I know why you are planning to end your life.
I get it. You’ve got no hope left – you’re alone, you’re depressed – you have nothing to live for!
You think you can end your life just like that – and your pain and suffering, troubles and tears-everything will be gone for good. No more fears, failures, and heartaches. Everything will settle down, once and for all. Right?
I wish that was true!
There was a time when I also used to think likewise.
It was 1995. My life was a complete mess. My family was living in our native village. And I was living in Delhi-all alone.
I was doing a computer course. My father’s financial situation was quite weak, so things were hard. I used to get only 2000/- for managing my monthly expenses. Out of which I was supposed to pay 1325/- each month as my computer course fee. And all I used to left with was a meagre 675/-.
So, basically, I was supposed to survive on peanuts. And I can tell you it was hard like hell. After paying the course fee, electricity bill, bus fare, and stationery, the only money I used to have were some coins. There were times when I had to go hungry for 2-3 days straight. I could not tell this to my parents because they were already in deep financial trouble. I had no intention to make them feel worse. Sometimes I had to almost beg from one of my relatives for money to go by for another week.
You must be wondering how come my parents were in such a bad financial shape? Well, my parents, especially my father used to believe that we were born to be used as footboards by our extended family. Selfishness was a sin for him, and so he always put himself last. That “adventure” of his had made our lives miserable.
Misery Knows No Boundaries
The home I used to live in…well, it would be unjustified to call it home. Basically, it was a temporary structure built in 1992 just to hold the possession of the plot. The plot I was living on was in an unauthorized colony – which meant no water supply, no electricity, and no roads – literally nothing!
The room was in horrible shape. It was made out of bricks and mud with no cemented plaster on the walls. Since the surroundings were kind of backward and crappy, there used to be a lot of mosquitoes hiding in the gaps in the bricks.
Since there was no power supply, I had to sleep in a mosquito net. I could barely have 2 meals a day. Fruits? Nuts? No, I was not in a position to afford such “luxuries.” All I could afford was-3-4 Rotis with fried grams or some rice with Dal. I used to cover almost 3 kilometres every other day to fetch 10 litres of drinking water.
I had no vehicle to roam around. My computer course institute was 4 kilometres from my place. Since I could not afford to buy bus tickets, I had to get a fake id card of some B grade college in West Delhi. That way I was able to pretend to the bus conductors that I was a college student. Some of them used to let me travel without a ticket while some others didn’t. The days when I had to buy ticket used to be nightmarish-spending money on bus ticket meant sleeping hungry that night.
Can you imagine – a teenager living in a remote area with no electricity, no drinking water, and sometimes no food to eat? I was stressed like anything. My self-esteem had taken a hit.
There was no way I could have imagined a future for myself. Darkness was all around me, I had no hope. My biggest concern used to be – “How am I going to eat my next meal? Should I eat or should I save the money?”
When I Couldn’t Take it Anymore
And then one day when I couldn’t take it, I decided to end my life. There was no light in sight at the other end of the tunnel. The stress and humiliation were killing me bit by bit. I decided to put a full stop to my suffering. I tried, but could not succeed.
I had no courage or hope left in me. My mind had failed me. I could not think of a viable solution to come out of my misery. I was just dragging myself and had no courage to make another attempt to kill myself. Life had stopped making sense and I had turned into a zombie-appearing alive on the outside, dead from the inside.
The Turning Point
Then I got hold of a book that gave me a little hope. It was a book on meditation by Acharya Shree Rajneesh (Osho) titled “Rajneesh Dhyan Yog” (Now it’s available as “Osho Dhyan Yog“).
I was drawn to a particular meditation technique-it was meant to break the habit of being identified with the body. Osho says in the book, “You’re not your body, you’re not your mind, you are beyond that – you’re the soul.” He explains further, “One could manage to come out of his body and see it from the outside just like others see it.”
It got me curious. How could that be? Is there something inside me that can be called “the soul?” Yes, I had heard about that from people. But was that really true, or was that some sort of eastern philosophical crap?
I could not figure that out by thinking. But I didn’t discard that as superstition. I decided to try that meditation to see what happens. I said to myself, “Let’s give it a try. I have nothing to lose.”
My computer institute had declared a break of 2 months and I had nowhere to go. I had all the time to myself. The experiment started.
I started being aware of myself while I ate, while I bathed, while I studied, or while I cleaned the courtyard.
By and by something strange started happening to me – I was able to watch my body from within. I could see that whatever was happening was happening to my body, not me.
It was a completely unheard of and strange experience for me and I was kind of enjoying it. It was sort of an adventure. Then I intensified my efforts to take the experiment to the next level. One more thing needed to be done-I was supposed to lie down in a comfortable position. Close my eyes and focus on breathing. Then I needed to imagine that my energy was contracting.
Rajneesh says in the book, “You’re an energy form with no physical body. Energy can be expanded or contracted with just a hint of intent. For this experiment, you need to contract the energy (yourself) and come to your navel.”
I was sure I won’t be disturbed in the middle of the experiment. Because I had not made any friends in the vicinity. I used to say hello to barely one or two people and that’s it. Being damn sure about my privacy, I started practising the technique every day in the afternoon.
Living conditions in the area were improving with time-now there was electricity available for about 16 to 18 hours.
It was summer time and I had somehow managed to buy a medium-sized cooler. I had no stand to put the cooler on, so I had to keep it inside.
I used to practice after eating my lunch. I kept on practising and started getting the knack of it. I was supposed to contract my energy from all the parts of my body and concentrate it at the navel. Apparently, the navel was the door – the contact point between the physical world and the spirit world.
The Day I Realized I Was Not the Body
It was a sunny, hot afternoon (I don’t remember the date).
As usual, I started the experiment. It seems I was a little tired that day so I slipped into sleep after a while. And all that happened while I was deep in the experiment. And then, I cannot say “when I woke up”, but rather “when I became conscious”-I could not open my eyes because I had no control over them. My body was lying on the bed, like it was dead, except that it wasn’t.
I could feel my body breathing. I could feel my heart-beat. I could hear the people walking on the road. I could even feel the humidity in the room, but I could not control my body.
And where was I? I was inside the body, with no concrete shape. At the most, I can say I was some sort of dense-fog-like-entity-insanely bright navy blue-ish in colour. I was roaming from one end to the other inside my body. It was an out of the world experience, but was also horrifying like anything!
When I started the experiment, I had a little expectation that maybe something would happen. But I wasn’t expecting that “something” to happen on that particular day. I felt it was too early-I wasn’t prepared for it. So there I was – roaming inside my own body like a boat with no anchor – with no name, no shape and no control over my body. I was scared to death and wanted the control over my body back but had no clue how.
Then it appeared if “contracting” could separate me from my body, “expanding” could make me one with my body again. So I tried expanding. I tried to move into my legs, into my hands, into my head, and within 5 – 10 seconds I was again “in” my body. I rose. I was drenched with sweat. But at the same time, my heart was pounding with excitement and a sense of accomplishment.
I had just experienced the greatest wonder in the world. I had seen my body and myself separated. Something that most people only hear or read in scriptures and they start believing that such phenomenon exists. It does not matter what you believe in – you may believe in god, you may believe in Satan, you may believe in ghosts. But one thing is for sure – your believing signifies that you know nothing about God or Satan or ghosts. You’re just trying to convince yourself of some theory, which may or may not exist.
That day I realized the meaning of the shlok from Geeta, where Krishna had said, “नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः । न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ॥”
“The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”
I had read that shlok before but that was just information. I could have believed in that but I wanted to experience it. And when I experienced it, it became my truth.
And because of that experience, I am in a position to tell you that people who say “your soul” have no clue what they are talking about. There’s no such thing as “your soul.” You are the soul – having a mind and body to live your life as a human being.
But yes, to this day, I regret one thing. In the book, Osho explains even further, “Once you’ve reached the point where you can see yourself separate from your body from within, that’s the point you just have to intend to come out of your physical body and you’ll be out of your body. Still connected to it through a silver-cord. Then when you intend you want to go inside, you’ll be inside your body.”
I was too scared to take the plunge to jump out of my body. Later I read in the same book that the price you pay for jumping out of your body for just once was 6 months. You shall live 6 months lesser than your original lifespan.
Osho explains that there are seven chakras in a human body.
These seven chakras serve as contact points for you and your body. If you decide to jump out of your body for even once, those seven contact points may never get aligned with the soul (you), the way they used to be before the experiment.
Consider your body as a motorbike. It runs smoothly until the original seal of the engine does not get opened. The moment you open the original seal and later try to fit it all again, it will fit, but the original alignment and refinement will be missing. It is the case with the human body. Once you jump out of the body for the sake of seeing it from the outside, the alignment with those seven “contact” points falls out of the place. It gets disturbed. You may start catching weird infections and some serious illnesses.
Osho says. “Every meditator needs to experience the reality at least once that he is not the body. But the experiment should be done in later years of one’s life. When you’re somewhat free of your family responsibilities.”
“That way even if something goes wrong you won’t regret it. Because by that time you shall be in the last phase of your life. And then, it won’t matter much to you if you live 6 months lesser or 6 months more. The duration of your life would lose its importance. You would have realized the fact that you’re not your body. You’re the soul and the soul cannot die.”
So I feel my fear was a blessing in disguise. It was in my best interest that I reached the navel but did not jump out of the body. I would have been in deep trouble had I been taken the plunge.
Now let’s come back to the question – can someone really end his life by killing his body? The answer in traditional terms is a “yes” because that’s how we all perceive life and death. The body dies, the person dies. That’s how you’ve been conditioned to think.
The reality is when one commits suicide thinking he’ll be able to kill himself, he’s wrong. You can only kill your body. But you cannot kill yourself. That’s impossible. You’re not the part that dies.
People who commit suicide hoping to set themselves free are ignorant. One can surely kill the body but then he’ll have to find another one. If he decides to not have one, he’ll have to wander in the world like a “ghost.” That’s exactly what ghosts are – souls with no bodies to live in.
Can You Really Afford to End Your Life?
Are you planning to end your life? Beware, it will only kill your body. You cannot be killed. That’s not an option.
You better pull yourself up right at this very moment and start finding ways to move past your current challenges.
Personal growth is your only hope.