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The alms bowl          Page 1

Monastic codes stipulate that the property of the monks must consist of three robes, a begging bowl , a razor , a needle, a belt, and a water filter . The rules governing the composition , size , production , acquisition, and maintenance of bowls are very precise.

The Buddha allowed only two types of bowls for alms clay and iron. It prohibits bowls of precious materials or impractical, such as gold, silver, tin , lead, copper, bronze , glass and wood. Today alms bowls are mostly iron or stainless steel.

The stainless steel bowls are rubbed with tar so that they do not shine . The bowls can be small , medium or large . As regards production techniques , codes indicate that pottery bowls should be cooked twice to ensure that they are properly tightened . Bowls iron must undergo five heaters to prevent rust . A bowl must be paid before a monk could take possession.

A monk can only have one bowl at a time. It must use the same bowl until it is damaged to the point of not being able to fix it.

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