Life in Hinduism is sacred and very precious, as with other religions. We are here to perform some duties that are entrusted to us. But in trying to fulfill these duties in life, we face difficulties and hardships in the process, which can ultimately lead to suicide. Although suicide is considered a sin in most religions, it has been a common practice for centuries in Hinduism. But in today’s society, it is often carried out as a kind of protest for the purpose of achieving a goal or goals.
Suicide by definition is an act of “Deliberately taking someone’s life”. On this topic, I will focus this article on suicide in Hinduism. Suicide is generally condemned and viewed as contrary to Gandhi’s teachings of “Ahimsa” or nonviolence.
The Mahabharata, one of the great epics in Hinduism, Chapter 124, verse 65 and I quote “Nonviolence in thought, word, and deed toward all creatures, compassion, and generosity is commendable behavior.”
But despite these teachings, suicide has been the norm in India for centuries, and probably still exists today in some parts of India. Religious suicides were also condoned in one of the four “Ashrams” in Hinduism; that is “Sanyaas” or the last stage of Hindu life.
Hindu life according to Hinduism consists of four “Ashrams” or periods of life. (1. They are the Brahmcharya, who is the life of a student up to the age of twenty-five (25) years; (2. the Grashsatha, who serves the family until the age of fifty (50)); (3) ; .The Vanaprasta up to seventy-five (75) non-attachment to the family; and (4. the Sanyaas, the final stage, is beyond seventy-five (75) years, n total rejection of life.
In the Sanyaas stage, I will elaborate further, which is the foundation of this article. At this stage, spiritual suicide was allowed in three different ways. The first was “Agnipravesa” that is, sacrificing someone’s body to the God of fire. The second was “Prayopavesa”, that is slowly starving yourself to death, and the third is “Sanyasarama”; live a hermit’s life in a cave or alone, without material need, and gradually starve to death.
These practices were practiced and accepted believing that the participants involved in these sacrifices had successfully fulfilled their duties and obligations based on the first three fruits of Hinduism namely: Dharma, Artha and Kaam . In accordance with Hinduism, these practices were righteous, believing that such practices would lead to the final fruit in Hinduism, namely Moksha or liberation of the soul.
As with Hinduism, it is believed that one who commits suicide, his soul will lie in the earth consciousness of which we are a part, as an evil spirit. When the spirit’s time is complete in the earth-conscious environment, that spirit enters the transmigration process (Samsara) and gives birth to one of the many living species on earth to complete his previous Karma, after which, the karmic process resumes again based on its current existence.
Hindus around the world like, with other ethnic and religious groups come to realize that suicide is a tragedy and a devastating loss to the communities, and one that can inflict future problems down the road. But most of all, life is a precious gift given by God. As such, Temples and religious organizations are taking a more proactive approach to curbing suicides.
With the advent of technology and an improved educational system, they are establishing extensive outreach programs with the wider community in sponsoring holidays, providing education in the area of human rights, discrimination, understanding and tolerance to name but a few, to prevent the abominable act of suicide lest. happening.