Chapter 4: Understanding: The Only Law
Sannyas is an alternative society. It looks strange that in India the suicide rate is the lowest in the world. Logically it should be the highest, because people are suffering, people are miserable, starving. But this strange phenomenon happens everywhere: poor people don’t commit suicide. They have nothing to live for, they have nothing to die for. Because they are starved they are occupied with their food, shelter, money, things like that. They cannot afford to think about suicide, they are not yet that affluent. America has everything, India has nothing.
Just the other day I was reading.. Somebody has written: “Americans have a smiling Jimmy Carter, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. And Indians have a dry, dull, dead Morarji Desai, no cash, and very little hope.”
But still people don’t commit suicide: they go on living, they enjoy life. Even beggars are thrilled, excited. There is nothing to be excited about, but they are hoping.
Why is it happening so much in America? - the ordinary problems of life have disappeared, the mind is free to rise higher than the ordinary consciousness. The mind can rise beyond body, beyond mind itself. The consciousness is ready to take wings and the society does not allow it. Out of ten suicides, about nine are sensitive people. Seeing the meaninglessness of life, seeing the indignity that life imposes, seeing the compromises that one has to make for nothing, seeing all the taciturnity, looking around and seeing this - “a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing” - they decide to get rid of the body. If they could have wings in the body, they would not decide so.
Then suicide has another significance too; it has to be understood. In life everything seems to be common, imitative. You can’t have a car that others don’t have. Millions of people have the same car as you have. Millions of people are living the same life as you are living, seeing the same film, the same movie, the same TV as you are, reading the same newspaper as you do. Life is too common, nothing unique is left for you to do, to be. Suicide seems to be a unique phenomenon: only you can die for yourself, nobody else can die for you. Your death will be your death, nobody else’s. Death is unique!
Look at the phenomenon: death is unique - it defines you as an individual, it gives you individuality. The society has taken your individuality; you are just a cog in the wheel, replaceable. If you die nobody will miss you, you will be replaced. If you are a professor in the university, another will be the professor in the university. Even if you are the president of a country, another will be the president of the country, immediately, the moment you are no more. You are replaceable.