What does Hinduism say in regards to suicide? Or maybe even assisted suicide? Not just out of depression or anger, but what if your just tired and want to retire?

  • 11
    man what things are you pondering over! I saw you asking questions regarding ghosts and now suicide..!!
    – Be Happy
    Sep 2, 2014 at 4:48
  • 1
    Gaining birth as a human is considered as a rare opportunity for jiva to attain the ultimate truth through intellect. We should not waste this rare opportunity. This is said in Adishankaras vivekchudamany. Knowledgebles can quote from other Hindu scriptures.
    – gaj
    Sep 2, 2014 at 5:18

6 Answers 6


As per the scriptures, one who commits suicide becomes a ghost:

udbandhanamṛtā ye ca viṣaśastrahatāśca ye
ātmopaghātino ye ca viṣūcyādihatāstathā
[GP - 2.22.8]

One who dies by hanging, also through poison and weapon, one who commits suicide and also dies by cholera etc. becomes a ghost.

The scriptures also prohibit to perform any funeral rites (shradha) for people who have died by committing suicide and the relatives do not become unclean by such deaths unlike other natural and legitimate deaths.

  • 4
    What does "2.22.8" mean? Book 2 of the Srimad Bhagavatam only has ten chapters: vedabase.com/en/sb/2 Sep 2, 2014 at 4:56
  • 2
    @KeshavSrinivasan yeah, sorry. It was a mistake. It's GP, Garuda Purana. Thanks for pointing it out.
    – Be Happy
    Sep 2, 2014 at 4:58
  • Does this mean it is bad or good to commit suicide?
    – William
    Nov 8, 2016 at 6:06
  • 1
    @William, is it good or bad to wander as a ghost ?
    – ram
    May 5, 2018 at 5:44
  • A ghost until his original death time passed.
    – Wikash_
    Feb 22, 2019 at 23:27

Suicide is classified as a bad death in Hindu scriptures.

Bad Death

Sri Krishna said, 'O Garuda, hear, I shall tell you the great secret about the rite of death for those who dies through serpent ...; those who commit suicide or die by fall from a tree, ........ All these deaths are known as bad deaths where no rite of Aurdhvadehika or pinda-dana is performed. If the same is done by mistake it is all destroyed in the air. But desiring welfare of the deceased and out of fear of the people's reproach his sons or grandsons or sapindas should perform Narayana Bali, O bird. By that the relatives of the deceased are purified. This is stated by yama. There are no other means. When Narayana Bali is performed they become fit for aurdhvadehika.'

Garuda Purana, Dharma Khanda, Chapter IV.

Suicide is not allowed because it interferes with a person's reasons for staying in the worldly plane. He will have to come back again and again to the worldly plane to complete his education if he commits suicide.

Suicide is allowed for a person who has attained Moksha. I am posting here a quote from Sri Ramakrishna on suicide:

'Suicide is a heinous sin, undoubtedly. A man who kills himself must return again and again to this world and suffer its agony. But I don't call it suicide if a person leaves his body after having the vision of God. There is no harm in giving up one's body that way. After attaining Knowledge some people give up their bodies. After the gold image has been cast in the clay mould, you may either preserve the mould or break it.'

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,Chapter 7, The Master and Vijay Goswami, December 14, 1882


I heard about "kapaala moksham" which means salvation of the skull. There are some legends about really really advanced yoga practitioners, capable of letting their "life" come out of their body by perforating the skull - just through their will, while meditating. Most of these legends also say that those yogis are well aware of the time when they should end their lives. And when their time comes, they achieve this kapaala moksham.


According to Sri-M darshan(Vol 7)

In the Vedas, it is mentioned that for the Jnanis, the following ways of leaving body are accepted: Jumping from above, fasting, diving in river, entering into fire or going to the hills : viraadvane va annshake vaa apaam praveshe agni-praveshe va mahaaprasthaane va.

Sri Totapuri, the vedanta-guru of Sri Ramakrishna, wanted to die by getting drowned in the ganges,but failed. Another spiritually elevated boy Vishnu killed himself by cutting his throat by knief, as mentioned in Sri Sri Ramakrishna-Kathamrita.He was not able to live in the world full of worldly people any more.

But for a normal individual, suicide is a grave sin and his/her ghost suffers tremendously.

Reference: a) Sri Sri Ramakrishna-Kathamrita, By Sri -M, b) Sri M darshan, vol 7(quoted in Sri Sri Totapuri-Prasanga, published by the Lake Kalibari, ISBN 978-81-935349-1-5)


From the Parasara smriti: suicide in the form of hanging oneself leads to a punishment of 60000 years.

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  • Great quotation.I have upvoted.Just please check whether it is varsha-sastha-sahasrani, as sasthi-varsha-sahasrani does not seem to be correct.
    – user17294
    Feb 23, 2019 at 17:03
  • @Partha sorry I do not understand. Could you please explain?
    – Wikash_
    Feb 23, 2019 at 17:09
  • sasthi-varsha-sahasrani does not seem to be a correct sanskrit word.Also, sasthi means sixth, not six
    – user17294
    Feb 23, 2019 at 17:11
  • षष्टि means sixty
    – user17294
    Feb 23, 2019 at 17:16
  • 1
    @Rickross OP needs your comment as mentioned in his comment.pl check the sloka
    – user17294
    Feb 24, 2019 at 13:05

While the other answers suggest it is bad, it cannot be too bad, because Rama and/or Lakshmana ponder doing it in the Garuda Purana and they are supposed to be righteous.

Brahma said:


While there, Rama entered into a friendly compact with Sugriva, the brother of the monkey-king Vali, and showed his skill in archery by shooting through the trunks of seven Tala trees. Then he killed Vali and made over the sovereignity of the monkey-land Kishkinda to his brother Sugriva, and quartered himself with his beloved Lakshmana in the outskirts of the Mount Rishyamukha. Then Sugriva commissioned the leaders of his monkey-troops to search for Sita in all directions, and the huge monkey-generals, with their bodies mountain high, went out north, south, east and west in quest of the sunny bride of the solar race. In vain did they search every stream or river bank, hill or dale, forest or hamlet, and at last while deliberating suicide in despair, they saw Shampati.

Now it makes no sense whatsoever for the Vanaras to ponder suicide over some people they barely know, so Rama and/or Lakshmana have to do it.

Also while another answer by Pradip Gangopadhyay presumably correctly points out some rites for people who die by suicide are left out, or are pointless if performed, the Garuda Purana actually gives the responsibility of the last rites of suicide victims to pilgrims.

Brahma said:—Then having performed a ceremonial ablution with the Varunastra Mantra, the pilgrim should offer obsequious cakes to his departed manes at the sanctuary of the hill of spirits (Pretashila) and invoke them as follows:


I offer this cake to the souls of those who have committed suicide or met a violent death either by water, poison, blow, or strangulation.

Thus suicide is not ideal, but seemingly if there is enough reason to do it, just accepting the consequences seems reasonable.

https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-garuda-purana-dutt/d/doc122623.html https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-garuda-purana-dutt/d/doc122565.html

  • This is incorrect. It is talking about Angad and his group not Ram and Lankshman thinking about suicide.
    – Rambhakt
    Dec 7, 2022 at 13:26

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