Suicide: Causes and Cure
Brigadier CHITRANJAN SAWANT,VSM
A couple took their own lives when they were overwhelmed with grief because of the death of their only seven year old boy because he had contracted a deadly disease called Dengue. A tragic case indeed it was when responsible citizens, neighbours and loved ones shed tears but could not do anything to reverse the fatality.
A teenager failed in the annual examination and felt so deeply depressed that he preferred to take his own life rather than face his father and undergo chastisement.
A young Jawan of a rifle regiment lost an important component of his persona weapon, a rifle, and felt so scared of the impending summary trial and dishonorable discharge from the army that he chose to hang himself to death.
A young girl was kidnapped and raped by goons and physical resistance causing her mental anguish and social shame. She chose to end her life by self immolation because she thought that she had no future after losing her chastity in an ignoble manner.
Making an analysis in depth of the situations mentioned heretofore dispassionately, a sociologist would find that there was a chance of saving lives of those persons if timely help was made available. In other words many cases of suicides are preventable if some thought is given by saner elements in the society and the thoughts are followed by action on ground in the form of counseling and material help to the individuals who chose to take their own lives.
There are elderly experienced selfless persons in every segment of the society who have seen adverse situations where personal disaster was imminent but was averted with timely help by saner elements in the immediate neighbourhood. Many cases of domestic discord are sorted out by elderly persons living in the locality who like to intervene in the dangerous disputes to save human lives even if rebuffed by disputing persons initially.
In some cases intervening individuals lost their limbs or even lives and yet chose to play the role of a good Samaritan. In a case of serious domestic discord, it is the female involved who feels so slighted that she burns own body rather than tolerate jibes of her male partner. It is here that soothing words spoken by the selfless elderly neighbor to pacify the two sides go a long way in redeeming the situation and preventing it from deteriorating to a dangerously low level causing fatality.
No dose of heavy counseling or taking the disputing parties to separate houses to allow them to cool down was required. The dispute was settled on the spot as it was the result of Ego unabated and only timely pacification sorted it out.
Of course, it is not as simple as that in all cases where situation may be complicated. The complication grows over a long period of time. The suicidal tendency is noticeable if there is someone to notice. Unfortunately there are no elderly persons in the house where nuclear family lives.
The eminent Sociologists should ponder over the issue of encouraging our newly married couples to revert to joint family system and abandon the newly acquired freedom and exclusive facilities of nuclear families. Indeed young wives have a leading role to play in coming to terms with mothers-in-law and submit to the superior status of the latter. In any case it has to be a solution of adjustment between the two ladies of the house with men folk playing onlooker’s role with as little interference as possible. If we go by the old time statistics we find that the number of suicides was negligible and emotional cushions were available within the joint families.
Robust Minds Sturdy Bodies
The young men and women of today have to undergo Yogasans, Pranayam, mantra manan and jettison fast food and junk food in favour of simple diet providing nutrition to both body and mind. As recent a story as today’s has screaming headlines that a XII class student of a prestigious secondary school ofNew Delhi hailing from a highly placed bureaucrat’s family provided with a separate study room committed suicide because he could not cope with the pressure of studies.
He had a weak mind and a frail body because the parental pressure was immense to perform well in examination. There was no one in the family to sit with the young boy and share his agony and pain emanating from studies of science and engineering that the lad could not cope with. Everyone wanted good results without facilitating easy access to traditional ways of developing a robust mind and a sturdy body. The boy cracked up and committed suicide.
Moral of the story is that parents have to sit with the son or daughter, share his problems of life and help him or her find solutions that he failed to find alone. If the father is busy building his career and the mother has little time to spare from card sessions or kitty parties, the end of the life of their ward is indeed a foregone conclusion.
Parents will be well advised to share the joys and sorrows of their offspring from the beginning to the end. Of course, the adults have their own life to live but they have to find time to be with their sons and daughters when their pleasant company is needed in advisory roles without thrusting solutions that are unpalatable and may lead to domestic discord leading to suicides on minor matters.
A benign eye and a soft hand of help to guide the youngster on the right path is indeed the onerous responsibility of parents. If parents discharge their duty in the best interest of their children, adolescent sons and daughters, outsiders and predators will have little room to come in and mesmerize the distraught ward leading to sexual escapades, notorious anti-publicity through pictures in compromising positions leading to unpleasant ends of promising lives.
Ekant vs Solitude
Ekant means that it is the end of being alone. It is the end of one being and more than one are ushered in. Ekant is sometimes misinterpreted as Solitude, the latter means one has retired to seclusion where ONE lives alone without any company whatsoever. As far as Loners in our human society are concerned, they have to be kept under watch by those who care for the society.
In a herd of elephants if a tusker does not go by rules of the game and becomes destructive endangering safety and security of young ones, the rest of the herd makes sure that the rogue is ousted and denied company of other elephants. Thereafter the rogue elephant becomes dangerous for the human society and the jungle too until eliminated by the forest guards as per prescribed procedure.
Do a Good Turn to Society
In a human society, one comes across Loners who keep to themselves, do not participate in group activities, do not play team games and at a certain stage start avoiding company of other human beings, both male and female. Such loners are to the human society what a rogue elephant is to the jungle.
The human Loner eventually may become a criminal, a fugitive and end his own life by committing suicide. If a good Samaritan keeps a watch on a human loner and makes an endeavour to reform him socially, the Loner may once again become a member of the human society and be beneficial to self and society both.
These days there are senior citizens and super senior citizens who have discharged their duties to their families, their children are grown up and it is time they did a good turn to the human society they had gained a lot from in their youthful days. Of course, only those who have been trained mentally to consider themselves a part of the larger family that the world is.
The Vedic Dharm, not to be mistaken for a religion of rituals, that guides a human being how to live a healthy and happy life comes in to fill the blanks in the human society. No money is asked for and none given for doing a good turn to a forlorn human being because he or she is a human being. An Arya with a liberal mind and flexible approach to problem solving may be able to take on this additional responsibility. It is indeed an act of virtue. Virtue is its own reward.
The main entrance to the Central Hall of the Sansad Bhawan has an inscription on top of the door from the Upanishad. It reads:
“AYAM NIJ PAROVETI, GANANA LAGHU CHETSAM,
UDAR CHARITANAM TU VASUDHAIV KUTUMBAKAM”
Indeed, a wonderful quote from the Upanishad for the guidance of human beings. Rendered into English, it means that only the narrow minded people go into proprietary rights of things and differentiate between what is theirs and what belongs to others; the liberal minded human beings consider the entire humanity as members of the Global Family.
Living Life cheerfully helps a human being change Depression into Robustness of Mind. Depression is the source of all troubles that lead to a state of mind where an individual thinks that life is not worth living. It is at this stage a good friend may step in and convince the depressed person that the present state shall pass away. Good times will return.
Life is worth living now, life will be worth living after a change of mind and life will be all Joy cutting across all sorrows when depression will be overcome by Robustness of Mind that will motivate Man to look forward to doing a positive act for the welfare of the society.
Auto suggestion plays an important role in Man’s life. If a depressed man keeps on thinking the ways and means of ending life – may be by hanging, may be by shooting self with a fire arm, may be buy jumping into a deep well or a fast flowing deep waters of a river or just jumping before a running railway train – he is bound to take his own life sooner or later, may be sooner than later. A good human being will advise a man in depression to entertain positive thoughts and dismiss frivolity.
If I were in touch with a man or a woman in depression, I would keep counseling him and her to give auto suggestion constantly and say “May I live a long life. May I become a Centenarian. May I not be a dependant on others for anything in life.”
Let us recite a Ved mantra to give a positive auto suggestion on the above lines for living a healthy and happy life. The Ved mantra will make the environment VEDMAI and lend sanctity to the purpose of life. The relevant Ved Mantra on living a long and meaningful life is:
“JEEVEM SHARADAH SHATAM …..ADINAH SHARADAH SHATAM”
May I assure my readers that the aforesaid positive auto suggestion will blow depression into smithereens and pave the way for a Happy Life.