It is folly to imagine that by wrapping oneself in cloth one covered one’s indecency when the greater
indecency of a bad character is still exposed.
(Teruvalluvar).Nudity is the natural garb of man. Adam and Eve lived naked and were ashamed of it so long as they ate not the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Nudity is a primitive way of life of human race and a symbol of the highest pitch of renunciation and divinity of men. There is no gainsaying the fact that wearing of clothes goes with a higher state of arts and civilization, but it is attended with a lower standard of health morality and the travellers fully bear out the superior morality of the races that do not wear clothes.
Jain Nudity. In the Jain Community house-holders put on clothes and only those who aspire to sainthood are enjoined gradually to discard them retaining only the loin-cloth at a very late stage, but eventually giving up even this. Nuns certainly do not at any stage of sainthood remain naked they keep as few articles of dress as absolutely necessary.
Indecency. Nudity becomes indecent objectionable only when it assails virtue and modesty. An anecdote is related in a Hindu Purana of one stark naked Shukhdeva who passed by a pond where in certain damsels were taking bath but who took no notice of young man and remained engaged in fun and frolic. A little later when they saw this man’s aged father Vyasji coming that side immediately rushed out of water and resumed their apparels. The explanation offered is that though the younger men also passed by the same way, yet he had no eyes for their beauties while the extreme old age of the father did not prevent him from feasting his eyes on the charms and the fairly faces of the damsels. Nudity is indecency Yes, particularly so far as the females. But do you say when you see the images of men and women in all possible poses of actual inter-course at the so-called temple of Jagan-Nath Puri. You don’t find any such thing in any Jain temple.
In our own time Gandhi it once commended nakedness when in a letter addressed to the then Prime Minister of England Mr. Churchill, he considering it an in direct praise for himself to be called “a half naked faqir”, directly or indirectly, defended Jain nudity.
Natural wants of both sexes are attended to by parents—males and females. Female nurses attend on sick males and vice-versa. The vow chastity and celibacy of a Jain saint have in the past or even in the detoriating present never been heard of keeping their spouses with them in the Jungles or on the heights of hills or conveying marriage parties to the doors of brides and indulging in all sources of pleasures. Nay a Jain saint has no spouse at all. He goes about naked not because highly prized nirvana cannot possibly be attained without renunciation of all paraphernalia of the so-called Civilization, including the cloth, easuring a few inches by a few inches.
Nudity a virtue. Nudity in itself is not a thing of abhorance, rather it is a virtue much prized of in the past by religious men, who went about naked or half naked, Alexander the great took with him, when he returned after attacking India, a naked saint Kalyana, mentioned in Greek literature as Kalanavas. The Great philosopher Diogenes his contemporary, also lived naked, while the ancient Greeks made nude images.
The Greek scholars used the term Gymosophists to denote the naked saints of the Digambara sect of Jainism. The word was used by Magasthenese in the above sense. Jain nudity has however nothing in common with nudists’ moment prevails in the European countries. While in Europe nudism is practised for health of body, in Jainism the primary concern is health of spirit.
Nudity in the other religion. Among the Hindus naked saint-hood was widely recognised. The well-known Hindu saint Bharati Hari thus adores Jain nudity in the Vairag Shatak
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