In fact, I told him that if he had any sense of dignity, now was the time he should commit suicide – “Because what is the need? And what are you doing? Unnecessarily, a ninety-year-old man….” All his colleagues were dead, all his contemporaries were dead, his children were old – the eldest was seventy. “So what are you doing here except becoming an unnecessary burden, continuously sick, continuously in bed? And still you won’t leave, you won’t create some space for a new person to take over.”
That was even more shocking to these presidents and prime ministers of India. I was saying two things: birth control – but that is only half the story. The second is death control – which nobody in the whole world has been talking about – because that is the logical end. If you stop people from being born, that is one part of reducing the population. The second part should be that those who are too old, a burden to themselves, a burden to others, and who are simply suffering – relieve them. And there is no need for them to jump into the ocean, or to hang themselves from a tree.
The government should provide facilities in every hospital so that these people can come and you can give them a peaceful death – just an injection which takes them into deeper and deeper sleep, into eternity.
And make at least their death beautiful – you could not make their life beautiful. Life is a long affair; to make a person’s life for ninety years a beautiful phenomenon is difficult. But death comes within seconds.
So at least for twenty-four hours, let him do whatever he always wanted to do. Let him enjoy everything that he wanted to enjoy. And for twenty-four hours before his death let him learn how to be silent, how to relax, so that death does not come only as death, but also comes as a deep meditation.
So not only will we be helping the population to be reduced, we will be helping old people to die with dignity, with smiles on their faces, and with a deep serenity within them which will change their whole future course of consciousness.
But naturally they all were against me, saying that I am preaching suicide, that I am talking against the law.
The medical profession was against me, because the doctors have been given an idea hundreds of years old. Hippocrates has created the oath for the doctor. And every doctor – even today, when he passes the examination – has to take the oath that he will always serve life, that he will try in every way to prevent a person dying. That oath is now stupid. But Hippocrates is far more important to them than the whole humanity on the verge of death. The oath should be that a doctor should help the person to live beautifully, and to die beautifully.
Life and death should not be separated as enemies; they are one phenomenon. The oath is half. The full oath should be that a physician should serve the man in life and death both. The best he can do for life he will do. The best he can do for death he will do.
But no doctor – I was speaking in medical clubs, medical colleges, universities – no doctor was ready to accept the idea because of the fear that some doctor may take advantage of it and may kill someone.