baring the right shoulder

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at
Tue Oct 8 00:22:05 UTC 1996

I am forwarding this on behalf of my brother, Somasekhar Sundaresan, who
is on the list, but is not able to post to it. It makes an observation
about debates among Buddhist monks from Tibet and Nepal. 

S. Vidyasankar

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 06 Oct 96 18:49:46 PDT
From: som at
To: vidya at

    Dear Sankar,
    I  read a question on INDOLOGY about the Buddhist  sutra 
    on baring the right shoulder and clasping the hand.  The 
    discussion  however veered to the South Indian  practice 
    of   wearing  an  `angavastram'.  I  clearly   recollect 
    television documentaries on Buddhist stupas in Nepal and 
    Tibet, where the debates are held by monks seated  under 

    As  soon as one of the participants finishes making  his 
    point,  he  pulls up an invisible(?)  thread  (like  the 
    poonal) and claps his hands, not clasps, as mentioned in 
    the  query. This goes on throughout the debate and  each 
    participant  puts  forth his  argument  with  increasing 
    vehemence  and claps his hands with greater noise.  This 
    is    perceived   to   a   display    of    intellectual 


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