8 Requisites

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The eight requisites (aññha parikkàra) are the eight basic necessities that Buddhist monks and nuns are allowed to have as their personal property. They are:

  1. an outer robe
  2. an inner robe
  3. a thick double robe for winter
  4. an alms bowl for gathering food
  5. a razor for shaving
  6. a needle and thread
  7. a belt
  8. a water strainer for removing impurities or insects from drinking water

Monks and nuns were expected to take everything they owned with them wherever they went ‘just as a bird takes only its wings with it wherever it goes’ (D.I,71). In practice monks and nuns today usually own far more than this, but the life of simplicity remains the ideal.