Buddhism & Suicide

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Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Adumbra » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:16 am

No, I'm not trolling....

Seriously, I want to know what Buddha thought about suicide. None of the sutras I have read mention it and yet I find it hard to believe that in his 40 years of teaching he never touched the topic. Specifically, I have some questions:

If life IS predominately suffering, then would not suicide be a much more direct solution to the problem then becoming a Buddhist and practicing strenuous meditation, upholding precepts, etc...?

Assuming there is rebirth, if one commits suicide with absolutely NO desire whatsoever to experience ANY rebirths ANYWHERE, would that person be reborn? Afterall, we take birth because we crave existence. If someone has ceased craving existence -- not just the particular existence they are living presently; but any form of existence period, why would they take any further rebirths?

I ask this because I am seriously contemplating suicide. Don't worry, I don't intend to off myself any time soon. If I do kill myself, I decided long ago to do so through starvation so I would have about 2 months to change my mind before death was certain.

I'm not considering suicide out of depression. Sure, life is damn depressing I'll admit -- but only if I look at other people's lives. Humans are too stupid to ever get it right. I've read enough history books to know that the sorry cycle of samsara won't end unless the monkeys push that button and initiate the nuclear holocaust we've all been waiting for (too bad they'll be taking every other species with them).

My own life is relatively pain free. My primary motive is simple boredom. I see little reason to continue living for maybe, at most, 10 more decades. Sure, life has its little pleasures. I've eaten ice cream, been kissed by a girl, learned calculus, meditated, had several pets, enjoyed sunny days in nature... I've laughed until I've cried and cried until I laughed. I've loved and hated. The only thing I haven't done is mated. I've done lots of interesting things but it's getting old and I would rather end life on a high note than allow it to peter out like a sitcom that's been on the air too long.

Buddhism is the only 'religion' I have any respect for, so I'm curious about what the fat man had to say about bowing and leaving the stage with class, rather than being dragged away by natural death?
"The first thing you have to understand is that I don't believe in ANYTHING."
-Arahata Osho
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby tracefleeman » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:01 am

Haha. "the fat man" isn't Buddha, my friend.

Now, I'm quite sure that you have to experience life, the ups and downs, to become a Buddha. The Buddha was a prince, but his mother died when he was young.
But, I don't think Buddhism is the ONLY way to "enlightenment". I find that Buddhism is the Yang and Taoism is the Yin. Both are roads to the same destination.

Now, back on topic. I DO believe that suicide is bad karma - you leave your loved ones in suffering and pain. So, if a Buddha where to kill himself, this would cause bad karma, and rebirth. But, note that a Buddha wouldn't kill himself - he would have the desire to stay and help people (Buddha stated that not all desire is bad.The desire to reach enlightenment or help others is an example of this) reach enlightenment.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Dexing » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:09 am

Adumbra wrote:If life IS predominately suffering,


Life is predominately what you make of it.

If you are so terribly bored with your regular routine you have to get up and make changes, make opportunities, do something meaningful. Learn a new language, bridge gaps, find a passion and fight for it.

Murder is one of the worst karma. Suicide is the homicide of oneself. The yearning for death plus that karma of killing will cause further rebirth with suffering far beyond the mere bordom of this life. It ultimately ends nothing, but only amplifies personal suffering, not to mention the suffering of those affected by the suicide.

It seems what you are looking for is a solution to your bordem, not in fact to not live now or ever again. I would suggest learning a new language. It opens many doors in countless areas of life and can simply be quite fun.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Mariusz » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:10 am

Excuse me I don't quote the Buddha, but I think it will be good to look at http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying.pdf p.383:

What happens to the consciousness of a person who commits suicide?
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (the late well-known realized master of Dzogchen) said:
When a person commits suicide, the consciousness has no choice but to follow its negative karma, and it may well happen that a harmful spirit will seize and possess its life force, In the case of suicide, a powerful master must perform special kinds of practices, such as fire ceremonies and other rituals, in order to free the dead person's consciousness.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Seishin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:46 am

Adumbra, You are not reborn because you crave existance, you are reborn due to your previous karma. I'm sure I read somewhere that the precept for not taking a life (ie killing) includes your own body, therefore, if you kill yourself you'll still be reborn and possibly, you'll be reborn in a worse condition than the current one. And so the circle of samsara continues.

In my opinion, the idea that suicide ends all is on par with nihilism, which the Buddha vehemently disagreed with. That is not what the Buddhadharma teaches.

Gassho,
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:58 pm

Adumbra wrote:No, I'm not trolling....
Actually the Buddha did give specific teachings regardin suicide. The teachings were given after a couple of Arhats commited suicide in order to hasten their Parinibbana. They figured that since they were free of mental stains and incapable of generating new outcomes that there was no real use in hanging around waiting for a natural death. No!

And what is this commiting suicide out of boredom nonsense? I guess you have never received the teachings on the precious nature of this human life? Do you believe in rebirth? If so, considering that boredom is a dull and sluggish state of mind, then the most likely thing that will happen is that you will be reborn in the animal realm after your death.

Really Adumbra, if you have enough time on your hands to be bored then you also have enough time on your hands to practice.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Adumbra » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:42 pm

tracefleeman:
Now, back on topic. I DO believe that suicide is bad karma - you leave your loved ones in suffering and pain. So, if a Buddha where to kill himself, this would cause bad karma, and rebirth


Yours' is a legitimate objection and something I've given some thought to. If suicide is a sin, it's a sin against our loved ones which is why I'm not making any new friends and I'm slowly isolating myself from the ones I have (not breaking them off, just visiting less often so I can wean them from me). My mom might live another 15 years but once she's gone I'm free of all attachments.

Dexing:
If you are so terribly bored with your regular routine you have to get up and make changes, make opportunities, do something meaningful. Learn a new language, bridge gaps, find a passion and fight for it.


I'm a lifetime learner. I've studied other languages, as well as mathematics, virtually every branch of the hard sciences, also sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, ect.... I'm a learning junky but there comes a time when learning new things just doesn't do it anymore. Yours' isn't a bad suggestion, but it doesn't apply to me. As for passions... I don't have any besides learning and I'm bored with it.

Nothing in life interests me that much at this point. I feel like an adult who is stuck in kindergarten, sitting in the sandbox with the little kids. The kiddies just don't get why I'm not enthralled by their toys and little kid games.

I won't say I've done it all. No one's done it all. But if I haven't done it, that's only because it's a variation on something I HAVE done. A game is a game. It can never be anything more than that no matter how different it is from other games. I'm tired of games. Playing games: that's all most of you are doing. Head games, sex games, social machiavellian games, power games, money games, war games, religious games. You're just a bunch of actors, most of you playing bit parts. I'm not being holier-than-thou about this. I liked playing games too when when I was younger. But there comes a time when we must put away childish things. I'm a grown-up who wants to do grown-up things. But since there are no grown-up things to do on this backward little planet, then I may as well just leave.

Seishin:
Adumbra, You are not reborn because you crave existance, you are reborn due to your previous karma.


Remember the 2nd noble truth? Karma may determine what happens to us in samsara, but I don't think it's enough to keep us here.

gregkavarnos:
And what is this commiting suicide out of boredom nonsense? I guess you have never received the teachings on the precious nature of this human life? Do you believe in rebirth? If so, considering that boredom is a dull and sluggish state of mind, then the most likely thing that will happen is that you will be reborn in the animal realm after your death.


I know of the teaching, I just disagree. No animal suffers even a fraction of what human beings do. Humans intelligent enough to anticipate their suffering (thus increasing it) but still too dumb to prevent the suffering in the first place. Hell, the vast majority of humans are the #1 cause of their own suffering! Compare a pathetic human being who works 15 hours a day just to keep his family fed to a cat who suns himself all afternoon and then has fun hunting down his meal in the evening. For animals (except ants) life is play, while for humans it's, at best, an endurance test. Far from being precious, human life is a mistake, an evolutionary step in the wrong direction. If I'm reborn as an animal chances are I won't be any worse off than I am now.

Actually the Buddha did give specific teachings regardin suicide. The teachings were given after a couple of Arhats commited suicide in order to hasten their Parinibbana. They figured that since they were free of mental stains and incapable of generating new outcomes that there was no real use in hanging around waiting for a natural death. No!


Now here's what I was wanting. Could you provide more detail? Why did Buddha disapprove?
"The first thing you have to understand is that I don't believe in ANYTHING."
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:00 pm

So you want to kill yourself? It is not gonna liberate you because you are not enlightened and killing yourself will not change that either. If it is simply that easy, nobody needs to practice.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Adumbra wrote:I know of the teaching, I just disagree. No animal suffers even a fraction of what human beings do. Humans intelligent enough to anticipate their suffering (thus increasing it) but still too dumb to prevent the suffering in the first place. Hell, the vast majority of humans are the #1 cause of their own suffering! Compare a pathetic human being who works 15 hours a day just to keep his family fed to a cat who suns himself all afternoon and then has fun hunting down his meal in the evening. For animals (except ants) life is play, while for humans it's, at best, an endurance test. Far from being precious, human life is a mistake, an evolutionary step in the wrong direction. If I'm reborn as an animal chances are I won't be any worse off than I am now.
Fanciful theory on all fronts, but without the human condition how would one turn their mind to enlightenment? It takes that peculiar blend of suffering and capcity to overcome suffering to act as a catalyst for change. As for your "no animals suffer..." check out this video and come back and tell me the same fairy tale: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=213&start=1580#p94199
Now here's what I was wanting. Could you provide more detail? Why did Buddha disapprove?
I'm trying to hunt down the Sutta but no luck so far. Maybe somebody else out there may be able to give you a direct reference.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Seishin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Adumbra wrote:Remember the 2nd noble truth? Karma may determine what happens to us in samsara, but I don't think it's enough to keep us here.


You have shown time and again in many of your posts that you do not fully understand Buddhadharma and the above illustrates that. I hope for your sake you change your mind and find a decent teacher soon. I hope, for others' sake, no-one follows or copies you. I'm sorry to have to be so blunt.

Suicide was a phenomenon known to the Buddha and commented on by him. On one occasion a group of monks doing the meditation on the repulsiveness of the body, without proper guidance, became depressed and killed themselves. When informed that the two lovers had killed themselves so that "they could be together for eternity" the Buddha commented that these actions were based on desire and ignorance. His attitude to suicide is clear from the Vinaya where it is an offence entailing expulsion from the Sangha for a monk to encourage or assist someone to suicide, and thus on a par with murder. Consequently, in Theravada it is considered as a breach of the first Precept, motivated by similar mental states as murder (loathing, fear, anger, desire to escape a problem) only directed towards oneself rather than another.

While Mahayana takes a similar attitude to the more common type of suicide it did encourage suicide for religious motives. The Lotus Sutra and several other Mahayana works praise the burning of one's own body, a sort of human incense stick, as the "highest offering". Stories of bodhisattvas giving parts of their body or even their lives, which are immensely popular in Medieval India, gave self-mutilation and suicide legitimacy. During certain periods in Chinese history such practices became so common that the government had to issue edicts against them. In recent times religious suicide has become rare and even disapproved of.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dha ... /fdd30.htm
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Seishin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:12 pm

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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Virgo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:23 pm

Adumbra wrote:My own life is relatively pain free. My primary motive is simple boredom. I see little reason to continue living for maybe, at most, 10 more decades. Sure, life has its little pleasures. I've eaten ice cream, been kissed by a girl, learned calculus, meditated, had several pets, enjoyed sunny days in nature... I've laughed until I've cried and cried until I laughed. I've loved and hated. The only thing I haven't done is mated. I've done lots of interesting things but it's getting old and I would rather end life on a high note than allow it to peter out like a sitcom that's been on the air too long.

Buddhism is the only 'religion' I have any respect for, so I'm curious about what the fat man had to say about bowing and leaving the stage with class, rather than being dragged away by natural death?

Actualy Adumbra, you sound depressed to me, but you may not know that you are depressed.

This is called "cold depression". You should have a look at this video:



The Buddha certainly does not recommend suicide.

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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Seishin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:42 pm

Overcoming mental hindrances
Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with a mind devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness.
Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with a mind devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the
welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger.
Abandoning sloth and torpor, he dwells with a mind devoid of sloth and torpor, mindful, alert,
perceiving light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and torpor.
Abandoning restlessness and worry, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and worry.
Abandoning spiritual doubt, he dwells having crossed over doubt, with no perplexity with regard
to wholesome mental states. He cleanses his mind of doubt.
Thus, too, bhikshus, is the exertion fruitful, the striving fruitful.

Satipa hāna-sutta

Having abandoned the destruction of life, he abstains from destroying life. He dwells with rod and weapon laid down, conscientious, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings.

sāmaa,phala
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Adumbra » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:45 pm

Actualy Adumbra, you sound depressed to me, but you may not know that you are depressed.

This is called "cold depression". You should have a look at this video:


Wow, that certainly sounds a lot like how I feel. Thanks for the advice. I'll try the mantra and see what happens.

As an aside, I sometimes wonder if it was my meditation practicies that got me into this. I've had so many... strange experiences during meditation that it is difficult for me to relate to most people. Also, I think meditating is a lot like smoking weed: it feels so damn good you don't want to do anything else; ever. Especially pranayama. I swear if my legs didn't start to lock up in pain after sitting for a while I'd do pranayama all day long.

It'll be tough, but I'm gonna quit meditation for 30 days. Maybe that will bring me down to earth.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Virgo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:53 pm

Adumbra wrote:
Actualy Adumbra, you sound depressed to me, but you may not know that you are depressed.

This is called "cold depression". You should have a look at this video:


Wow, that certainly sounds a lot like how I feel. Thanks for the advice. I'll try the mantra and see what happens.

As an aside, I sometimes wonder if it was my meditation practicies that got me into this. I've had so many... strange experiences during meditation that it is difficult for me to relate to most people. Also, I think meditating is a lot like smoking weed: it feels so damn good you don't want to do anything else; ever. Especially pranayama. I swear if my legs didn't start to lock up in pain after sitting for a while I'd do pranayama all day long.

It'll be tough, but I'm gonna quit meditation for 30 days. Maybe that will bring me down to earth.

I suggest you just try the mantra and mudra for 11 minutes per day (start off with 3 and work your way up). It will work your navel to ground you and bring you into your body and make you feel powerful, grounded, and strong, it will work on your heart to open you up to the joy of life, it will work on your higher chakras to help you live by intuition rather than being caught in discursiveness, it will effect your prana in a positive way and your whole energy system. It also works with the index fingers which draw the positive aspects of Jupiter into your life, increasing good and positive things. Also, Jupiter shifted today starting a new one year cycle.
This will remove the apathy and open you up totally, but you need to be willing to do it.

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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Jesse » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:19 pm

As an aside, I sometimes wonder if it was my meditation practicies that got me into this. I've had so many... strange experiences during meditation that it is difficult for me to relate to most people. Also, I think meditating is a lot like smoking weed: it feels so damn good you don't want to do anything else; ever. Especially pranayama. I swear if my legs didn't start to lock up in pain after sitting for a while I'd do pranayama all day long.


I can relate, don't let me talk you out of quitting meditation if that's what you want to do, but personally I've found that meditating specifically for these altered states is unhealthy, and it can definitely cause issues, but the real gift of meditation is not these experiences, they are a clear and calm mind, if you focus to this end w/ your meditation I think you'll find it much more useful.

If life IS predominately suffering


Samsara.. life is suffering, but it is also nirvana.

Humans are too stupid to ever get it right.


Your human too, maybe you can relate?
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby AdmiralJim » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:23 pm

You should have a visit to your doctor too, if you are depressed, you can get some proper help.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:00 am

Hopefully you change your mind for the sake of your parents but if not then you might as well pray for rebirth in Sukhavati.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Adumbra » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:56 am

Didn't last 2 days off of meditation. On the 2nd night I gave in and blissed out for over 2 hours. Face it, I'm a helpless junkie! Well, there are worse addictions... :meditate:

Nighthawk:
Hopefully you change your mind for the sake of your parents but if not then you might as well pray for rebirth in Sukhavati.


I wouldn't do it if either of my parents were still alive. I'm not in such agony that I couldn't wait 10 years... or even 100 years. I actually feel pretty good most of the time. I'm just bored and apathetic.

Sukhavati? Maybe so or maybe I'd be just as bored there.

I need some excitement in my life. I used to get in fights every other day when I went to school and I never felt like dying back then. In fact, I was very worried that one of my enemies might carry out their death threat and kill me.

Nietzsche said somewhere that a good war hallows any cause. What I need is a nemesis. Someone who hates everything that I represent and has dedicated their entire life to destroying me! Every great man has one: Socrates had Meletus. Jesus had Satan. Even Buddha had Devadatta.

Good God! That really is it! THAT'S what's missing from my life! Not someone to love. Not someone to hate -- I don't hate anyone anymore. But someone to hate ME.

And hey, even if they do succeed at killing me what do I care? I was going to die anyways...
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:53 am

Adumbra wrote:Good God! That really is it! THAT'S what's missing from my life! Not someone to love. Not someone to hate -- I don't hate anyone anymore. But someone to hate ME.
Bzzzzttt... Wrong! You defintely, 100%, need somebody to love and to love you. Without a doubt! A loving sexual relationship will probably change your mind about a lot of things. No doubt about it! I mean why would you want to be the cause of somebody's unwholesome mental state? Really!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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