World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0004310973
Reproduction Date:

Title: Prayopavesa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Vrata, Religious views on suicide, Suicide, Hinduism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Prayopavesa (Sanskrit: प्रायोपवेशनम्, literally resolving to die through fasting)[1][2] is a practice in Hinduism that denotes the suicide by fasting of a person, who has no desire or ambition left, and no responsibilities remaining in life.[3] It is also allowed in cases of terminal disease or great disability.[4][5] A similar practice exists in Jainism, termed Santhara.

Conditions and rules

Committing Prayopavesa is bound by very strict regulations. Only a person who has no desire or ambition left, and no responsibilities remaining in life is entitled to perform it. The decision to do so must be publicly declared well in advance.[3] Ancient lawmakers stipulated the conditions that allow Prayopavesa. They are one's inability to perform normal bodily purification, death appears imminent or the condition is so bad that life's pleasures are nil and the action is done under community regulation.[6]


It was when the king Parikshit was observing prayopavesa, that the Bhagavata Purana was narrated to him by the sage Śuka, son of Vyasa.[7] Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, after 21 days fast, died on 26 February 1966. He thought that his duties were fulfilled and thus has no purpose left to live. In November 2001, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami subjected himself to prayopavesa. Subramuniyaswami was diagnosed to be suffering from terminal intestinal cancer. He later died on the 32nd day of his fast.[3]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ "Prayopavesa". Orientalia. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hinduism - Euthanasia and Suicide".  
  4. ^ Subramuniya. The master course, Book 2. Himalayan Academy Publications. p. 424.  
  5. ^ "Prayopavesa (Ritual Fasting to Death) by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami". 
  6. ^ Subramuniyaswami, Sivaya (2003). Dancing With Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism. Himalayan Academy Publications. p. 833.  
  7. ^ Shastri, Jagdish; Kunst, Arnold (1979). Ancient Indian Tradition & Mythology;: The Bhāgavata-purāṇa. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 73,74,75. 


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.