Santhara - Why are the intellectuals quiet?

God created human beings. All religions believe this.

God created all living creatures in this world. All religions believe this.

God created basic instincts in all of these animals. All religions accept this.

The first of the basic instincts is the survival instinct. The right to live for any creature. Every creature tries to survive and live on this world against all odds. It runs away from danger. It hunts down to eat and survive. Walks, flies, swims long distances to survive!

Life is precious! There is only one person who has the right to take it and that is God himself. One who gave it to us!

While so, in the name of santhara do Jains have a right to take away their own life?

For every murder, for every suicide, do you think there is no reason? They always have an excuse to say that they murdered for good. They will always find some logical reason to commit the murder which they did. So is the case with suicide.

Only the depth of the reason could be shallow for a few and pretty deep for others. We can never accept any reason for murder. Suicide is murder of the self.

Jains have Santhara. It is fast unto death. It is organised. It is clearly a faith driven suicide. There are a number of instances where the individual, driven by the faith in God and in rebirths, fast unto death. See this interview with Mr Hattangadi who made a short film on it:

More than 200 Santharas every year! Unbelievable but true! I would say this is the Sati of the Hindus. Mostly it is old widows who commit Santhara. And this practice is happening right here in India even in these days of 'learned wisdom'. And when the court questions this sardonic practice, people question it in the name of religion! Religion ends where it becomes a social evil.

Santhara is certainly against nature and against the desires of God. God is no ordinary human being. He does everything for a reason, I believe. We, as ordinary mortals, may not understand as the theory of Cog wheels go, but we have a job to do. We stay alive as long as we have a role in the eyes of God. Not in our eyes! The day we complete our responsibilities, we may not know it, God does not allow you to live for a single day more.

How would we know that our work is done in this world? No body can ever know it. Even a man lying in his death bed for thirty years, is possibly doing a job for God. His impact on the society could be pretty huge, as much as a very alive and kicking person.

Santhara at its best is suicide. Santhara at its worst is a murder. Please do not support it. Let us remove it, the way we removed Sati from the surface of this earth.


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