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Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by namjiwankaur, Nov 6, 2012.
What does Sikhi teach about suicide?
Are you talking about rope around the neck or shall we border on with euthanasia ?
As for suicidal tendencies and the requirement for one to give up on life and to end it- we know that as a social issue it is wrong and it is normally escalated with some kind of mental disturbances.
Whereas I find euthanasia is a slightly different ball game.
Suicide of haumai is very much recommended.
Bhagat ji: What is haumai?
LuckySingh ji: What does it do the soul of the person who commits suicide? IMHO, euthanasia can also be the reason people hang themselves, shoot themselves, etc..
Say someone takes 300 pills and dies. What happens to the soul? What happens to the relationship with WaheGuru?
namjiwankaur ji as far as I can think, souls are impervious to our physical actions including death regardless how it happens. Remember Sikhism does not have any edict towards "damning" anything which is quite commonly referenced in many of the largest religions of the world. Included being Islam, Christianity, Hinduism from little I heard of sermons or discourses in those religions. I stand corrected though.
Sat Sri Akal.
Even though sikhism doesn't specifically specify or prohibit suicide directly, we can learn the answers from the teachings.
We have to accept the hukam or will of waheguru.
He decides when our time is, not us although we have the power to take our own lives.
He is the creator and he is the destroyer as well.
When you commit suicide, It's very unlikely that you soul shall be liberated or attain mukti.
What will the relationship be with waheguru ?
Well no one can speak or for that matter judge the Lord's actions.
Haumai is Ego. It is what we think makes us. It is the me,me,me,...I have,I do, I did....etc..
In reality, When one has killed their haumai, then it is very unlikely that thoughts or tendencies for suicide would ever come by!!!
The 10th Guru Gobind Singh Ji lost his father, mother and four very young sons yet he still went further to say '' tera bhaana mithaa'' (your Will my Lord is sweet, however you wish).
Most people would head down the path of suicide in this scenario, but his love just grew even more stronger for waheguru.
Sikhs are also known for their shaheeds, which are the ones that sacrifice their lives for the faith. Suicide should simply be out of the question when you have these to look up to.
What in the Sikhi teachings would help someone want to stay alive?
I think Sikhi believes in acceptance.
Acceptance of the divine Will.
Acceptance of Death.
And perhaps... acceptance of Life.
Lucky Singh ji answered Haumai. So I'll skip to this question.
We are living beings. We want to stay alive regardless of the reasons for doing so. This is the default setting. Someone who wants to die obviously has other things going on that have taken them off the default and into depression (which I believe is the leading cause of suicidal behaviour).
So your question is what in Sikhi teachings would help someone with their depression?
Everything! All the teachings when followed should help treat depression and make the person happier and help them lead a more fulfilling life.
I think just accepting the hukam or will.
To not just accept it, but to have love and dedication to further accept what ever comes our way.
Suicide is a serious matter and within sikh community the number of cases are very high both in India and here in the west.
The western cases are more associated with domestic and social factors faced by beings within the community whereas in India especially punjab I know that the struggle in welfare and economical climate etc.. for most jat, farming or agricultural sikhs is at an all time high and therefore cases of suicide are in line with this.
Life gets hard for many of us, there comes times when it just couldn't be any worse. However, we should always remember that even when you are completely rock bottom and don't even have a single ounce of hope left, things can only go ONE WAY. This way, when you are at the complete bottom is ONLY UP.- Things can ONLY get BETTER once you are walking on the sea bed in this world ocean.
It's easy for us to say this, but we should try and remember it.
Most of us come to points in our life where we may consider or think about this option of 'suicide' or way out.
It's a very serious matter that crosses over our life paths at some stage.
I hope that I could send this message out to someone before I hear the next Indo-canadian that jumps off a bridge here.
(Jumping off the many bridges in Vancouver is a very popular method of suicide used by the east indians.)
Sikhism & Bioethical Issues
SEEKING GURBANI GUIDANCE
(Partly based on articles by of Dr I J Singh (New York) and Dr. G S Mansukhani)
(Note: Following retirement in June 1996, I worked with The Sikh Missionary Society UK for a few years. Due to rapid advances in science in areas such as genetic engineering and cloning etc Sikh views were sought on such issues by those in interfaith, educational, research and media fields. On 12 June 2001, I wrote to Dr I J Singh, New York, about the need to develop a Sikh view about bioethical issues. The following thoughts were sent to him, and later produced as an article.)
Gurmatt based framework for reaching decisions on bioethical and other 21st Century issues
In discussing religio-social issues, and dilemmas and problems facing today’s society led by the rapid advances in science and technology, two basic rules of Gurbani teachings would seem to be relevant:
(1) Human life is at the apex of life on earth. It is an important phase in the evolution of a human being towards complete God-centred harmony.
(2) Family life and the institution of marriage are central to Sikh teachings which stress man/woman complementary roles in a spirit of equality. Sikhism does not accept monasticism or any type of “opt-out” way of life.
The emphasis of Gurmatt (Guru’s guidance) is not on the laying down of highly precise and rigid rules of how man might utilise his God-given knowledge; the essence of Sikh teachings is to provide man with a healthy, progressive and responsible philosophy for addressing modern issues. It provides a framework and not definitive answers for the future.
(Derived mainly from Dr I J Singh’s essays)
1) Not all actions can be universally condemned in all situations at all times.
2) Instead of providing fixed unchanging answers to changing problems, Sikhism provides an unchanging process based on moral framework in which one can devise moral and ethical criteria by which an ethical dilemma can be negotiated.
3) Inherent in Sikh teachings is the principle that all rights come with responsibilities and no actions are free of accountability.
4) Before committing to an action, a human being must delve into his or her essential being. “Recognise the divine spark within you”, says Sikhism. (“Mann toon Jote Saroop hain apna mool pacchaan.”)
5) The divine spark is discovered and nurtured by love, by service to the community and by recognition of the same spark in all of us.
6) In the process of self-realisation, the sangat, a congregation of similarly dedicated people becomes critically important. God and Guru pervade such a congregation.
7) The discerning intellect that Sikhism asks of its followers is far from perfect, but grows only by use, prayer and grace. In this role the Sikh community, the sangat becomes paramount. Individual lives exist as biosocial contracts within the historical framework of a community.
8) The decision making process does not occur in isolation and the individual choices are ratified by the sangat (congregation).
From what has been said so far, one may conclude that Gurmatt based decisions regarding bioethical and other issues should be made intelligently (i.e. in the light of all the research and information that is available), ethically and collectively in any given situation. The mental/spiritual mode required is that of complete humility, complete harmonisation with the Will of the Creator, sense of service to all creation and a highly responsible attitude towards human values and the progress of human institutions (e.g. the institution of family life).
The ethical objectivity of knowledge must never be lost. The objective of human progress is to improve the quality of life so that it becomes God-centred and not self-centred. Research in the spiritual and temporal fields, is encouraged by Sikhi. The pre-condition is that it must be guided by Gurmatt as continually interpreted by Gursikh scholars, and applied accordingly. We must not start tinkering with the building blocks of life without taking full responsibility and seeking the Guru’s guidance.
With such a decision making framework in which science and enlightened religious thought work together (convergence of science and religion), one can turn to the specific questions.
Let us take genetic engineering as an example. According to Gurmatt, the main purpose of life is to achieve a harmonious relationship with the Supreme Soul (Param-atma) during this life. Pursuit of worldly power, comfort and pleasure, and attachment can lead one astray from the path of Gurmatt. In fact, pain is prescribed as a “medicine” (“dukh daaroo”) when the human mind loses direction due to single-minded pursuit of worldly achievements. However, in Sikhi physical pain or suffering is not a pre-condition to becoming a God-centred being. Science should be used to provide relief from such pain, although, Sikhi would not recommend the ending of life (euthanasia) as a means to ending physical or mental pain. This is a topic which needs to be developed further in the context of euthanasia.
Use of genetic engineering in non-human life forms may produce “better” vegetation and animals (from the human view point). It may be argued that the main purpose of these life forms is to sustain life itself (“Jian ka ahaar jee khana”) and is not the same as human life. Presumably, the Sikh religious criteria for genetic engineering of non-human and human life forms would be based on different considerations.
One is reminded of the word “mann” in Gurbani which is self awareness in time/space but which is also the light of God in man (“Mann toon jote Saroop hain”). This would seem to be a uniquely human faculty, which distinguishes man from all other life forms. In relation to genetic engineering this theme needs further Gurmatt research. Sikhs are not forbidden from eating meat but would Gurmatt allow the use of animals in scientific experimentation? A very cautious and conditional “yes” may be the response. The same would apply to human volunteers.
A balanced human family life is essential for achieving the human life’s goal. To achieve this objective, the same person needs to play many roles and needs many different skills to develop a full and balanced personality: marriage partner (including the sexual aspect), parent, roles in different relationships, thinker, writer, craftsman, saint, soldier etc. Responsible genetic engineering will need to take account of all these considerations. For example, to produce super unbalanced beings in test tubes would be totally unethical. Generally, Sikhism’s response to human cloning for the purpose of producing “carbon copy” human beings would be in the negative. On the other hand providing cure from disease and enhancing the quality of life would accord with Sikhi.
To conclude with a quotation from Dr I J Singh:
“The discerning intellect that Sikhism asks of its followers is far from perfect, but grows only by use, prayer and grace. In this role the Sikh community, the sangat becomes paramount, the process does not occur in isolation......individual lives exist as biosocial contracts within the historical framework of a community.” (“The Sikh Way: A Pilgrim’s Progress” p. 25)
Man needs to be aware of own imperfections and proceed with great caution, and continuous and continual vigilance when applying science and technology to the alteration of own hereditary characteristics evolved over millions of years by nature. He must proceed in humility and prayer and be prepared to take full personal and collective social responsibility for the consequences of genetic engineering and similar advances in science.
© Copyright Gurmukh Singh (U.K.)
how much pain and sufferings is taking place, our duty is to surrender to the WILL of God, nothing else
Waheguru ji ka khalsa Waheguru ji ki fateh!!
I believe i had this thought of committing suicide passing through me several times..
When i saw my mother ill at the age of 12, i was scared that if she dies who will take care of me and my younger brother.
When i saw that people constantly were teasing me/bullying me in college, same urge came back
Now working,when the project ran out,still this thought came
but a strict answer to these thoughts were NO i will survive through this!! and yes i did..
When we think of committing suicide,it actually is our lowered state of spirit(Dhanidi Kala) which will pop up if you are feeling low but the problem which causes you to attempt suicide doesn't solve it rather it causes to be stuck as the age or Swaas that were given to you, only after their completion you can go beyond.
Gurbani always keeps our spirit on the higher state(Chardi kala) so if on the very instant you get this feeling driving you try reciting the mool mantar and then these negative thoughts will perish.
As veerji said above, once we start accepting the God's/Waheguru ji Hukam then you will see that whatever happens its for your own good.At times it may seem that no this is not good but its just you have to dig deep to reveal the actual thing hiding and ultimatelu you will conclude it happened for a good reason.
Finally, Our background with all the sakhis of our Gurus and the Mahapurakhs only teach us to face the circumstances rather than showing our back so whatever the consequence is you will derive energy from these to move on.
Hope all these can help, if i said something which is offensive or which is not liked by any of you, i am sorry from the very bottom of my heart and also this is my second post. so just think that a kiddo posted it
Sat Nam _/|\_
Chardi Kala is just what I needed to remember. I'm grateful to you for sharing that.
I am not sure what to use as a search term to find verses on chardi kala at srigranth.org .
Could ppl help me out with that? I want to make affirmation cards that say chardi kala and quote the words of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
I wonder if anyone knows of similar verses from sacred texts of other traditions? Does Christianity or Hinduism, etc., teach anything about suicide and remaining in a positive state during the difficult times in life?
Blessings, dear ones.
Nam Jiwan kaurhug
namjiwankaur ji thanks for your post.
From what I can fathom "Chardi Kala" is not a phrase of Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Chardi means "uplifted", "Looking up", etc. Kala is "what goes on", "what happens/"is happening". Together these form part of Ardas/prayer in Sikhi. So it translates into - through wisdom let all be happening as to uplift.
You can search the "kala" part at Srigranth.org with the following,
Sat Nam _/|\_
Thank you for explaining this to me. I appreciate the time you took to do it.
Nam Jiwan kaurhug