Santhara or The Art of Dying | Flash Post 361
Why are we writing on a morose subject like the art of dying? Death is a consequence of life or vice versa but losing someone who is the reason for your existence is unbearable yet inevitable and we are all aware of that. But what exactly is Santhara?
Button, it is a Jain religious practice of voluntarily fasting to death by gradually reducing the intake of food and liquids. It is viewed in Jainism as the thinning of human passions and the body, and another means of destroying rebirth-influencing karma by withdrawing all physical and mental activities.
Why are you telling me about this?
I am telling you this because I realised that one of our pets, who was very unwell, was actually following this path when she discovered that she had totally lost a hold on her life and didn’t want to be dependent or harass those she loved. She slowly gave up eating entirely and dissed the idea of anyone trying to force-feed her. By the end of this period, she had already lost 8-9 kilos and was too weak to move.
Is she the tiny bundle of joy barididi carried home from Ooty where she was shooting?
That’s her. I called her Mary’s little lamb because she would follow her mama everywhere her mama went. Even to the washroom.
I’ve been witness to that. She was barididi’s heart and barididi hers. The two were inseperable and her demise has left a huge gaping hole in not only her mama’s life but in ours too. But it’s also true that she was going through a very tough time and the fact that she escaped the trauma only to transcend into a peaceful haven shows that our four-legged kids have a mind of their own and are, perhaps, more perceptive than us.
I agree. But death of a dear one is bound to leave an abyss in ones life.
Is Santhara a better word for suicide.
No, it is not considered as a suicide by Jain scholars because it is not an act of passion, nor does it deploy poisons or weapons.