Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide  (Read 12762 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« on: March 20, 2010, 06:18:15 AM »
Sri Ramana Maharshi did speak at length on suicide, and I will give his most pertinent remarks below. We must first understand that Bhagavan was adamantly traditional in his guidance with regards to what suicide is, what promotes it, and what frees us from its influence. Bhagavan echoed the teachings of Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, the major Hindu scriptures, and the wisdom of the Buddha in declaring first and foremost that,

"All states and all conditions in life proceed from the mind; they are mind-made and mind governed. (Dhamapada 1:1)

We live and move, either feeling bound or free, as individuals. Dependence on “others”, in Pali “tanha (clinging)”, spiritually weakens us. Thus Bhagavan expressly demonstrated this truth in his own translation of Adi Shankacharya’s Vikekachudamani:

“If, by some great penance, that rarity, a human body is obtained, with its ability to understand the meaning of the scriptures, and yet, owing to attachment to insentient things, effort is not made to attain the immutable state of liberation, which is one’s own true state, then indeed one is a fool committing suicide. What greater fool is there than one who does not seek his own good?”

In this regard we find the following words of guidance from Bhagavan recorded in Talks #340:

A question arises, why there should be suicides. Why does one do it? Bhagavan replied: “Because he is unhappy and desires to put an end to his unhappiness. He actually does it by ending the association with the body which represents all unhappiness. For there must be a killer to kill the body. He is the survivor after suicide. That is the Self.”

Later, in Talks# 536, Bhagavan shows the ways and means to escape unhappiness, even the unhappiness that leads to suicide:

“The person soaked in the “I-am-the-body” idea is the greatest sinner and he is a suicide. The experience of “I-am-the-Self” is the highest virtue. Even a moment’s dhyana (meditation) to that effect is enough to destroy all the Sanchita Karma. It works like the sun before whom darkness is dispelled. If one remains always in dhyana, can any sin, however heinous (suicidal) it be, survive his dhyana?”

We must never stop until the goal is reached; the goal of shaking free from the limitations promoted on dependence on anything other than God. Sri Ramana Maharshi puts us to the test, pointing the Divine finger at us to realize that we are not just suicidal, but actually living in death.

D.: Death must then be the highest state.

M.: Yes. We are now living in Death. Those who have limited the unlimited Self have committed suicide by putting on such limitations. (Talks #435)

On another occasion I asked Bhagavan about suicide. I had been cycling round the Hill and on meeting a bus the thought had come into my head: “Why should I not concentrate on the Self and throw myself in front of the bus, so that in this way I may attain Moksha!” I told this to Bhagavan, but he said that it would not work. Thoughts would spring up involuntarily as I fell, fear and the shock would cause them, and thoughts coming, life would continue so that I would have to take another body. If I could still my mind sufficiently so that such a thing would not happen, then what was the need of suicide?

Source: A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI By SADHU ARUNACHALA (A. W. Chadwick)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2010, 10:09:56 AM »
Bhagavan Ramana said that the problem of suffering and misery cannot
be solved by suicide.  Death is not all a solution for ending one's sufferings.
The culmination of sufferings come from the abhorrence of mind/body
complex.  It is very difficult to understand this and more so for practice.
But Bhagavan Ramana proved in His final days that the pain and suffering
can be overcome by killing the thoughts about them.

Arunachala Siva. 

Akira

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2010, 02:32:54 PM »
If everthing is pre-destined, committing suicide too is destined, isn't it?


ramana_maharshi

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2010, 04:03:45 PM »
Akira Garu,

I think There is really no answer for your question as i remember when a devotee asked ramana how all the karma started for every individual and why is it that it is so different for each one.

ramana tried to answer by using his regular brahmastram like asking the devotee "Who is it that is asking? To whom this question has arisen?.... etc" but when the devotee was not satisfied with the answer finally ramana told that answer is not possible as it is like 'tree-seed' scenario. No one can tell whether tree is first? or seed is first?

As Ramana says,Those who have limited the unlimited Self have committed suicide by putting on such limitations. (Talks #435) so in that way it looks like every person who has not killed his ego to max extent is like comitting suicide only.

In verse 19 of Ulladu Narpadu ramana says that the dispute whether fate (vidhi) or free will (mati) prevails is of interest only to those who do not know the (mulam) — the root, base, foundation, origin or source — of both fate and free will (namely the mind, which misuses its free will and experiences whatever fate results therefrom), and that those who have known the truth of this mind have thereby separated themselves from fate and free will and will not hereafter become entangled with them again. In other words, fate and free will appear to exist only so long as our mind appears to exist, but when we scrutinise this mind and thereby know the truth that it does not really exist, fate and free will will also cease to exist.

Human beings commit suicide only when they have strong 'i am the doer' attitude and 'i am the body' notion and god is not responsible.

God helps only those who helps themselves.

In Nan-Yar paragraph 15th ramana maharshi says,

Just as in the mere presence of the sun, which rose without iccha [wish, desire or liking], samkalpa [volition or intention], [or] yatna [effort or exertion], a crystal stone [or magnifying lens] will emit fire, a lotus will blossom, water will evaporate, and people of the world will engage in [or begin] their respective activities, do [those activities] and subside [or cease being active], and [just as] in front of a magnet a needle will move, [so] jivas [living beings], who are caught in [the finite state governed by] muttozhil [the threefold function of God, namely the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world] or panchakrityas [the five functions of God, namely creation, sustenance,dissolution, concealment and grace], which happen due to nothing but the special nature of the presence of God, move [busy themselves, perform activities, make effort or strive] and subside [cease being active, become still or sleep] in accordance with their respective karmas [that is, in accordance not only with their prarabdha karma or destiny, which impels them to do whatever actions are necessary in order for them to experience all the pleasant and unpleasant things that they are destined to experience, but also with their karma vasanas, their inclinations or impulsions to desire, think and act in particular ways, which impel them to make effort to experience certain pleasant things that they are not destined to experience, and to avoid certain unpleasant things that they are destined to experience]. Nevertheless, he [God] is not samkalpa sahitar [a person connected with or possessing volition or intention]. Even one karma does not adhere to him [that is,he is not bound or affected by any karma or action whatsoever]. That is like world-actions [the actions happening here on earth] not adhering to [or affecting] the sun, and [like] the qualities and defects of the other four elements [earth, water, air and fire] not adhering to the all-pervading space

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 10:07:25 AM »
Killing of the ego is not suicide. Bhagavan says in Sri Arunachala Ashtakam,
"the Hill-medicine kills without killing"  and "this is a rare medicine indeed."
Suicide the flight of prana and mind to another body through destroying
the present body.  Killing of ego, is realization. 

Regarding destiny and free will, the suicide is also pre-destined like
accidents.  This again forebodes the acceptance of the former.  The latter
can avoid it at the last moment.  But for one who has transcended the
ego, there is neither destiny nor free will.  Bhagavan says in Ulladu
Narpadu, "Vidhi madhi moolam vivekam illarke....  The destiny and free
will concepts are there only for who cannot discriminate between one's
body-mind complex and the Self within.

Arunachala Siva.   

amiatall

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 02:09:49 AM »
Free will implies a choice. A choice implies confusion.
Is there a free will for a jnani? No. Because everything for him is clear as crystal, no need for choices !!!!

silentgreen

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 10:12:14 AM »
I find that free will and pre-destined concepts create lot of confusions.
If everything is predestined why do we say that because of our ignorance we do not realize the Self? That means free will is assumed.
If everything is predestined why do we say that God is gracious all the time but we ourselves cover our eyes? Here also free will is assumed.

I find the best answer is:
As long as one assumes oneself to be the ego, free will is there.
Upon spiritual progress a person oneself will come to know that he is the instrument and God is the operator. Only then that person can rightly say that everything is pre-destined or operated by God.

Making an overall statement that everything is pre-destined is good and many people will agree but internally they will not fully believe it.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 10:48:52 AM »
Thinking about or questioning about destiny and free will, is due to the mind, the ego.
If one could have discrimination to ignore both these, then the ego also dies and the
man is liberated.  This is clear in Verse 19 of Ulladu Narpadu.  "The debate, Whether
there is destiny or free will, is only for those who do not know the root of both.  The
root is ego and the self realized person, who has transcended the ego and abides in
the Self, the whole debate is meaningless," says the Verse.

Arunachala Siva.

silentgreen

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 01:00:54 PM »
Dear srkudai, Subramanian.R,

Yoga Vasishta condemns this attitude that "All is Prarabdha"!
Ramana said "All is Prarabdha"

Prarabdha is explained in Wikipedia as:
According to Sri Swami Sivananda: "Prarabdha is that portion of the past karma which is responsible for the present body. That portion of the sanchita karma which influences human life in the present incarnation is called prarabdha. It is ripe for reaping. It cannot be avoided or changed. It is only exhausted by being experienced. You pay your past debts. Prarabdha karma is that which has begun and is actually bearing fruit. It is selected out of the mass of the sanchita karma." - "All About Hinduism" by Sri Swami Sivananda

I assume Yoga Vasishtha also defines Prarabdha karma in a similar manner.

According to this definition, Prarabdha karma is part of Sanchita karma.
Now how can sanchita karma get accumulated without working with free-will?
Can pre-destined acts generate sanchita karma?

I am also sensing a difference between prarabdha karma and pre-destined acts.
Pre-destined acts are as if God has programmed role characters who act according to that program. Here the karma cycles (kriyaman karma, sanchita karma, prarabdha karma etc) are not involved. But Prarabdha karma follows the karma cycles.

Bhagavan Ramana has also mentioned about Prarabdha karma. Has Bhagavan also mentioned how Prarabdha karma originates? If not from free-will, then how? From pre-destined acts? Or some other ways?
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ramana_maharshi

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 01:11:05 PM »
Dear SlientGreen Garu,

In verse 19 of Ulladu Narpadu ramana says that the dispute whether fate (vidhi) or free will (mati) prevails is of interest only to those who do not know the (mulam) — the root, base, foundation, origin or source — of both fate and free will (namely the mind, which misuses its free will and experiences whatever fate results therefrom), and that those who have known the truth of this mind have thereby separated themselves from fate and free will and will not hereafter become entangled with them again.In other words, fate and free will appear to exist only so long as our mind appears to exist, but when we scrutinise this mind and thereby know the truth that it does not really exist, fate and free will will also cease to exist.

Below talk can give more information about ramana maharshi's views about how Prarabdha karma originated.

Devotee: “That is all right. For this karma there must be a beginning, but how it began, no one has mentioned.”

Bhagavan: “Yes, but it is the same thing. If you are asked ‘how did you get this?’ you say you have got it by ‘doing’ (karma). How were you born? By ‘doing’ (karma) that is all that could be said. If, however, you ask how was this karma born, you are told you should not ask such questions.

This is known as the Law of the seed and the tree (bija ankura nyayam). The tree is born of the seed; again from the tree a seed is born. Where is the origin of that seed? That is a question which you are told is not to be asked. What can we say to that? That is why I always ask people to find out first how they were born and where they were born.”

To summarise he suggested not to bother such questions and instead concentrate on self enquiry.

silentgreen

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 03:47:03 PM »
Seem to have understood one fallacy...
The terms predestined activities and prarabdha karma has been used to mean the same thing.
Prarabdha karma is pre-destined by the laws of karma itself. The laws of karma which is like a process allocates a part of sanchita karma as prarabdha karma. So when Bhagavan uses the term predestined events, it means predestined by the laws of Karma (and not arbitrarily by some higher power).

Question: I can understand that the outstanding events in a man’s life, such as his country, nationality, family, career or profession, marriage, death, etc., are all predestined by his Karma, but can it be that all the details of his life, down to the minutest, have already been determined? Now, for instance, I put this fan that is in my hand down on the floor here. Can it be that it was already decided that on such and such a day, at such and such an hour, I should move the fan like this and put it down here?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Certainly. Whatever this body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it came into existence.

Question: What becomes then of man’s freedom and responsibility for his actions?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: The only freedom man has is to strive for and acquire the Jnana (knowledge) which will enable him not to identify himself with the body. The body will go through the actions rendered inevitable by Prarabdha and a man is free either to identify himself with the body and be attached to the fruits of its actions or to be detached from it and be a mere witness of its activities.


Bhagavan says: "The only freedom man has is to strive for and acquire the Jnana", so Bhagavan is not discounting self-effort.

A person striving to acquire Jnana might have dis-identified himself from his sorrows  (since discrimination is part of striving to acquire Jnana) and not commit suicide eventually.
However if prarabdha determines every minute details like putting the fan down on the floor, then preventing suicide becomes difficult.
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ramana_maharshi

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 04:48:25 PM »
Talk 209.

Mr. B. C. Das, the Physics Lecturer, asked about free-will and destiny.

M.: Whose will is it? ‘It is mine’, you may say. You are beyond will and fate. Abide as that and you transcend them both. That is the meaning of conquering destiny by will. Fate can be conquered.Fate is the result of past actions. By association with the wise the bad tendencies are conquered. One’s experiences are then viewed to their proper perspective.

I exist now. I am the enjoyer. I enjoy fruits of action. I was in the past and shall be in the future. Who is this ‘I’? Finding this ‘I’ to be pure Consciousness beyond action and enjoyment, freedom and happiness are gained. There is then no effort, for the Self is perfect and there remains nothing more to gain.

So long as there is individuality, one is the enjoyer and doer. But if it is lost, the divine Will prevails and guides the course of events.

The individual is perceptible to others who cannot perceive divine force. Restrictions and discipline are for other individuals and not for the liberated.

Free-will is implied in the scriptural injunctions to be good. It implies overcoming fate. It is done by wisdom. The fire of wisdom consumes all actions. Wisdom is acquired by association with the wise, or rather, its mental atmosphere.

ramana_maharshi

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 05:13:58 PM »
Also in Guru Vachaka Kovai it is written

Prarabdha, like a whirlwind, relentlessly agitates and spins the mind that has shrunk through the ‘I am the body’ idea. However, it cannot stir, even slightly, the limitation-free mind that shines as the extremely clear space of being-consciousness when that ego-impurity [the ‘I am the body’ idea] is destroyed by self-enquiry. (Guru Vachaka Kovai, vv. 703, 698)


Subramanian.R

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Re: Ramana Maharshi views about Commiting Suicide
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2010, 10:31:31 AM »
Ramana transcended the prarabdha as revealed in His last days.  The body is paining,
He said to the attendants.  But He was not pained.

Arunachala Siva.