What Religion Wears White Robes?

What Religion Wears White Robes? White robes are mostly worn by one of the major groups of Monks who are known as members of the white-clad society. 

The white-clad are a group of holiness inclined people who have been motivated to live a morally upright life and over time, quite a number of them have shown this by choosing the plain white robe as their apparel code.

Monks and Nuns are groups of religious souls that are based in India. They are primarily considered to be extreme when it comes to their belief system as they abstain from all other forms of earthly enjoyment and as well choose to apparel in plain white robes.

Monks and Nuns are divided into two major sections which include the Digambara and Whitish. On one hand, the Digambara Monks which means “Sky-sheath” choose to follow the traditional practice of Lord Vardhamana which states that, “they should get rid of any kind of earthly possession.”

As one of the major groups, the Digambara  Monks have encouraged themselves to continuously practice the act of bareness as a way of living a life devoid of any form of earthly property.

On the other hand, the White-Clothed  Monks as one of the two major branches were formed in 80.AD believes in the white-clad system and is recognized as ascetics who practice the act of always appearing in plain white robes.

The Digambara and White-cloth Monks are inclined to believe that their belief system is a way of showing that they have completely submerged themselves in living a morally spotless life. 

Over time, many of them have shown this chaste life by getting rid of clothes and also appearing only in plain white robes. According to them, this white robe signifies that they are humble and blemish-free.

Nonetheless, It is important to note that members of the community who are Nuns are always fully clothed and only the monks of these two major branches of religion either wear white robes or go bare

This article, however, will serve as a guide to giving you more details about what apparel in white robes entails and other religions that follow the same pattern of prioritizing white clothes.

What Does Wearing White Robes Signify?

White robes signify the epitome of perfection. It also shows purity and holiness. White robes also symbolize purity and innocence. It is mostly considered a sacred color that is prioritized amongst some groups of people who believe in the same faith.

According to the whitish Monks, White robes as a style of clothing worn by members of their community signifies the acceptance of belief and practice. 

Apart from that, wearing a white robe sometimes serves as the concluding part of the ritual carried out to initiate more members into their religion.

In some Christian religions, white robes symbolize being pure and free from sin. For members who have been baptized, white robes also portray their connection with God and in a way depict that the person has been transformed by God.

Still, according to some Christian scriptures, white robes also represent the righteousness of the saints who have been washed and made clean by the blood of the lamb which is the blood of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

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Why Does the White-cloth Monks’ Religion Choose to Wear Only White Robes?

The white-clad Monks and Nuns choose to wear white robes because they believe that white robes depict their clean and sin-free life.

Apart from showing that they’re clean, wearing white robes also serves as a symbol of their monastic belief system which was laid down by the teachings of Lord Vardhamana.

Most members of the Monks and Nuns who are a part of the white-clad community believe that wearing white robes serves as a reminder of where they belong and as well as a shield to the covenant they made with their leader, Lord Vardhamana.

Is Wearing of White Robes Only Meant for the White-Sheath Monks?

White robes are not only meant to be worn by the members of the white-clad community because apart from them, other religious groups also use them for their special occasions. 

Religious robes as the name implies are clothing mostly worn by the religious practices or tradition of a particular group of people that believe in the same faith. Some of these religious robes could include; plain white, black, yellow, or brown materials.

Apart from the second group of Monks who choose to be clothed in striking white robes, this plain-colored apparel style is sometimes also worn by other religious leaders or individuals on special occasions to celebrate the sacredness of a special day.

Although the white-clad members are mostly considered the only religious group who wear plain white robes because it is a part of their culture and tradition, it is safe to say that white robes are not only worn by the white-clad the community. 

Should Religion Determine What Color of Robe People Wear?

The link between religion and clothing style is quite interesting because some religions determine the apparel code of their members.

Just like schools create uniforms to depict their uniqueness and make them stand out in the crowd, most religions do the same to boost their level of morality and means of identification.

All religions indeed have different views about God and so they fine-tune their clothing style to suit their belief system.

Needless to say, clothes do not only cover the aspects of shielding a person’s nakedness, but it also serves as a form of moral inclination for some religious groups.

Therefore, in terms of religion and wearing robes, it is worthy of note that a person’s religion is likely to determine the type of cloth to be worn by the members.

Apart from being used to establish an identity, some clothing styles serve as a means of maintaining the code of conduct or showing the sacredness of the religion.

Are there Lessons or Consequences Attached to not Wearing White Robes?

Most members of Monks and Nuns view their religions differently although the two major groups follow the teachings of Lord Vardhamana

Some of their rituals are extremely strict as they do not believe in God, rather they believe in high powerful mortals. Monks and Nuns are very keen when it comes to following the teachings of their divine teachers, and because of this, they have laid down rules that guide their religious conduct.

In the community of the Monks and Nuns that houses the Digambara and white-clad members, it is considered disobedience if one defaults and refuses to strictly follow the rules of the sky-clad Monks or the rules of the white-cloth Monks.

According to the white-cloth Monks, wearing plain white robes signifies a commitment to their 29th divine Lord in the person of General Vardhamana and other divine teachers to remain pure and spotless.

The monks and nuns members of the Digambara and white-cloth community also believe that wearing plain white robes will not only help them remain pure but will also help them become spiritually prosperous and powerful.


Apart from Monks and Nuns, Which Other Religious Groups Wears White Robes?

A religious robe is a piece of clothing that is worn by different religions. Although Some of these religions may have different practices or traditions, some may align with another religious group that believes in the same faith.

However, there are different religious groups apart from the Digambara and a white-cloth group of Monks and Nuns who choose to prioritize white robes.

One of those religious groups is Judaism and one of their religion’s white robes is called Kittel. Kittel is mostly worn in the synagogue by the teacher(rabbi) on major festivals like New Year’s Day(Yom Hardin or Hazikaron).

Yom Hazikaron is a Jewish event in which a new year is celebrated. It is a time that usually calls for sober reflection. In the Jewish religion, Wearing the plain white robe on this occasion depicts the renewal of life and cleanliness from sin.

On other days, it is worn by the groom at a Juddish wedding as a symbol of the idea that it is love and not material possession that bonds the bride and groom together.

The Kittel also symbolizes peace, holiness, and renewal as the Jews also wear it when conducting the Passover feast and funeral ceremony.

Other religious groups that wear white robes are the Japanese, although it is a selected apparel code for special occasions such as martial arts practices. 

They also apparel their dead in plain white robes with the belief that in death, humans have left behind all dark tribulations of life to journey into enjoying an afterlife of purity and harmony.

What Religion Wears White Robes – Conclusion

Just as other religions have different clothing styles, Digambara and White-cloth Monks and Nuns also have theirs. While the Digambara religious groups believe that purity lies in the act of bareness, the white-cloth religion believes otherwise and in turn, fastens their belief to the ideology that purity lies in the act of appearing in plain white robes.

To many other religious groups, the clothing style serves as an important means of identification. Wearing a particular color of robe goes beyond the singular act of personal adornment because, in some religions, it aids in the religious code of conduct promotion which in turn helps members of other religious groups to easily identify a particular religion.

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