Question: Sometimes people burn themselves to death as a protest against war. From the spiritual point of view, what does this accomplish?

Sri Chinmoy: In a family very often the brothers will fight. Then the mother says, “If you don’t stop, I am going to commit suicide.” I know of many cases where the parents have committed suicide when they found it impossible to keep harmony in the family. Then the children immediately changed. When they saw that their parents died on account of their fighting, they turned over a new leaf. But this did not last, and soon they were fighting once again.

Now from a spiritual point of view, suicide does not serve any purpose. The mother has sacrificed herself for her children. By her own physical sacrifice she thought that she would create harmony, but in the vital world there is no escape, no forgiveness for her. To the vital world she will go for her stupidity, and there she will stay. Why did she not have the wisdom to see that the children are not her children, but God’s children? God gave her these children, so why did she not approach God to illumine their consciousness? Why did she not pray to God for their harmony and peace?

The world will remain ignorant unless and until the Supreme illumines the world-consciousness. By sacrificing our individual lives in order to bring about peace, the world’s problems will never be solved. Many martyrs, aspirants and spiritual figures have killed themselves, but it did not solve the problems of the world. These problems will be solved only by aspiration, by praying to God to illumine the world while we are here on earth. Our individual death can never transform the face of the world. But if we invoke God’s Blessing, God’s Grace and God’s Concern, then the problem can be solved.

Sri Chinmoy, Death and reincarnation.First published by Agni Press in 1972.

This is the 66th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Death and reincarnation, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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