nakedness of female ascetics

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Sat Jan 10 18:43:36 UTC 2009

I have glimpsed occasional naked women ascetics in rural India 
(Maharashtra), but they may equally have been madwomen.

Dr Dominik Wujastyk
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
University College London

On Fri, 9 Jan 2009, Ulrich T. Kragh wrote:

> 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.
> Sincerely,
> Tim
> 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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