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Peter J. Claus pclaus at
Thu Oct 3 13:14:21 UTC 1996

Date: October 3, 1996 
Indology List
indology at
Dear Members
My colleague and I would like to thank all of you for
the insights you have provided on the formulaic phrase

and gesture of "baring the right shoulder" when
addressing the Buddha.
Particularly significant, I think, is the MahenjoDaro
sculpture and I am thankful for the reminder.  It seems
to me that it evidences the same distinctive practice
found later in the Buddhist monastaries, and certainly
pre-dates any Greek influences.  One wishes there were
more representation in the art of that period in order
to be able to assess whether it was a garmet and
gesture derived from general practice or whether it
already was a mark of monastic institutions.  I am not
sure that the South Indian practice at some temples of
removing the upper garmet is 'the same' gesture, but it
may be an equivalent.  
Incidentally, my colleague encountered the phrase in
the Chinese "Mugadeglyana Sutra" which she translated
to English as given in the original message.  There is
always the possibility of going astray in third or
fourth level translation, but her curiousity was peaked
by the phrase because (as mentioned in one of the
comments) it would be a rather uncouth gesture in
Again, we thank you all.
Peter J. Claus                        
fax: (510) 704-9636
pclaus at

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