Have you never noticed just how wonderful and how beautiful the animals are, even unclothed? Even in their nakedness, they are innocent, simple and plain. You rarely ever think of an animal as being naked, and you will never see animals as naked unless you are hiding your own nakedness inside you! But those who are afraid and those who are cowards will try anything and everything to compensate for their own fear of nakedness. Because of the invention of such remedies, mankind is degenerating, day by day.
A man ought to be so simple that he can stand up naked, unclad, innocent and full of bliss. A person like Mahavir undertook to stand up unclothed and, likewise, every man should cultivate a mentality whereby he could also stand up unclothed. People, so-called religious people, say that Mahavir discarded clothes, that he abandoned wearing garments. But I deny this. His Chitta, his consciousness, became so clear, so innocent – as pure as that of a child – that he rose up, nude, to face the world. When there is nothing at all left to conceal, a man can lay himself bare.
The man covers himself because he feels there is something inside that needs to be hushed up. But when there is nothing to hide, one need not even put up with clothes. There is a great need for the kind of world where every individual will be so guiltless, so pure of mind and so serene that he will be able to discard his clothes.
Where is the crime? What is the danger in being naked?
It is a different matter if clothes are worn for other reasons, but if they are worn solely out of one’s fear of nakedness then this is contemptuous. Wearing clothes because of a dread of nakedness is indicative of a greater nakedness, is proof of a contaminated mind. But today we feel guilty even wearing clothes as if we still haven’t been able to scrub away the existence of our inner nudity.
Ah! God is so childish! He could so easily have created man with clothes.
By the way, please do not conclude that I am against the wearing of clothes. But I make no bones about stating that clothes worn out of sheer fear of nakedness do not cover nakedness; rather, they uncover it. This unnatural awareness of nakedness is contemptible and degenerating. And this awareness has been decreed by a long social tradition.
A person can seem naked wearing clothes and a nude person can appear to be clothed. Is it necessary to elaborate further on this point after seeing the modern, skin-tight clothes for both men and women? This is the outcome of an unsatisfied desire to leer at and to display the body. If men and women were familiar with each other’s bodies, clothes would automatically serve no other purpose than to protect the body. But alas, nowadays, clothes are designed to arouse sexuality.
Where is man’s civilization going when clothes are no longer clothes but aids to sexuality? This is why I advocate letting children remain nude up to a certain age. They should understand that the necessity for clothes has to do with something other than sex!
Moreover, the concept of nakedness is a subjective one. To a simple mind, to an innocent mind, nudity is not offensive; it has its own beauty. But up to now, man has been fed on poison, and gradually, with the passage of time, this poison has spread from one pole of his existence to the other. Consequently, our attitude to nakedness is completely unnatural.