For example Mahavira lived naked; that was his individuality. Nobody else is supposed or expected to live naked, unless one finds it an inner, intuitive vision, unless one finds that that is the only way he can be true to his self. Then it is another matter. But the Jaina muni, the Jaina monk, practices nudity – just an imitation, a carbon copy. And remember, imitation is always ugly because it creates a false person, it never gives you authenticity.
Mahavira was naked not because anybody had told him to be naked. He felt the immense urge to be just like a child and he followed his urge, and he suffered for his urge. He was chased from one village to another, mad dogs were put after him, he was stoned – because people thought he was destroying their morality, that he was a dangerous man.
In an orthodox country like the India of twenty-five centuries ago, a man walking naked would have been certainly a nuisance to people, to their conventional way of living, to their traditional style of thinking. Krishna did not live naked, Rama did not live naked, no Hindu avatara has lived naked. This man is destroying the whole tradition, culture, religion. Of course he has to be punished.
But Mahavira was immensely blissful. The Jaina muni does not seem to be blissful at all because he is simply an imitation. He is really torturing himself, forcing himself to be naked, because in his mind now greed has arisen: unless he looks like Mahavira he is not going to attain the ultimate liberation.
Now nakedness has become an essential thing – which it is not. Nakedness is not an essential thing. Buddha attained without being naked, Jesus attained without being naked, you can attain. And I am not saying that Mahavira did not attain by being naked – he attained. But these are individual things.
Buddhist monks go on following the Buddha. They sit in the same way, they talk in the same way, they behave in the same way. That is not going to help at all. That is not going to make you religious. That is not going to make you another Buddha. You are simply being stupid. And the more stupid you are the better you can imitate, because imitation needs no intelligence. In fact, only a mediocre mind can be imitative. The more intelligent you are, the more you want to be simply yourself – whatsoever it is. Now the whole thing is nonessential. For Buddha it was essential to sit that way; that was his intuitive feeling.
When Buddha dropped the ideas imposed on him by others, his followers left him. He had five followers – before he became very famous he had only five followers; that is before he became enlightened. Those five followers were very devoted to him for the simple reason that he was behaving just like any other Hindu ascetic, only with great stubbornness, doing all kinds of austerities, following all kinds of rules and regulations given in the scriptures. He was so particular about everything that these five followers thought that he was the greatest master.
Then one day he understood the whole stupidity of it: he is not following his own intelligence, he is simply following others, which may be right, may not be right. One thing is certain: they are a different kind of people and he is not that kind. He was suffering, but he was thinking it is necessary to suffer, that this pain is necessary to grow.