Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024 | Last Update : 12:38 PM IST

  Opinion   Oped  14 Jun 2018  Mystic Mantra: Suicide or sanyas

Mystic Mantra: Suicide or sanyas

The writer, editor of Osho World, is the author of Mindfulness: The Master Key
Published : Jun 14, 2018, 2:15 am IST
Updated : Jun 14, 2018, 2:15 am IST

As a sanyasin, one has to learn the art of meditating and creating distance from the mind that is suicidal.


Bhaiyyu Maharaj, a popular spiritual leader who counted some of the country’s top politicians and celebrities among his followers, committed suicide yesterday, by shooting himself in the head at his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Earlier, on June 8, the celebrity world was shocked to hear about the death of the Anthony Michael Bourdain (Born on June 25, 1956). He too committed suicide. He was an American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition. He was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world. Though best known for his culinary achievements and television presentations, along with several books on food and cooking and travel adventures, Bourdain also wrote both fiction and historical non-fiction.

In the same week, fashion designer Kate Spade took her life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that suicide rates in the United States increased by an alarming 28 per cent from 1999 through 2016. The CDC reported that in the US in 2016 there were nearly 45,000 suicides — more than twice as many suicides as  homicides.

Suicide is not just an American problem, it is a problem of the whole world. We become more shocked when we come to know about celebrities committing suicide. In India, so many ordinary people are committing suicide every day — even the young students and young girls, besides farmers. We are told that the main cause of suicide is depression and the inability to deal with it. People are feeling certain kind of loneliness even though they live with the family, friends and society. But they don’t feel at home anywhere, they feel alienated. We wonder what has happened. Even though there is so much comfort available to a large number of people, so much amusement and so much entertainment, even then the people become depressed and commit suicide.  Almost everybody in the world has strong emotional moments when he or she feels the utter meaninglessness of life. In earlier times, during such moments some people used to think of renouncing the world and become sannyasis. Even this decision is much better than committing suicide. Because by going away from the world, one can contemplate and meditate; one can have a self-realisation under the guidance of some evolved soul, and return to the world after feeling strong enough. Even a periodical sanyas of three months or just 21 days can make the person rejuvenated.

As a sanyasin, one has to learn the art of meditating and creating distance from the mind that is suicidal. Osho says: I will teach you the right way to commit suicide. Not the destruction of the body; the body is a beautiful gift from God; the mind is a conditioning by the society. The soul is a gift, the body is a gift, and sandwiched between the two, the society has played tricks with you: it has created your mind. It gives you ambition, it gives you jealousy, competition, violence, it gives you all kinds of ugly diseases. But this mind can be transcended, this mind can be put aside.

This sanyas is life-affirmative: Being in the world and rejoicing in oneself.

Tags: bhaiyyu maharaj, anthony bourdain, osho