Response to allegation of allowing monks to wear shirts

The temple is alleged to have initiated a new monastic tradition by allowing monks to wear shirts. In fact, monks and novices at Wat Phra Dhammakaya don their monastic robes neatly and are highly regarded by the lay community. However, our 71-year old abbot, who in recent years has developed allergies, must wear a long-sleeve waistcoat under his outer robe to be shielded from any breeze. Similarly, Thai monks who are involved in Buddhist dissemination abroad in colder countries must rely on long-sleeve waistcoats for the very same reason. The Lord Buddha permitted such adaptation to protect the monks’ health. Thailand is a very tropical country, and no individual, unless necessary, would want to wear a long-sleeve waistcoat and generate additional heat.

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