Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 807–816 | Cite as

The Suicide Paradigm: Insights from Ancient Hindu Scriptures

  • Govindasamy Agoramoorthy
  • Minna J. HsuEmail author
Impressionistic Reporting

Abstract

The world religions in general promote peace and happiness. They strongly discourage all sorts of violence in society including suicide. Religious commitments toward life-saving value are known to prevent suicide attempts since all world religions promote unity, reducing interpersonal hostilities. Therefore, understanding the basics on what religious scriptures narrate on life and death including suicide is essential. This paper highlights the seldom discussed topic on the concept and consequences of suicide portrayed in the ancient Hindu religious scriptures.

Keywords

Suicide Death Culture Tradition Hinduism Religion Society India 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan (ROC) through a grant (MOST103-2632-E-127-001). Tajen University’s Research Center for Happiness Science and Technology extended additional support for this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Human or Animal Rights Statement

This paper did not involve the participation of humans or animals.

Informed Consent

This paper does not involve any informed consent.

References

  1. Agoramoorthy, G. (2011). Are women with mental illness and the mentally challenged adequately protected in India? Indian Journal of Medical Research, 133, 552–554.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Agoramoorthy, G. (2014). Spiritual seekers and gurus in contemporary Hindu society. Society, 51, 558–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agoramoorthy, G. (2015). Sacred rivers: Their spiritual significance in Hindu religion. Journal of Religion and Health, 54, 1080–1090.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Agoramoorthy, G., & Chakraborty, C. (2015). India’s budget reduction and AIDS initiatives. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 15(6), 636.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Agoramoorthy, G., & Hsu, M. J. (2011). Suicide in Taiwan’s society. Journal for General Social Issues, 1, 137–150.Google Scholar
  6. Appleby, L. (1989). Near death experience. BMJ, 298, 976–977.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Bodhasarananda, S. (2007). The complete works of Swami Vivekananda. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama.Google Scholar
  8. Bordereau, C., Robert, A., Van Tuyen, V., & Peppuy, A. (1997). Suicidal defensive behavior by frontal gland dehiscence in Globitermes sulphureus Haviland soldiers (Isoptera). Insectes Sociaux, 44(3), 289–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bourgeois, M. (1987). Are there animal models of suicidal behavior? Psychologie Medicale, 19, 739–740.Google Scholar
  10. Chaturvedi, B. K. (2000). Vishnu Purana. Delhi: Diamond books.Google Scholar
  11. Chaturvedi, B. K. (2002). Garuda Purana. Delhi: Diamond books.Google Scholar
  12. Coward, H. G., Lipner, J., & Young, K. K. (1989). Hindu ethics: Purity, abortion, and euthanasia. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  13. Daube, D. (1972). The linguistics of suicide. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1, 387–437.Google Scholar
  14. deCatanzaro, D. (1980). Human suicide: A biological perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(2), 265–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dervic, K., Oquendo, M. A., Grunebaum, M. F., Ellis, S., Burke, A. K., & Mann, J. J. (2004). Religious affiliation and suicide attempt. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161(2303), 2308.Google Scholar
  16. Deshpande, N. A. (2014). Padma Purana. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.Google Scholar
  17. Doniger, W. (2000). The laws of Manu. Delhi: Penguin.Google Scholar
  18. Durkheim, E. (1897). Le suicide. Paris: Felix Alcan.Google Scholar
  19. Ehrlich, P. R. (2000). Human natures: Genes, cultures and the human prospect. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.Google Scholar
  20. Eskin, M. (2004). The effects of religious versus secular education on suicide ideation and suicidal attitudes in adolescents in Turkey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 39, 536–542.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Ganguli, K. M. (2013). The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa book 17 Mahaprasthanika Parva. Delhi: Spastic Cat Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hardgrave, R. L. (1998). The representation of Sati: Four eighteenth century etchings by Baltazard Solvyns. Bengal Past and Present, 117, 57–80.Google Scholar
  23. Hawley, J. S. (1994). Sati, the blessing and the curse: The burning of wives in India. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2014). World happiness report. New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
  25. Institute, S. A. S. (2000). SAS/ETS software: Changes and enhancements. Release 8.1. Cary, North Carolina: SAS Institute.Google Scholar
  26. Jagannathan, S. (2015). Hinduism: An introduction. Mumbai: Vakils, Feffer and Simons Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. Johnson, C. J., & McGee, M. G. (1998). How different religions view death and afterlife. Philadelphia: Charles Press Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. Kalyanaraman, S. (2008). Vedic river Saraswati and Hindu civilization. Delhi: Aryan Books International.Google Scholar
  29. Kane, P. V. (1958). History of Dharmasastra. Ancient and mediaeval religious and civil law. Delhi: Nobel Press.Google Scholar
  30. Keown, D. (1996). Buddhism and suicide: The case of Channa. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 3, 83–91.Google Scholar
  31. King, S. B. (2000). They who burned themselves for peace: Quaker and Buddhist self-Immolators during the Vietnam War. Buddhist-Christian Studies, 20, 127–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. King, B. (2014). How animals grieve. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Koshiro, T. (1988). Shi no oboegaki (Memoranda on death). Bukkyo shiso, 10, 465–475.Google Scholar
  34. Leming, M., & Dickinson, G. E. (2010). Understanding dying, death, and bereavement. Boston: Wadsworth publishing.Google Scholar
  35. Lester, D. (2006). Suicide and Islam. Archives of Suicide Research, 10, 77–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Lewington, A. (2012). Ancient trees: Trees that live for a thousand year. New York: Batsford Ltd.Google Scholar
  37. Lewis, J. R., & Cusack, C. M. (2014). Sacred suicide. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  38. Lo, P. C. (1999). Confusian ethics death with dignity and its contemporary relevance. Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics, 19, 313–333.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. McMillan, F. D. (2005). Mental health and well-being in animals. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  40. Narayanan, V. (2009). Hinduism. New York: Rosen Classroom.Google Scholar
  41. NCRB. (2014). Accidental deaths and suicide in India 2013. Delhi: National Crimes Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs.Google Scholar
  42. Nydegger, R. (2014). Suicide and mental health. Connecticut: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  43. Parker, V. (2003). The Ganges: And other Hindu holy places. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Library.Google Scholar
  44. Pattnaik, D. (2006). Myth = mithya: A handbook of Hindu mythology. Delhi: Penguin.Google Scholar
  45. Pescosolido, B. A., & Georgiana, S. (1989). Durkheim, suicide and religion. American Sociological Review, 54, 33–48.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Pool, R. (2009). Why do people die that way? New Scientist, 201, 37–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Preti, A. (2011). Do animals commit suicide? Does it matter? Crisis, 32(1), 1–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Rajagopalachari, C. (2010). Mahabharata. Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.Google Scholar
  49. Ramsden, E., & Wilson, D. (2010). The nature of suicide: Science and the self-destructive animal. Endeavour, 34, 21–24.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Rangarajan, L. N. (1987). Kautilya: The Arthashastra. Delhi: Penguin.Google Scholar
  51. Ruder, T. D., Hatch, G. M., Ampanozi, G., Thali, M. J., & Fischer, N. (2011). Suicide announcement on Facebook. Crisis, 32, 280–282.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Schrader, F. O. (1912). The minor Upaniṣads, critically edited for the Adyar library Theosophical society by F Otto Schrader. Madras: The Adyar library.Google Scholar
  53. Shastri, J. L. (2014). Linga Purana. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.Google Scholar
  54. Subramaniam, K. (2012). Srimad Bhagavatam. Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.Google Scholar
  55. Stietencron, H. (1967). Suicide as a religious institution. Bharatiya Vidya, 27, 7–24.Google Scholar
  56. Tagare, G. V. (2014). Kurma Purana. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.Google Scholar
  57. Vishwanath, P. (1917). Ancient royal Hindu marriage customs. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 47, 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Warrier, S. (2014). Kamandalu: The seven sacred rivers of Hinduism. London: Mayur University.Google Scholar
  59. Zhang, J., & Jin, S. (1996). Determinants of suicide ideation: A comparison of Chinese and American college students. Adolescence, 31, 451–467.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Pharmacy and Health CareTajen UniversityYanpuTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesNational Sun Yat-sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

Personalised recommendations