Fasting Till Death Rituals

The practice of austerity till death, fasting till death, etc. As per reports every year on an average 240 Jains fast till death in our country.

Fasting Till Death Ritual

Disclaimer: Youngisthan.in do not intend to criticize or hurt any religious sentiments. This post is informative and the opinions are that of the writer.

Sokushinbutsu:  This ritual is no longer in practice but in the 11th and 19th century, the Biddist monks in Northern Japan practiced this process of austerity till death or mummification.

Buddhist mummies were referred to as the ‘Bodhisatvas’ i.e. deliberately not allowing the body to decompose. It is a belief that the Buddhist monk was able to mortify his flesh and hence even after death the body was still deliberately kept.

The practice of austerity till death was not suicide for the Buddhists at that time. Today none of the Buddhists follow this practice and it is banned in Japan.

Well that was Japan but India is known for carrying harsh rituals in the name of traditions.

Sallekhana/ Santhara/ Samadhi-marana/ Sanyasana-marana:

Whatever is the name the practice is very drastic and more shocking is the fact that it still prevails in our country.

In this ritual the person fasts till death. It is in Jainism.

As per reports every year on an average 240 Jains fast till death in our country.


What suicide???

Hell no…this according to them is the way of burning karma.

Who is allowed to undergo this process?

Physically fit person is not allowed. Here more importance is given to the mental stature than physical being. You may be suffering from a terminal disease but if you are mentally prepared to sacrifice all the worldly pleasures then you would be allowed to perform this process.


This is again a similar practice of fasting till death in Hinduism.

November 2001:

Satguru Sivaya Subramaniyaswami had subjected himself to ‘Prayopavesa’. He died on the 32nd day of his fast.

Please note I am not speaking against any religion or do not intend to hurt any sentiments. I am just raising some genuine concerns.

In a country where ‘Eutheneia’ is debated these practices go on in the name of religion…are we deliberately being blind?

Is there any science behind such practice?

There was a time when even ‘Sati practice’ was carried out in the form of a ritual. Today that practice doesn’t exist anymore.

It is high time rational thinking takes the center stage.

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