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thillaud at thillaud at
Wed Oct 2 10:40:12 UTC 1996

>It would seem that the clothing worn which would be
>removed to "bare the right shoulder" would be the robe
>which monks distinctively wore.  Would that mean that
>the gesture only occurred (perhaps somewhat
>anachronistically) within the monastic community?
>Does anyone know the origin of the robe and this
>gesture?  Is it perhaps Greek?  Isn't the robe found in
>Buddhist sculpture only in the Greek-influenced
>Gandharan school?

        I'll put my oar in with a mythological remark:
        The cutting of ennemy's right arm and shoulder is very well
attested in some indo-european traditions (examples in the Beowulf or in a
Scythian ritual related by Herodotus). If related, the gesture would be
clearly a submissive attitude (see too the 'shake hand').
        Just a track. Who will be the hunter ? (perhaps a search in indian
epic would be fruitful ...)

Dominique Thillaud - Universite de Nice - Sophia Antipolis
email : thillaud at

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