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Re[2]: REQUEST : Suicide

Posted By Hari K Tadepalli (Hari_K_Tadepalli@ccm.co.intel.com)
Tue, 14 Jan 97 13:27:00 PST

Ken Stuart wrote:
> I was wondering what the viewpoint is of the Vedic religions (aka
> "Hinduism") is concerning suicide?

If there is one aspect in which all major religions agree unanimously,
it is the proscription of suicide. Hinduism is no different in this respect. The
widely held belief, often asserted by Indian saints, is that the human life
is a superior form of birth, in which man has the option to strive for
a better and virtuous living and one in which one can aspire to deliver
oneself from the cycle of birth and death. In this respect, one should never
commit suicide, no matter what one's problems of life might be. The
Indian belief of transmigration of soul subscribes that suicide does not
dissolve one's Karma - but the person who commits suicide enters a state
in which his/her soul is not free to choose another life form to
transmigrate to, thus left in a certain "indefinite" state of "limbo", yet
struggling to find a way to dissolve its associated Karmaphalam (or the
consequences of one's Karma), but not able to do so because a corporeal
existence is necessary for Karmaphalam to be enjoyed or perpetuated.

In this context, I am reminded of Father Zossima in Dostoevsky's
"Brothers Karamazov", in which he says something like: "The church forbids us
against praying for those who commited suicide. But secretly, in my heart, I
pray for everyone, including those who committed suicide...". Perhaps someone
can explain the stance of Christianity on suicide. Hindu saints also say that
the only way one who commits suicide is ridden from one's "indefinite" state is
by prayer of other human beings.

Two forms of sin rank highest in the Hindu theology: one is suicide and
the other is the killing of an unborn child.

I have written the above from my hearsay knowledge & I might not have
used the right terminology.

As a note aside, I was always suprised at this unanimous agreement among
all major religions and religious leaders on the issue of suicide. So
much that, even J. Krishnamurthi, who rejects all theology & life beyond the
physical world, also condemned suicide in some of his lectures.

- Hari Krishna Tadepalli

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