Our authentic nature is covered. From an early age, we have been wrapped up in names, denominations, definitions, and concepts regarding who we are. They have dressed us up in endless social conclusions, the products of our culture. Such mental covers do not allow us to perceive what we really are. We live not from our nakedness but from the clothes made of what we believe ourselves to be. It was on the banks of the sacred river Yamuna that Krishna hid the clothes of the gopis, his devoted cowgirls, and agreed to give them back only to whoever would appear naked before him. Similarly, the spiritual process consists in being ready to undress before existence. However, this exposure must be born out of love; it cannot be forced as in the case of Draupadi, whom the Kurus tried to undress and whom Krishna saved by giving her an infinite sari. Lastly, let us remember the significant moment in the life of St. Francis of Assisi when he undressed in front of his parents, the bishop, and the poor people.
The egoic phenomenon constantly urges us to hide under our mental clothing, or conditioning. We try to hide our wound called ego and refuse to air it. We want privacy to continue freely satisfying our selfish demands and needs. People often behave differently in public and in private, and very few expose what they really think and feel. We are so much covered with clothing that we forget our true nature. We hide from others so well that we find it hard to find ourselves.
In the Book of Genesis, when the first man and his wife were in their highest purity, they lived naked, just as they really were.
וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא יִתְבּשָׁשׁוּ
בראשית ב, כ”ה
The two of them were naked… and they were not ashamed. (Genesis, 2.25)
It was only after the fall that they realized their nakedness and tried to cover themselves, and thus the dressed man was expulsed from paradise.
וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה, עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם, וַיֵּדְעוּ, כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם; וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה, וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת.
And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves and made themselves girdles. (Genesis, 3.7)
Masters live in utter nakedness. Like an open book, they do not hide anything from anyone. In Samuel I, we see that prophesying is related to nudity.
וַיִּפְשַׁט גַּם-הוּא בְּגָדָיו, וַיִּתְנַבֵּא גַם-הוּא לִפְנֵי שְׁמוּאֵל, וַיִּפֹּל עָרֹם, כָּל-הַיּוֹם הַהוּא וְכָל-הַלָּיְלָה; עַל-כֵּן, יֹאמְרוּ–הֲגַם שָׁאוּל, בַּנְּבִיאִם
שמואל א’ י”ט כ”ד
And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel, and he fell naked all that day and all the night. Therefore, they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?” (Samuel I, 19:24)
We were born not dressed but without any clothing. Pure consciousness became covered by ideas, thoughts, concepts, and conclusions. Human conditioning is made of social garments that cover consciousness. To meditate is to observe our garments—physical, mental, emotional, and energetic—and gradually undress ourselves. The spiritual path leads to the nudity of consciousness. Enlightenment is simply to be, abide in our authenticity, and live stripped of all clothes.