Buddhist view of suicide


Suicide is the leading cause of death. According to the World Health Organization, about ten hundred thousand suicides are committed worldwide every year. Not only that. The reports also state that behind all these suicide attempts, there are about ten previous attempts.

When asking psychiatrists, they say that most of the people they meet have suicidal thoughts, but there is no plan or action for it. When asked why they have such a thought, one of the answers they give is spiritual.

Yes. That's a sin! It is against God!

This belief is so ingrained in them that they don't feel that life is worth living. True Buddhists do not believe in sin or God. Does that mean Buddhists justify suicide? No, Buddhism does not accept suicide.

Suicide is considered an unskillful response to life's suffering. It also fails to accept based on the following reasons.

1. Suffering and pain constantly arise in his or her life due to one's past bad karma. Suicide or natural death does not undo the person's weak karma. Deaths due to suicide are also linked to the next birth. That is to grant another chance to pay off one's karmic debt.

2. From the first four truths, the Buddha says that death is an experience. But he doesn't say. The end of suffering is death. So don't kill yourself, stop suffering. A wasteful or even nihilism that has no value in religious and moral teachings only leads to more and more suffering. The only way to end one's life in a fruitful way is to embark on the Noble Eightfold Path.

3. As suicide in monasticism is a highly undisciplined act, the attempt to do so is a matter powerful enough to expel any monk or nuns from the Sangha.

4. As the first precept of penance, we promise ourselves that we will not cause death or harm to any living being. In that case, committing suicide has to be accepted as a breach of that promise.

5. Death by suicide is not peaceful. According to the Buddhist view, a peaceful death is necessary for a good rebirth. Therefore the person who commits suicide ends his life, a next birth in which he has great suffering without help.

Although Buddhism does not accept suicide, those who are committed to it should not be looked down upon. Instead, we should see them as people who are asking for help with something in life. We should extend our hands and help them as much as we can, thinking beyond mere compassion. Then our help will be offered to them to avoid suicide and to reduce the suffering in their lives.

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  1. can we commit to loving this gentle soul better to understand his truths? isn't it messianic?