By Saumitra Mohan
September 5, 2017
There has been an awesome increase in the number of people suffering from depression. The latest WHO estimates peg it at 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015. According to its findings, a person commits suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world. While most countries with high suicide rates are poor, there are also a few, highly developed and rich nations which rank very high in the morbid statistics.
People of all backgrounds and age groups, howsoever educated and successful, have found one or the other reason to commit suicide. These reasons range from the social, psychological, economic, religious, political, professional, personal to the familial. Psychologists and psychiatrists have tried to explain this phenomenon which pushes an individual to end one’s life prematurely. However, away from the mundane reasons as justification for suicides, the spiritualists, metaphysicists and existentialists have strongly warned against the mental aberration called ‘suicide’.
Recently, Mukesh Pandey, a young IAS officer and District Magistrate of Buxar, committed suicide on the railway tracks. Having known the reason proffered for his suicide through a video released by him, one was definitely not convinced because of his garbled and convoluted understanding of life. Mukesh cited a family feud between his wife and parents as the reason for the extreme step.
Against all the factors advanced as justification for suicide, the truth of the matter is that no reason could ever be the right reason for suicide. It is true that all of us often have to countenance various troubles and difficulties, but that definitely does not mean that we should end our lives. The harsh truth is that most of us have harboured suicidal thoughts at some point of our lives because of multiple factors, but have not accepted it in the way some people do, including Mukesh.
As they say, if life is pulling you back, it simply means that it is going to launch you into bigger things. The good things in life come through sorrows, trials and tribulations. After all, there can be no oil if olives are not squeezed, no wine if grapes are not pressed, and no perfume if flowers are not crushed. Our pains and pressures are nothing but God’s way of bringing out the best in us. But instead of appreciating the same, ending one’s life is an egregiously wrong approach.
An adverse situation is nothing but God’s way of testing and preparing us for bigger and better things in life. It’s all up to us whether we wish to pass or fail the tests of the Almighty. Ergo, if it’s not happening our way, it’s happening God’s way and He always knows better than us. If we have felt any pain in life today, we should be sure of better things to come without allowing despondency and negativism to get within us and drive us to suicide. All the waters can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the vessel.
Many of us suffer considerable stress and this happens when we are obsessed with the outcome rather than the process. Anything and everything that we see around ourselves is nothing but Maya, which is inherently ephemeral in nature. It is we who have created diverse assets, valorised them, and have since been running after them throughout our lives, without realising the vacuity of the same. Rousseau identified the ‘destructive influence of civilisation on human beings’ in his Discourses on the Arts and Sciences. But instead of seeing through God’s plan, we take our circumstances, our lives or ourselves too seriously and end up messing up one’s own life and other people’s lives without understanding the true purpose for which we come to this world.
Suicide is nothing but an ‘escapist’ approach to life’s problems which are nothing but part of a larger divine plan to facilitate our spiritual progress. We often forget that we live in a mortal, imperfect world and we are all here because we, too, are imperfect. If we want to live amongst perfect, infallible people, we should go to the other world. However, there is no guarantee of the same because there is no authentic proof to corroborate the existence of the ‘Other World’. Even if it is true, we may face worse souls there because we may not necessarily end up in ‘Heaven’.
However, there is no guarantee of the same because there is no authentic proof to corroborate the existence of the ‘Other World’. Even if it is true, we may face worse souls there because we may not necessarily end up in ‘Heaven’.
Suicide motivated by dark passions, evil intentions, ignorance and emotional delusions is actually the misuse of the autonomy and opportunity bestowed by God on human beings to perform their duties and work towards their liberation. Therefore, it is an evil act and a very bad Karma.
Birth entails certain duties and obligations towards oneself, others and Gods. When a person commits suicide, such duties remain unattended. This is a gross negligence of obligatory duties, which, in several religions, is considered as bad Karma. Both the individual concerned and those who might have been affected by such actions are prone to suffer.
According to some religions, if a person commits suicide, he neither goes to hell nor to heaven, but remains trapped in the earth’s consciousness as a ‘bad spirit’ and wanders aimlessly until s/he completes her/his expected span of life upon earth.
Thereafter, she goes to hell and suffers more severely. In the end, s/he returns to earth again to complete her/his previous karma and start from there once again. Suicide turns an individual’s spiritual clock in reverse.
Usually, it is not the problem but our approach, attitude and reaction which make us different and stronger souls than others. According to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, we are cursed if we have to keep visiting this temporal world until we learn our lessons and become perfect to finally unite with the ‘Supreme Being’. So, by ending one’s life through suicide or by dying with unresolved emotions and unfulfilled worldly tasks and desires, we only spoil our Karma and multiply our ‘Give and Take’ account, thus further complicating and delaying our final deliverance or ‘Nirvana’ from the ‘Cycle of Birth and Death’.
Accordingly, life’s struggles are nothing but celestial ordeals/tests that we are supposed to face and pass on in order to move to higher tests and finally break away from the ‘Cycle of Birth and Death’. Otherwise we shall have to keep coming back to pass the test we have tried to escape through suicide or other escapist measures like renunciation. So, Mukesh shall have to reincarnate to undergo his unresolved emotions, unfulfilled responsibilities and unexperienced relations with the same set of people he has tried to avoid forever. His tests and trials may be tougher this time.
How we face and approach life’s troubles and difficulties will depend on the degree of the evolution of our souls. Most of the people, who hurt others to get along in life, do so because of their attenuated spiritual evolution and poor comprehension of the divine design.
As these difficult people and situations are God’s ways to test our spiritual strength, we should tackle them calmly with an eye to pass our tests and then to move to a higher spiritual level. We should not only try to pass the multiple tests (depending on our level of spiritual evolution and past Karma) successfully, we should also help our fellow human beings to pass them with us, as that further uplifts our souls and helps in our eventual ‘Nirvana’. There shall always be unreciprocated ‘goodwill’ and ‘good deeds’, but those are due to variations of spiritual attainments. By behaving improperly with wrong people, we only stoop to their level. However, a delicate balance is imperative to do justice to the assigned duties of one’s station without compromising with the ethical and spiritual requisites.