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Jain Man Fasts to Death Essay

A 76 year old Indian man died of starvation that is called “santhara”. It is an old practice in Jainism where a person fasts for a number of days and is believed to help the person achieve salvation. Some people are still not amenable to this practice as they believe that this is a sort of suicide. On the other hand, Amar Chand, the man who died, believed that it would help him cleanse his soul as he has been ill for some time already. “Santhara” is a religious ritual described as intended death by fasting.

During the process of fasting, the person is given time to reflect on his life, which is reason why this is considered to bring salvation. If someone feels like he has served his purpose in life and felt like he has imparted enough of himself to the world, one can decide to fast. There are a lot of religious practices in the world; some may even seem absurd and illogical. However, to the followers of the specific religions, their belief stands by the fact that they would be able to achieve something out of it; in this case, salvation.

If you think about it, to decide that you have served your purpose is a sign of consciousness and knowledge of the belief that you are following. It shows that given enough will power and faith in something, anybody can do anything. To the Jains, though some may think that “santhara” is synonymous to suicide, they still hold on to the practice because as far as they know, being able to reflect upon one’s life can help them save themselves from spiritual death just as the Muslims believe that they need to travel to Mecca at least once in their life.


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