Jain monks and nuns lead austere lives.
Jainism, more than any other religion in the world, teaches reverence for all living things, plants, animals, insects…It believes all human beings have a soul or jiva and can attain liberation through subjugating their passions and freeing themselves from all attachment to their own bodies and every material possession. Jainism teaches asceticism of the highest order. Which is why monks following the Digambara (sky clad) sect of Jainism do not wear any clothes, whereas the Shwetambaras (white clad) wear minimal, unstitched white clothes. Since women cannot remain naked in the public, Digambara Jains believe that women have to be reborn as men first before they can achieve total salvation. So women renunciates in both the sects wear white clothes that covers their bodies completely, unlike the monks who wear two pieces of clothes to start with, then downsize it to one, finally giving up all clothing.
Monolithic Image of Jain prophet Gomateshwara Bahubali at Shravanabelagola, India; Source
Sky clad monks at Kundalpur; Source: IndiaMike.com
Shwetambara nuns and monks collect their food in bowls (’Gochari‘) by going from house to house, usually twice a day. Digambara ascetics visit only one house (generlly they get invited) and that too only once a day. They do not use a receptacle and eat while standing. These nuns abstain from meat and vegetables that grow under ground (with the exception of ground nuts, as these carry a shell). They examine each morsel for any possible tiny insect(s) lodged in them, and if found impure, they go hungry with no further exchange of words.
Jain monks receiving alms; Source: Jainism – A pictorial guide to the religion of non violence by Kurt Titze
Their practice of ahimsa is symbolized by the small broom they carry everywhere and use it to brush off the ground before they sit so as to avoid inadvertently killing any insect that might be there.