Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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Source: Wikipedia/Santhara

Santhara (also Sallekhana, Santhara, Samadhi-marana, Samnyasa-marana), is the Jain religious ritual of voluntary death by fasting. Supporters of the practice believe that Santhara cannot be considered suicide, but rather something one does with full knowledge and intent, while suicide is viewed as emotional and hasty. Due to the prolonged nature of Santhara, the individual is given ample time to reflect on his or her life. The vow of Santhara is taken when one feels that one's life has served its purpose. The purpose is to purge old karmas and prevent the creation of new ones.[1] There exist a similar Hindu practice known as Prayopavesa.

According to the Press Trust of India, on average 240 Jains practice Santhara until death each year in India.

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