People have done all kinds of things you may not believe in the past. People have remained naked…. What was the need for Mahavira or Diogenes to be naked? It is no longer natural for man to be naked in all the seasons; he lost that capacity long ago. All animals are naked, but they have a natural immunity. When it is winter their hair grows, when it is hot summer their hair falls. Nature has given them a protection.
The same protection was available to man too, but man is intelligent and can improve on nature. He found ways to cover his body according to the seasons. Naturally his body lost the natural growth of hairs. Now, to be naked…suddenly your body cannot create the mechanism to protect you.
I know Mahavira or Diogenes are unique individuals, but I think they were a little uncertain of their uniqueness. They fulfilled that suspicion, that missing gap, by being naked, because you cannot avoid giving attention to a naked person in a world where everybody is wearing clothes. The naked person stands aloof. You cannot avoid…it is almost irresistible to look at him, to ask, “What is the matter?”
But their nakedness became something spiritual; people started being respectful just because they were naked. Now, nakedness is not a quality or any qualification or any creativity; all the animals, all the birds, all the trees are naked.
There are still Jaina monks in India, not more than twenty. They used to be in thousands, but now to find that many stupid people is a little difficult. One Jaina monk dies and is not replaced, so their number goes on falling. Only twenty people all over India are still naked – and I have seen many of them; they don’t show any sign of intelligence, they don’t show any quality of silence, they don’t show any joy. Their faces are sad, dull, sleepy. They are suffering, they are torturing themselves, just for the simple reason that it brings the attention of the people.
Anything, howsoever stupid, is possible for man if it can bring attention to him.
In Russia before the revolution there was a Christian sect which used to cut their genitals publicly on a particular day each year – and they had thousands of followers. Their only qualification for being spiritual was that they had cut their genitals. When the day arrived, they would gather in a church courtyard and they would cut their genitals and pile them up. And thousands of people would come to see this stupidity.
The women were not left behind…of course they were in a difficulty because they don’t have hanging genitals to cut; their genitals are inwards. They started cutting their breasts – they were not ready to be left behind. It was such a messy and bloody affair, but people were touching their feet, worshipping them, and all that they have done is just an ugly act against nature and against themselves.