nakedness of female ascetics

Tracy Coleman tcoleman at COLORADOCOLLEGE.EDU
Fri Jan 9 17:33:40 UTC 2009


See Padmanabh Jaini's superb study of  women's nakedness/women's salvation
in the history of Jainism, Jaina Debates on the Spiritual Liberation of
Women (originally a UC publication, but now available from Munshiram, I

--Tracy Coleman

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology on behalf of Ulrich T. Kragh
Sent: Thu 1/8/2009 5:37 PM
Subject: nakedness of female ascetics
Dear Indology-List,
I have been working on a number of 8th-9th century Buddhist Tantric texts
from NW Pakistan (Swat valley) written by female authors. One of the
sAdhanas specifies that the practitioner should keep the hair loose, keep
silent and be naked. From the context within the text, this appears to be
a general rule of behavior, and not simply an advice on how to act during
the ritual itself.
It made me wonder about the nakedness of female ascetics in general,
whether in the past or today. I am aware of the nakedness of some male
ascetics, such as modern-day male sAdhus and some Jain monks, but are
there generally speaking cases of female ascetics moving about naked in
Buddhism, Hinduism or Jainism? In the cases I know of today, female
ascetics do not practice nakedness. 
Dr. Ulrich Timme Kragh
Assistant Professor
Geumgang Center for Buddhist Studies
Geumgang University, Dae-myeong Ri, Sang-wol Myeon
Nonsan-si, Chungnam 320-931, Republic of Korea
Tel. +82-41-731 3618

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