The Jain way of life and death - Deepstash

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 Jainism and the concept of death

Jainism and the concept of death

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion with a complex and nuanced view of death. In Jainism, death is seen as a natural part of the life cycle, and the soul is believed to be reborn into a new body after death.

However, Jains also believe that it is possible to achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirth and that death can be a time of great spiritual opportunity.


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Similarities between Jainism and other traditions

Similarities between Jainism and other traditions

Jainism shares many similarities with other Indian traditions, including the belief in reincarnation and the goal of liberation.

In Jainism, the soul is said to be trapped in the cycle of birth and death due to its attachments to the material world.

Liberation is achieved when the soul is free from all attachments and merges with the divine.


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Santhara: a good way to die

Santhara: a good way to die

Santhara is a Jain practice in which a person voluntarily fasts until death.

It is seen as a way to end one's life with dignity and peace, and to prepare for the next life.

Santhara is not considered suicide, as it is not motivated by a desire to end one's life.


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"In the Jain view, since the body is a temporary vessel, it is also to be given up as one moves on to liberation or to the next life. The appropriate way to do so is called santhara."



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Santhara vs. suicide and euthanasia

Santhara vs. suicide and euthanasia

Santhara is different from suicide in that it is not motivated by a desire to end one's life.

Santhara is also different from euthanasia, as it is not an assisted death.

In euthanasia, a doctor or other healthcare professional helps a person to die.


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Santhara in other  traditions

Santhara in other traditions

Similar practices to santhara exist in other Indian traditions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.

In Hinduism, the practice is known as prayopavesa.

In Buddhism, the practice is known as sallekhana.


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"Just as the Jain is taught to neither crave nor resent life, they are also taught to neither crave nor resent death."



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The ideal death in Jainism

The ideal death in Jainism

The ideal death in Jainism is one that is free from pain and suffering.

It is also a death that is marked by detachment from the material world.

The ideal death is one that allows the soul to be free to merge with the divine.


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The legal status of Santhara

The legal status of Santhara

The legal status of Santhara varies from country to country.

In India, santhara is legal, but it is subject to certain restrictions.

In other countries, santhara may be illegal or may be subject to different restrictions.


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"There are other exceptional provisions for more induced deaths as well, such as setting oneself ablaze on a pyre. Though it appears disquieting, to masterfully embrace such a death is considered a hallmark of equanimity and yogic practice."



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Santhara is a complex practice with a long history in Jainism. It is a practice that is both controversial and misunderstood. However, it is a practice that is deeply rooted in Jain's beliefs and values.

Ultimately, the Jain view of death is complex and multifaceted. However, it is clear that Jains believe that death is a natural part of the cycle of life and that it is a time of great spiritual opportunity.


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Student curious to learn more about Universe and its origins


Think about what a good death means to you. What are your priorities for your death? Do you want to die peacefully? Do you want to be surrounded by loved ones? Do you want to have a say in your own death? Once you know what a good death means to you, you can start to make choices that will help you to achieve it.

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