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Jaina Nude Saints
Jaina nude saints
Among Jains , there are two main sects- Shwethambara and Digambara. Shwethabars worship idols in pre-sainthood form whuile digambars worship god in the sainthood form.Nude saints are found in digambar jains community only.
symbol of great sacrifice
Sainthood itself, according to principles, is a symbol of sacrifice.Jaina saints follow strict principles.In digambar community, saints are of three catagories.
Kshullakas ware a safforn dhothi and asafforn colth is put across their bust.Aillaks ware only a piece in the waist just cover their penis, and nirgranthas are fully nude. This is always followed irrespective of seasonal changes.Female saints(nunns) are allowed only for the first stage and they are called Aryikas. Other two stages are not allowed for them.
Principles they follow
Principles followed by jaina nude saints are the following.
1 They wont take bath or brush their their teeth.They just wash their hands and feet and face after going for excretion. They just rub their teeth with finger after eating food. But they are not permitted to use brush and bathe , as we do. The reason is that, by that action, microbes and other small organisms on our body may die. And , a nirgrantha is to see that no creature dies by his behaviour.
2They take food only once a day.That too is a strict practice. They can not use dishes or dining table . They stand , stretch out their palms, and somebody put food into their open palms. That they test by perusing cleanly and, after confirming that no germ, nor any other dust is there in it, they eat it. If any such thing is found, they leave it there itself, and no food will be taken by them till next day.
3 If they hear any cry- of an animal, or a person in distress etc, while taking food , they give up their food then itself.
4.The food they take is simple and tasteless. They take rice, chapathis made of wheat, some curry( without salt), cocconut water.The food is just to get minimum sterngth required to maintain life activities.
5 They often take 'hunger vow'-i.e., no food for the day. Sometimes, this hunger vow continues for even eight days.The great nude saint of twentieth century, Acharya Shantisagarji maharaj, had a total period of twenty-six years of hunger in his life span of seventy years.
6 They should not use vehicles for movement.They have to walk by walking only.And they walk faster than us!As they are not supposed to use vehicles, they cannot be seen in foreign countries .They are seen only in India.
7 They do not use beds, sleeping bags, or bedsheets and rugs. They sleep on wooden planks or wooden cot, just with a mat on it.In sleep also they do not change their side,with the idea that some germ moving there might be get killed.
8 They do not speak at night.
9 They are not expected to involve themselves in any worldly matters.
10 Needless to say- they keep away from sex, not only phisically, but also mentally.
11 They keep only thse things with them -a pincha( a bundle of naturally fallen peacock feathers to brush away the dust while sitting), a kamandala( a wooden vessel to clean themselves after going for excretion) , shastras(religious books) and spects, if he is a person waring them.They do not keep money or any valuble things.
12 They are not supposed to get angry- even to one who blames them.
13 They don't even drink water after their regular food, i.e. once a day.
14 They remove their hairs on their face and head only with their hands/ They wont use tools for that.
Laughing at nude saints is easy. But how many of us can follow these things?