Right

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The right (dakkhiõa) is that side of an object towards the east when the object faces north. In ancient India, as in nearly all cultures, the right was considered best, the most auspicious, pure and correct.

In English an indispensable assistant is referred to as a ‘right-hand man’ and people say they would ‘give their right arm’ to acquire something they really want. Throughout the Tipitaka, people are described as departing from either the Buddha or some other respected person ‘keeping him to the right’ (D.I,89). In Buddhist countries today, people walk around a stupa in a clock-wise direction, keeping it to their right. When monks bow before a Buddha statue or a senior monk they will expose their right shoulder, the equivalent of taking off one’s hat. In Buddhist countries it is considered polite to give and receive things and also to eat with the right hand. However, regard for the right is a matter of courtesy and custom and has nothing to do with the Dhamma as such.

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