Kaupinam

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Indian wrestler wearing kaupinam
Palani Murugan wearing kaupina

Kaupinam (Devanagari:कौपिनम), kaupina (Devanagari: कौपिन) or langot (Devanagari: लंगोट) is an undergarment worn by Indian men as a loincloth or underclothing. It is made up of rectangular strip of cotton cloth which is used to cover the genitals with the help of the strings connected to the four ends of the cloth for binding it around the waist of the wearer. It has fallen into disuse amongst the common people, but any Hindu godly people or saints continue to use it.

Use[edit]

It is still used by wrestlers in India. The wrestlers often wear a g-string shaped guard underneath to protect their genitals from rupture. There exists a verse in the Sam Veda of the Hindu sacred scriptures encouraging the use of kaupinam during sexual intercourse.[1] The devotees of Lord Shiva were said to be wearing kaupinam.

Religious significance[edit]

Kaupina Panchakam

Kaupina vantah kalu bagya vantah
Vedanta Vakyeshu sada ramayantah
Bikshanna matrena tustimantah
vishokamantah karane charantah
kaupina vantah kalu bagyavantah

Sri Shankaracharya

It has religious significance attached to asceticism for the Hindus. Bhagavata Purana enjoins that a true ascetic shouldn't wear anything other than a kaupina.[2] Sometimes Lord Shiva himself is depicted wearing Kuapina.[3] Even Lord Murugan of Palani and Hanuman are said to be wearing this garment.[4] Langot or Kaupin is also associated with celibacy.[5] Sri Shankaracharya composed a verse called Kaupina Panchakam to assert the significance of asceticism. Famous Maharashtrian saint Samarth Ramdas is always depicted wearing a langot in popular pictures.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alter, Joseph S. (1992). The wrestler's body: identity and ideology in north India. University of California Press. pp. 305 pages. ISBN 9780520076976. 
  2. ^ Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.13.2, Bhaktivedanta VedaBase
  3. ^ Origin and early history of Śaivism in South India,Volume 6 of Madras University historical series, Madras University. University of Madras,. 1939. pp. 155, 185. 
  4. ^ Lutgendorf, Philip (2007). Hanuman's tale: the messages of a divine monkey Oxford scholarship online. Oxford University Press,. pp. 434 pages(see:186). ISBN 9780195309225. 
  5. ^ Abbott, Elizabeth (2001). A history of celibacy. James Clarke & Co. pp. 493 pages. ISBN 9780718830069.