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3. Have you ever thought about committing suicide?

Please read the following words.

Dear friend of my soul,


I need to talk with you. You have been going through life looking here and there, and
maybe you have now concluded that you like nothing of this world, in which
everything is a frustration, that even your own body disturbs you; and thus you have
decided that you don’t want to live anymore.

We all are brothers and sisters sharing the same destiny in life. In reality, it is so
amazing how we came to be here. Our life and this body in which we live are so
complex and at the same time we are in such an inconceivable world. So why don’t
we feel well then? The reason why is due to our lack of a correct attitude to life. Our
suffering is a reflection of the errors we ourselves have committed.

Life is a wonderful gift, but few people really know its meaning, and fewer still
actually live it. You are intelligent and you may well be able to recognize the lie of
materialism, the lie of commercial happiness, senseless fashion, intoxication and
unrestrained sex life, the lie of social class position, of discrimination and hypocrisy.
You are a sensitive being and you don’t want to live for nothing, less for a lie. It is
from this position that I would like to give you some suggestions.

In my life I had the same thoughts. I decided to finish my existence, though,


fortunately, I did not have the strength to execute my impulse at that time. I was
sixteen years old and I could not tolerate to see so much injustice and to see my
goals frustrated again and again. I wanted to blame the world and society for my
frustrations. I did not know anything about God, I did not think about Him and I hated
His so-called representatives on this earth; those “Christians” bombing Vietnam,
international wars and so many others horrors. No! This was not the world in which I
wanted to live in; it still isn’t and happily it never will be.

My world was something that I could not define. So I concluded that this was a world
without consciousness and meaning. I thought that if my self-identity was my body, I
could kill it and in that way I could easily end my existence. “A bad world does not
deserve me”, I thought, and that by killing myself I would get peace, or, better said,
nothing else to worry about. Such an easy solution! With a simple suicide I would be
free from all responsibility. I wouldn’t need to work anymore or need to study and
pass tough examinations, nor be rejected by some one whom I loved and wanted to
enjoy life with; I would be rid of competitors, with others stronger than me, richer or
more beautiful or handsome than me. What an easy solution, what a discovery! Was
the world created only so that we arrive at the understanding that it is useless and
good for nothing, so that we end up desiring to get away from all this craziness via a
forced exit?

My dear friend,
Surely my description does not match your noble sentiments; but a parallel among
you and me is that both of us are alive, we are both conscious beings. Maybe it can
help you to relate how I was helped by the teachings of a very wise person, a saint,
in my most difficult moments. First, he told me something very surprising. He told me
that my body was only an instrument and not my real self; something likes a dress

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for the soul. Also, he said that we have a subtle body, which, even though it be of
ethereal substance, is also material. He was referring to that what we usually call the
mind and intelligence, something that modern science struggles to fully explain - the
capacity to think, feel and will – functions which are completely independent of the
body. If you are in a dream, you will see things, feel fear, attraction, etc. Even if your
external senses are sleeping, you are experiencing a whole field of experiences.
This is the subtle, mental body. But even deeper than this subtle body, the spiritual
body, the soul, our real self, is to be found.

The saint had so much love in his heart, and by looking in his eyes I could
understand that everything he was talking about was his own realization; it was his
truth. Of course, I tried to reject this due to my negative mind; I was focussed on my
subjective perception of how life had left me frustrated, objecting to life. But as he
continued he presented to me so much, realities that school teachers never told me,
nor even those who create the fashionable ideas that flood the world. I became very
attracted to him and my heart started to accept what he said. I wanted to learn more
about these internal worlds - the subtle body within the gross physical body, about
the material and spiritual body.
The saint was smiling to me with compassion, and he asked me:
“You wanted to kill yourself, didn’t you?”
I felt ashamed and could only confirm this with the movement of my head.
“But you don’t know that no body can kill the soul because it is eternal, the soul
come from such a higher sphere that not even an atom bomb can destroy it”.
What an idea, what a comparison! Suicide with an atom bomb, what a horror! And
even then it would not work. What a miracle there must be behind the power of
consciousness. My mind was paralysed.

The saint not only explained this to me but he also said the by killing the physical
body the self remains lost in space with the same desires, frustrations and karma,
but without a body to learn and enjoy. One would remain as a ghost, in a subtle
body, who would be very perplexed and confused, in agony and distress, watching
everything that exists: his house, family, properties and personal belongings being
used by others, etc.
All this things was too much for me; my questions started. What is karma? What will
happen to this ghost?
It is some thing very serious, answered the sage; this is not a child’s game. The law
of karma makes one understand the secrets of your own soul, of your potential to
love and of the ultimate goal in life.
Karma is the natural law of action and reaction in the repeated cycle of birth and
rebirth. As long as the soul remains in the world living out its material desires, the
soul has to born again and again to enjoy and suffer the effects caused to other
living entities. Only by stopping material desires and discovering one’s own spiritual
treasure can the soul can be rid of a material body, both gross and subtle.

Dear friend, my head was spinning as I was feeling smaller and smaller in this world.
Only the sweet smile of the saint kept me focussed on something real.
“What would happen to the soul in this difficult situation of a ghost life?” I asked.
He responded that they would have to remain in this ghostly position for long time,
until the karma of having killed one’s own physical body has been lived out. They
would experience so much sadness in being without a body that they would pray to
be able to enter in even the body of a worm. In such a condition they wouldn’t be

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able to make any spiritual progress. They would suffer a lot; though this too would be
temporary. Once again they would receive the opportunity to be born again in a
material body where they may develop the same tendencies; a human body with the
same errors - the desire to be happy at the cost of other’s sufferings.

The saint turned very serious and said:


“If you want to put an end to this material existence, you really have to stop
committing so many errors. You have to seek the truth and be ready to serve the
common cause.”
“What is that common cause?” I asked.
To which he said, “To be the unconditional well-wisher of all our brothers and sisters.
Only great souls are ready to understand this. Those who kill themselves are
cowards. They don’t want to do what is required to overcome the errors of the past.
They ignore that everything contributes to a wonderful end, which only with
responsibility and without egoism can it be approached and attained.”
“Are you ready to live for this goal, to live for the truth and to serve it?”
As I did not like to live for fantasies, for the exploitation of this world, I answered yes
to him and requested he instruct me further. The sage became my spiritual master
and my life took a very different turn. But this is another subject, which I share freely
with those who want to know more at Vrindavan.org.

The main point is that by killing one’s body nothing good is achieved, not for this life
or the next. Suicide is a lie full of illusion. A living being, a spirit soul, is here to learn
how to be responsible. There is no ways to escape from this duty. But, and this is the
best news, this is life’s beautiful opportunity. The human body is a very special gift
compared to an animal’s body. Animals are our younger brothers and though they
may have their gross senses more developed then us, they can’t change their
destiny as we may do by surrendering to the truth and getting out of the cycle of birth
and death to live eternally in the transcendental world.
Knowing this, I felt very grateful; I had been saved from my cowardice from falling
into the terrible existence of a senseless ghostly condition.
The saint also taught me to be vegetarian to avoid the bad karma of killing animals.
He explained to me about the amnesty of karma and other things, but the most
important thing he gave me was a deep conviction that life was worth living. No
matter in what evolutionary stage the soul is, there will always be something new to
understand, to attain, something to do to grow and become a better person and
servant of others. The Self does not die; only the body. Death comes by itself; some
day relatively soon, if not today. The most secure business is the funeral business.
But this is not very interesting. It is much more important what you do and achieve
whilst in this body, with your mind and intelligence, which God gave to you for some
special reason.

Will you be able to overcome egoism or will your life degrade into unbearable
egocentrism only to be born later into bodies with lower states of consciousness?
Even without a human body, you will always have some kind of body, whether a
physical or subtle one, as long as you remain in this world. As pure souls, we are
friends of all souls; so we can share and help each other, instead of making life
miserable like the egoistic materialist does under the name of progress.

Come on! Be patient, work and keep a nice family. Become an honest and excellent
professional. But the most important is to seek for that truth which brought us here.

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Don’t ignore it. Accept your karma; because good or bad as it may be, only you
created it, only you are to blame. In this way, overcome your destiny with the help of
wise sages, who are always available in one way or another every time that one
seriously searches for wisdom.

It was my pleasure to share all this with you. I hope I was able to touch your soul.
Even more so, if I was able to bring this message to all those who have this idea of
killing their bodies, so that they don’t commit such an error, and that they preserve
themselves as nice friends of the souls too whilst destiny keeps them on this planet.

“Liberty is the principle we ought to consider the most valuable gift of God.”

“To become responsible is the very first teaching of material nature. But above this is
the true goal, that of divine love, which everyone is looking for; even though only few
people are ready to pay the required price”.
Swami B.A Paramadvaiti.

Translated and interpreted by Gopini devi dasi & Gopananda dasa