Universitatea „Lucian Blaga“ din Sibiu, Facultatea de Ştiinţe Socio-Umane
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8 / 2015
The Confrontation between Athletic and Ascetic Gymnosophy
The civilization of Hellas has celebrated the triad of Truth, Beauty and Good with the triumph of the athletic nude within the art and life of the city. Reaching its peak through the glory of Alexander the Great, the Greek culture received the response of an Oriental culture that was striving for perfection through the same fundamental concept – the naked body. However, the Indian gymnosophists were not seeking the aesthetic perfection of the body but they were practicing ascesis for their spiritual liberation. Their worldview proclaimed the body as a simple and humble instrument for becoming and their abstinent lives proved paradigmatic for Buddhist, Christian and Muslim monks. The nude representations in Hindu art appear much later, but the impressive size of the statue of Gommateshwara from the city of Shravanabelagola carries on the rhetorical confrontation between the athletic and ascetic gymnosophies.
Keywords: Truth, beauty and goodness, athletic and ascetic gymnosophy, public nudity, corporeal media, nude as emitter, receiver, vehicle, message.
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