gymnosophist








noun

  1. one of a group of Jainist philosophers, existing from ancient times to c1000, characterized by refusal to wear clothes and the abandonment of caste marks; a member of the Digambara sect.

noun

  1. one of a sect of naked Indian ascetics who regarded food or clothing as detrimental to purity of thought
n.

c.1400, from Greek gymnosophistai “the naked philosophers,” from gymnos “naked” (see naked) + sophistes “sophist” (see sophist). Ancient Hindu holy men whose self-denial extended to clothes; they were known to the Greeks through the reports of Alexander the Great’s soldiers.

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