Kasaya Buddhism


Kāṣāya refers to the clothing of Buddhist monks and nuns (bhikkhus and bhikkhunis).

The name derives from the brown or saffron color of the dye used. In Sanskrit and Pali this clothing is known by the generic name cīvara, which refers to clothing regardless of color.


The Buddhist kāṣāya is believed to have originated in India as robes of Buddha's followers. A variant of this fabric bears a pattern that makes it resemble a rice field.

The original kāṣāya were constructed from scraps discarded from textile workshops; these were pieced together to form three rectangular pieces of cloth that were draped over the body in a certain way.

The three main pieces are known as antarvāsa, uttarāsaṅga and saṃghāti. Together they form the "triple dress" or tricīvara. The tricīvara is described in the Theravada Vinaya (Vin 1:94 289).


Antarvāsa is the undergarment that covers the lower part of the body. It is the undergarment for the other layers. It has a long neck and almost covers the torso completely. In depictions of Buddha, the lower part protrudes and appears in the approximate shape of a triangle


Cloth that covers the upper part of the body. It is placed over the undergarment or antarvāsa. Rarely appears in representations of Buddha as it is usually covered with the outer garment or saṃghāti.


Outer piece. It is placed over the other pieces, being the most visible part. Its form is very similar to the Greek himation and its shape and folds have been treated in the style of Gandhara Greco-Buddhist art.


Other garments that can be worn are:

The kushalaka, a garment at the waist that acts as a waistline.
The samakaksika, a buckled belt.

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