Monday, March 28, 2011

"Santhra" a practice of death by not eating or drinking is being challenged in the Courts of India.

Dawn has an article where it is stated that ancient Practice of Elderly Jains to relinquish their bodies by Declaring and abstaining from food and drink is being challenged in Courts by people who think that nobody has a right to suicide and anybody helping in taking a life is also guilty of the heinous crime. This practice called"Santhra" is ancient practice and it is said that Mahavir the founder saint of Jains left his body by fasting.In recent times it is said that Vinoba Bhave a spiritual follower of Gandhi had left his body in the same way by rejecting food and drink.For people in control of their faculties to decide to leave the body( choosing to die in lay terms)in a very deliberative process of fasting for days and may be months if just without food and with only water is some thing very difficult to understand but protectors of human choice and freedom can make arguments that ,they should not be hindered by any body at least the legal authorities.Then again people in last days of their life if chose to do so is it not their way of saying that they have made this choice instead of prolonging their personal pain and misery. I would say that society has a role that are these people choosing to die by fasting on their free will or were influenced by others to do so .One nice part of the practice of Jains is once somebody decides to participate in "Santhara", person fasting moves into Upashray(Jain Monastery). Where they are surrounded by many other people in prayer and service . "Santhara " raises many questions and leaves me thinking about issues relating to death .Any way that is one thing all living things have in common that is certain death.

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