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Did Buddha Wear Yagnopaveet

Did Buddha wear Yagnopaveet/Janeu


In ancient statues, Buddha is seen wearing a yajnopaveet. But according to the neo-Buddhists, those were created by Evil Brahmins in the wrong craftsmanship, and there is no evidence in Buddhist texts. Let see evidence of Yagnopaveet from Buddhist scriptures.

  1. In Avadhānastotram[vandanāstavaṁ vā] Boddhisatva is referred to as “यज्ञोपवीतफणिराजसुमण्डित” which means he is wearing Yagnopaveet and Naga at the back
  2. Many Buddhist gods; Hindu gods which are included in Buddhist pantheon; tantric gods are often referred to as “सर्पयज्ञोपवीत” means wearing sacred thread of Naga as a Yagnopaveet, reference can be found in multiple Buddhist Strotras and Tantrik texts
  3. In Tantric Theravada (now almost lost) Buddhist perform thread ritual along with several other Hindu rituals
  4. Jain saint SaubhagyaVijay says “जिन मुद्राथी विपरीत जाणज रे;कण्ठ जनेऊ आकार रे” during his visit to Bodhgaya, clearly mentioned janeu (Reference -teerthmaala)

In Female Bodhisattva representation, In strotram dedicated to feminine tantric goddess Brahmani, Guari, Lakshmi, Vajrayogini, Vajravarahi, etc. Referred to as नागयज्ञोपवीताङ्गं(Pīṭhastavaḥ verse5 & सर्पयज्ञोपवीत in Suprabhātastotram means body [decorated]by yajñopaveetam of Naga.

There are many practices related to the thread are found in some sects of Buddhism but they have given different connotations eg. Sai Sin in Thailand. Pali equivalent of Upnayana is “Opanayiko” it’s meaning is very different in the Pali canon, it is transformed into philosophical understanding.