Is Suicide Justified?

In the light of recent celebrity suicides, Sadhguru tackles the issue of whether suicide is justified.

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.

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5 years 2 months ago

Namaskaram Sadhguru its shame to be part of this , where spirituality is being roots of the nation, shambho

7 years 1 month ago

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?

4 years 9 months ago

If a person dies in a road accident, who has taken that life? Someone gets cancer, who is at fault? if one dies by one's own hand, it is the same question. WHO exactly has created life. If it is god, why isn't suicide also one of the ways that God decides to take it. Harakiri was a death of honor, but it was suicide. Going to fight for ones country is also suicidal. You cannot ignore the ecological imbalance that has been created on earth because of overpopulation of the homo sapiens. Lack of resources creates misery, that leads to suicide for some people. It would be nice if Sadhguru gave some real life examples from his own life of how he overcame hard times. The preaching can continue regardless, you have millions of unquestioning devotees.

7 years 1 month ago

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?

4 years 9 months ago

Good question Ravin, but I am pretty sure you wont be getting a straightforward answer.

7 years 1 month ago

I think it's a double-standard & a cop-out to say - if someone has already committed suicide...respect their decision, if they are 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?

4 years 9 months ago

Suicide is when you commit an act in an attempt to kill yourself. Drinking alcohol or smoking doesn't make you suicidal, unless you do these in effort to kill yourself. Consuming toxic substances is only due to ignorance; it doesn't mean you want to die.

7 years 1 month ago

if someone (known to you) has already committed a suicide, please tell me what is the best you can do/wish for that person?

4 years 9 months ago

He say some people know to how to die mostly enlighted they left there body knowing itself I think it's suicide too just lije I have read some one very close relative who had done in past if it's not then tell me diffrent between two

6 years 11 months ago

I think suicide is total nonsense. If you relay want to leave the body ,there is way in yogic science .try that. and then you will see what you want to do is total nonsense.

4 years 9 months ago

So, ALL individuals that smoke and/or drink are ignorant of their actions? They are ALL incompetent? This defies common sense.

6 years 10 months ago

Nice msg to those who give up with his life.
friends i just want to say "you were born to live. Problem are may comes to expose your hidden power. If you already give up with the problem with out facing it. It is just foolishness. Killing yourself is one of the largest difficulty i think, so why you are choosing this way.... Hope you will understand what i am saying.

4 years 9 months ago

Yes, they are ignorant to a certain level; if one truly knows their body, they wouldn't drink or smoke. A person truly free of ignorance would always act accordingly to any situation having the correct knowledge. I didn't mention anything about incompetence, which is a different thing.

6 years 8 months ago

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.

3 years 4 months ago

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6 years 8 months ago

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.

6 years 5 months ago

Anything bad we do now, there are possibilities that we realize it now or later and get back to a healthy state. There are many possibilities for changing. But Suicide... ending the chapter of life. No regrets, no possibility to come back to this precious life... A life where miracles such as meeting Sadhguru can Happen!!! I cant define life any better! Sadhguru, I love you :-)

5 years 10 months ago

We just fulfill Nature's cycle by surviving. Added to it human civilization has gone
way beyond disrupting natural processes. Currently humans seems to be the most
thirsty, starved, painful among the livings.

As said, people who decide to end the misery, feelings of pain,
have the right to do so and they command their respect. It is their decision
and in some cases courage to end the cycle of pain and miseries which life may
be giving to them.

May be we are not sure why we live, we have no answers apart from it being a cycle of nature.

Sooner the realization, better it is.