I have this festival in my country, India, called "kumbh mela" which is one of the world's largest religious gathering. In it, many sadhus called naga who live naked take part.

What is the English word for such act?


Even if it is not a single word, I would suggest one of the following:

ascetic nudism,

ceremonial nudism,


ritual nudism


You are probably looking for;


  • the doctrine of a sect of Hindu philosophers who practiced nudity and asceticism and meditation.


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    That's the Greek word. I think it Enlish translation must be gurunekkidry. :) – tchrist Jun 5 '16 at 23:00

See Adamitism at


Nakedness; specifically the practice of going naked as a sign of spiritual purity.

Also from phrontistery.info

Adamitism - Nakedness for religious reasons

  • 3
    Of course, not one person in ten will know what that word means. – Hot Licks Jun 5 '16 at 12:39
  • @HotLicks Luckily, this word isn't meant for everyone. It is for us at stackexchange. – vickyace Jun 5 '16 at 13:28
  • I don't think I'd want to see most of us here in a state of Adamitism. – Hot Licks Jun 5 '16 at 13:29
  • @HotLicks :) I almost took it literally. – vickyace Jun 5 '16 at 13:33
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    The Adamites were a North African Christian sect of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, later considered heretical by the Catholic church. What the OP is talking about is an Eastern tradition, far removed from Judeo Christianity. – WS2 Jun 5 '16 at 21:48

Possibly "nudism" or "naturism"

However nakedness for a religious cause isn't a feature of traditionally "English" religion, even in extreme circumstance -- see e.g. Perizoma (loincloth). I guess that hermits are traditionally depicted as dressed if not in clothes then at least in animal skin or something like that.

Another related word is ascetic, for example,

He stripped naked, and said that he was a religious ascetic.

Ascetism doesn't apply specifically to nudity (I think you could be ascetic without being nude) but perhaps they're related.


I would suggest possibly prostration meaning total and complete submission.

  • Well hey at least I chipped in. – PCARR Jun 6 '16 at 14:37

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