guess that 600 robes were offered last night since they are aware of our numbers.
Pa-Auk robes are often custom made because the factory brand robes are often not sewn according to the monk's rules, although that is changing.
Sadhu for the Thai donors!
This will be probably our tenth robe received in a year's time. You might ask what we do with all of these robes.
Here is a famous quote from the cullavagga..
As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, King Udena spoke thus to the venerable Ānanda:
“Did not our concubines come here, good 1Ānanda?”
“Your concubines did come here, your majesty.”
“Did they not give anything to the honourable Ānanda?”
“They gave me five hundred inner robes, your majesty.”
“But what can you, honourable 3Ānanda, do with so many robes?”
“I will share them, your majesty, with those monks whose robes are worn thin.”
“But what will you do, good Ānanda, with those old robes that are worn thin?”
“We will make them into upper coverings, your majesty.”
“But what will you do, good Ānanda, with those upper coverings that are old?”
“We will make these into mattress coverings, your majesty.”
“But what will you do, good Ānanda, with those mattress coverings that are old?”
“We will make them into ground coverings, your majesty.”
“But what will you do, good Ānanda, with those ground coverings that are old?”
“We will make them into foot-wipers, your majesty.”
“But what will you do, good Ānanda, with those foot-wipers that are old?”
“We will make them into dusters, your majesty.”
“But what will you do, good Ānanda, with those dusters that are old?”
“Having torn them into shreds, your majesty, having kneaded them with mud, we will smear a plaster-flooring.”
Then King Udena, thinking: ‘These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, use everything in an orderly way and do not let things go to waste,’ bestowed even another five hundred woven cloths on the venerable Ānanda. Therefore this was the first time that a thousand robes had accrued to the venerable Ānanda as an alms of robes.
**
Sometimes, if the time is right, we may use the robes for ourselves, give them to a visiting monk who has a different color and wants to blend in, or give them to a newly ordained monk. Often, we will also find a monk who is going to another monastery and we will donate our robes and other goodies there. Pa-Auk gets really good quality robes which are comfortable to wear and are according to the rules.



Article by Bhikkhu Subhuti

Bhikkhu Subhuti is an American Buddhist Monk with roots in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar Forest Traditions. He currently resides in Myanmar but his heart sometimes floats back to Kauai, HI where he spent six months in 2015.