The death diet when vegetarianism isn't non-violent enough to shed those extra karmas

Date
2013-08
Authors
Grimes, Samuel Maxwell
Journal Title
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Publisher
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2013]
Abstract
The ancient Jaina practice of fasting to death (sallekhanā or santhāra) has come under scrutiny in modern India since Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code forbids an attempt to commit suicide and section 306 prohibits its abetment. In most Indian states those fasting have been force-fed and their fast prematurely terminated, but a few states are exceptional and grant those observing sallekhanā special status. Individual states have varying interpretations of the national law, forcing many Jains to conduct the ancient, spiritual austerity in secret. The question has thus arisen: how and with what evidence, when sallekhanā is considered to be in violation of Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code by multiple Indian states, do Jains contend that it is not suicide? Suicide is a universal phenomenon understood and evaluated in a variety of ways in different times and places. Suicide literally means "self-killing", so even though every culture may not view the ethical and moral ramifications of the act in a similar fashion, most agree on what it means to kill one's own self. However, there are cases where intentional self-killing is not considered suicide. Psychologists, sociologists, philosophers and religious authorities have unique perspectives regarding the voluntary termination of one's own life. Sociology is concerned with the phenomenon on a more grand, and population-encompassing level while the field of psychology focuses on the prevention of suicide with regards to individuals. Philosophical speculation of the subject primarily revolves around the ethical implications of self-killing. Religions, unlike the disciplinary fields that seek to understand suicide, have created rules regarding its morality.
Description
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords
sallekhanā
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