Every day, newspapers carry reports of people taking the extreme step of killing or trying to kill themselves. The situations range from financial ruin to emotional havoc. Sadhguru answers the question: Is suicide justified?

Sadhguru: Sometimes, life can place people in such extreme situations that at that moment, they may feel death is definitely better than the life situation they are faced with. But if you approve of this, then for every little bit of difficulty that someone faces, they will think it is the most difficult situation and they’ll want to go. So there is no way to approve of it, because the moment you bring that approval into the social structure and social psyche, too many people will start killing themselves. Every time there is a little difficulty, they will kill themselves.

You did not create life, so you have no business to take it either – whether it is yours or someone else’s. Unless you are able to create it, you should not destroy it: it is as simple as that. Life situations are there, some are okay, some are not okay, some are horrible, but still it does not give you the right to take life because you are incapable of creating one.

You did not create life, so you have no business to take it either – whether it is yours or someone else’s.

Everyone’s life is precious to them; it is naturally so. If someone has gone beyond that and tried to take their life, if they are still alive, I would say an absolute “no” to it. But if it has already happened, respect their decision and leave it there. In spite of it being the most precious thing that they have, if someone has taken the extreme step of taking their own life, it does not matter how silly it looks to you and me, respect their decision because if that is how it is, that is how it is. But if they are alive, you should say 100% no because you have no business to do that.

In terms of karmic structure, in terms of the spiritual evolution of a being, it is a 100% no. No question about it. You have to see every situation as a possibility to move towards freedom rather than getting entangled. If you use every situation as a stepping stone, then there is no question of suicide. If a spiritual process becomes active in societies, suicide can almost disappear except in cases of mentally deranged people. They might do something because it is not in their control as to what they do. But if a spiritual process is on in one’s life, there would be much less people consciously deciding to take their life; this may even completely go away.

Editor’s Note: Get the latest updates from the Isha Blog. Twitter, facebook, rss or browser extensions, take your pick.

You may also like

POSTED IN:Lifestyle, Relationships
TAGS: Death
  • Ravin

    What happens in a situation where your own life or the life of your loved ones are in trouble? What if in a situation where u need to take the life of the other to survive else it’s ur life which will be taken away?

    • Manoj Muthukuru

      Hi Ravin,
      Survival is a protective instinct to sustain life. A hungry lion, hunting for prey represents an instinct to feed and survive. Humans, evolved from animals with the powers of mind carry these trends to sustain life. Mind gives us the free will to obey or disobey our instincts and each individual at each given situation is at crossroads to figure out the best possible action. This conversation reminds me of an old Tamil song:
      Kan pona pokkile kaal pogalama,

      Kaal pona pokkile manam pogalama,
      Manam pona pokkile manidhan pogalama,
      Manidhan pona paathaiyai maranthu pogalama

      If Sadhguru will please comment on instincts, the role of mind to tame them and how these faculties shape up with inner awakening?

  • Me, Myself, & I

    I think it’s a double-standard & a cop-out to say – if someone has already committed suicide…respect their decision, if they are alive…do not respect their decision. – Either you have enough respect for a person to respect their decisions…or you do not. Period. Our purpose in this life is to make choices – we can try to influence choices…but does anyone really have the spiritual elevation to judge another’s choices?

  • Ram

    Just my humble two paise –
    It might be wrong to take one’s
    own life. But then, what if we stretch the definition of suicide? What
    about the person who consumes alcohol or the person who smokes? Are they
    also committing suicide? A slow and drawn out process. A suicide in
    slow motion? Or what about the person who consumes toxins such as
    toluene, or other plastic derivatives when they use plastic utensils in
    the microwave with full knowledge that these are carcinogenic? Are they
    committing suicide? If I consume cyanide I die almost instantly. If I
    smoke five packs a day and consume alcohol, death is imminent, but not
    immediate. Is this process also not suicide? Why is the time involved in
    reaching a period of body-spirit transition the only criteria in defining the word – “Suicide”?If this definition were to stand, then a lot more people are committing suicide than what we think. Let us condemn all these procedures.

  • Ram

    We are killing others every minute. Whether it is a saint or a commoner, we are taking lives. If every life on earth is important, then we are destroying life when we breathe in bacteria, or when we trample a small ant, or squish a fly or a bug, sometimes wantonly. Unless of course, we stand by the premise that humans are the only relevant species on earth. We are taking lives on earth, whether we accept it or not. We can however, rationalize that man is the only species that can rationalize and use the intellect and that he somehow has an intelligence that other species don’t, or that the scriptures define killing of insects a karmic exception. But then, isn’t it man who decides that he has intellect and other species don’t? We are a laughing stock of creation if we truly believe this to be true.