a) If someone is really depressed and want to commit suicide, are there any punishments for this also in garuda-purana?

b) Doesn't it means that they have more pain than they could bear so it's not entirely their fault to commit suicide. (Assuming these pains are so severe that no one in that person's place could bear it, and without support and encouragement)

c) We have pain and bad incidents according to our deeds (karma) in this life and from past lives, so don't you think all these should be in a particular limit (more punishment than that shifted to next life?) so that no one commits suicide, and be able to bear their punishments.

Edit: I read a story in which the person steals some food and give to a poor family with which he has no relation then since his intention was good, INDRA himself came to take him to Swarg.
So I think reasons should also be seen for any punishments , since there are reasons for everything we do.

  • 2
    the reason people commit suicide is because they believe dying will take them to a better state than their current state. The only time this is true is when you have committed the worst of worst unimaginable crimes (atimaha patakas), and shastras prescribe atonement (prayaschitta) like self-immolating, or walking until you drop dead. All other times, like love-failure, exam-failure, marriage-failure etc. committing suicide will take you to a MUCH worse state. Think of being paralyzed physically, but awake mentally. You will still have all desires, but not be able to fulfill them (ghost state)
    – ram
    Aug 21, 2017 at 15:00
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    you desperately want a body, but since you took your life abruptly into your own hands, the body you want is not ready yet, and you're in that preta state till next kalpa.
    – ram
    Aug 21, 2017 at 15:03
  • I feel it's not right. Because there are "situations" because of that people commit suicide...and reasons can be (not only love failure ) but you know ...like kisan couldn't pay back to bank..and more worst things...everyone couldn't bear. Aug 22, 2017 at 9:12
  • And punishment till next kalpa is too too much :( Aug 22, 2017 at 9:45
  • whatever punishment or pains that we get according to our deeds, we have to suffer it either this life or the next. Than what's the point of suicide? why not accept it and get moksha rather than rebirth. Right? Aug 22, 2017 at 11:02

3 Answers 3


Committing suicide is not recommended in Garuda Purana.

Suicide leads to a lower birth and a person has to suffer from ghosthood after death. No sraddha or water oblations are made to a person that has committed suicide.

Garuda Purana (pg 5) II.22.8-13 (Chapters 21-36 are in this PDF)

The lord said : 3. It is the men of sinful actions actuated by their previous misdeeds who become ghosts after death. Please listen to me, I shall tell you in detail.

Those who meet with foul death such as committing suicide by hanging from a tree, by poison or weapon...[there is more of the same]... become ghosts and roam over the earth."

Garuda Purana (pg 2) II.21.17-18

17-18. In every birth he takes he will become extremely indigent, sick, devoid of progeny and cattle and he may not get proper livelihood either. The ghosts perpetrate all these things. Then they go back to Yama’s abode. From that place, when their evil actions wear off and the appointed time arrives, they get release.

Garuda Purana (pg 7) II.40.4-12 (Chapters 37-49 are in this PDF)

4--12. There are people who are dead by fasts, killed by fanged animals, dead by strangulation, who are slayer: of preceptors killed by wolves, who die of arson or imprecations of brahmins, who die of cholera, who commit suicide, who fall from a peak and die, who hang themselves to death, who are drowned in tank, river or oeean,—listen to their plight. These go to hell.

[...] who are likely fall into hell by committing sin. or escaping it become ghosts—for such persons there is no rite of cremation, no water-libation, no rite of obsequy and no observance of impurity. For these people, O Garuda, the rite of Narayana bali should be performed.

As of suffering, even heaven and hell provide no comfort and a person is bound in the cycle of life. If his merits are exhausted he's sent to Bhuloka again to regain them and the cycle resumes.

To kill yourself to escape suffering doesn't work because not only in this world but also the next the soul does not get peace.

Garuda Purana (pg 53) II.32.72-81

  1. Sometimes he goes to heaven, sometimes to hell. In heaven or hell he reaps the fruits of his activities.

  2. Sometimes, when he has exhausted the merit of his actions he descends to the earth by the residue of his merits. Heaven or hell is not a permanent abode, this you should know, O best of birds.

  3. People going to hell suffer from extreme tortures which they derive from their hellish activities. Their tortures increase when they see their companions enjoying in heaven.

76.Looking at the tortures suffered by the people in hell, the residents of heaven feel that after the expiry of their merit the same fate awaits them in hell. Thus all the while they remain discomfortable in heaven.

  1. A Jiva in the embryo is put to great suffering. He suffers in childhood and old age as well.

  2. In youth he suffers from the evil effects of vicious desires, jealousy, rage. He is afflicted by had dreams. Old age ends in death which is extremely painful.

  3. Being dragged by the emissaries of Yama he is thrust into hell. From hell he descends to the earth to suffer again the utmost pangs of birth and death.

80. Thus, on the wheel of this universe, people are made to rotate like the potter’s wheel and are tortured incessantly, tangled by the noose of their actions.

81. O bird, there is no pleasure whatsoever in this world abounding in a multitude of sorrows. O son of Vinata, people should endeavour for salvation.

What then is the point of trying to escape suffering by suicide? When suicide will just lead to a worse stage than the one you already have?

A soul rarely gets a human body, hence if you terminate your life by suicide you have committed a sin and that is why we get various punishments. The human birth is to gain knowledge and achieve moksa. Vishnu tells Garuda one should not waste it. Only in a human body can one realize Parabrahma.

Garuda Purana (pg 35) II.49.12-21

  1. Passing through four types of bodies in order of their karman and leaving one body after the other a thousand times, taking birth in human form and acquiring knowledge due to good acts one obtains release.

  2. In the eightyfour lacs of bodies of creatures one does not acquire true knowledge anywhere unless one is born as man.

  3. Here, after thousands of crores of births a creature obtains human form only sometime due to the aggregate of virtue.

  4. Having obtained a rare human form he should endeavour for moksa. If he does not endeavour for it, there can be no greater sinner in the world.

17.Without human body it is not possible to obtain the supreme goal. One should be, therefore, very cautious to guard wealth in the form of his body and perform good actions.

  1. One should always protect self which is the receptacle of virtue. One should always try to look after the body at any cost.

  2. If alive, he may reap the result of his good actions. He may get a village, a field, a house or a wealth. But he may not get human body again.

  3. A wise man finds out means to preserve his body. Even a leper does not wish to discard it.

  4. Body is useful for Dharma, Dharma in knowledge, knowledge for meditation and meditation for immediate release.

  • Nice ans. By the way what is narayan Bali? Sep 10, 2017 at 11:51
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    Thanks! Narayana Bali ritual is narrated by Vishnu in Chapter 40 (pg 7) of Garuda Purana. The ritual entails making a fake body of herbs and grass and cremation of that, sort of using it as a container so that the preta that is stuck in this world is able to ascend to the next world. There is a lot more ritual before that. You can read about it here: dspace.wbpublibnet.gov.in:8080/jspui/bitstream/10689/12942/4/…
    – Arya
    Sep 10, 2017 at 15:23
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    There are people who are dead by fasts, killed by fanged animals, dead by strangulation, who are slayer: of preceptors killed by wolves, who die of arson or imprecations of brahmins, who die of cholera, who fall from a peak and die, who are drowned in tank, river or ocean ,—listen to their plight. These go to hell. ....in this para, something is odd , if animal kills a human why would human go to hell? ... Look like something is wrong. (In all this points all look wrong to me) Sep 11, 2017 at 9:31

Suicide is considered to be highest of all sins as per the Srimad Bhagvatam. We do not have the right to take the life which we did not create. Taking birth in a human form is an achievement on it's own, hence the punishment involves going into a infinite ghost state, coming back from which might take a millions of years to the human form.

Check out the following link: https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/One_who_commits_suicide,_he_becomes_a_ghost

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE. You may read Bhagavatam here and add original verse. Aug 21, 2017 at 13:08
  • What about those who are the reason for someone's suicide...what punishment will they get? Aug 22, 2017 at 9:05
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    @ashdnik "If one is suddenly killed and he has so many desires, he becomes ghost?" "Suppose I have to live in this body eighty years. I'll make suicide. So up to five years I have to remain a ghost, no body" these two are in your link but ram said that he has to in that state for kalpa. Aug 22, 2017 at 10:03
  • @iku, being in that preta-state until next kalpa is not in all cases. i already said 'you die but your next body is not ready yet'.. by that logic, if anyone does not like their current life, they can just commit suicide and wait for 5,10,20 years to get new life as the case may be. it is not that simple, because the karma you are supposed to experience when you're 75-80 cannot be experienced when you are new-born. karma does not sit idle when you're dead. the bottom line is we did not create our own life, so we have no right to take it.
    – ram
    Aug 24, 2017 at 4:57

The Veda says that a soul committing suicide will fall in the hell called ‘Asurya’, which is totally filled by darkness (Asurya Naama te lokaah). You may argue that you are ending your life due to problems. Problems should be solved with courage derived from the devotion to God. In the higher plane of philosophy, you should learn to enjoy the problems along with peace in the life like alternate hot dishes and sweet dishes in the meals. Anything running continuously will result in getting bored, which is also a problem. You cannot enjoy the sweets continuously without a hot dish. You cannot enjoy the cinema with happy scenes only without tragic scenes. Problem is a valuable interval in continuous peace like the pickle in eating a sweet continuously.

The creation of God in which life is a part is always wonderful. Hence, you should be entertained continuously by the alternate peace and disturbance. In fact, God has created this universe for His entertainment only as said in the Veda (Ekaaki Naramate…). You are enjoying the scenes of problems in the cinema and you must enjoy more the same problem appearing in your life due to direct involvement. You will enjoy more by eating the food instead of enjoying by seeing somebody eating the food. This is the reason that why God was not satisfied with the entertainment attained by seeing His running creation. God takes human form to enter the creation and is entertained perfectly by directly involving Himself in the positive and negative events of life. If you enjoy your life on this earth like God in human form, you are equivalent to God in this aspect of enjoyment. Creation, maintenance and dissolution of this Universe are unnecessary botheration since the final aim of these three aspects is only continuous entertainment. This is perfect monism (Advaita) preached by Shankara.

Therefore, you require the spiritual knowledge to understand the philosophy of life and this total creation. You should always wish to live more time by taking proper care of your health (Jeevema sharadasshatam – Veda). Some ignorant people feel shy in taking the help of medicines and doctors feeling that such way is not spiritual. They pray God to cure the illness and pose that they are in the real spiritual path. It shows only their ignorance. God is the Creator of the Science (Vijnaanam etat sarvam janaardanaat) and its results are given by Him only to the living beings, which are His children (Aham Bijapradah pita). When the problem can be solved through natural power, why should you be rigid of the unnecessary miraculous power of God? Both are His powers only. The natural power is called as Prakriti and the miraculous power is called as Maya. Basically both are His power only and thus, there is no difference between them from that point of view. The Gita says that Maya and Prakriti are one and the same (Mayaam tu prakritim viddhi). If Prakriti fails, you can approach God for exhibition of Maya


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