I've been thinking a lot of reincarnation.
What happens exactly when some one commits suicide? Are they broken from the cycle? Do they reincarnate, but as a lower entity, as it were (as if to punish them for their past actions)?
Or is all normal, and they simply reincarnate as another human being?
I know there are a lot of reincarnation threads in /x/ but I feel this warrants its own thread
The number 666 is often associated with the plague of beasts
6, 60, 66, 600, and 666 are all precious numbers which give rise to the unseemly bezasty form we so abhor
They will go to a type of spirit/purgatory world where they are to work through the rest of their karma for the number of years that they forfeited in their life through suicide.
Here they will wait until those years are spent and they can incarnate again on the material plane to continue working through their karma there.
Pretty much this, though Prabhupada did mention that certain types of ghosts are the result of a person committing suicide. The soul is basically left with their subtle body, but no physical body until the "natural" time of death. They maintain desires and yearn to act, but have no ability to do so.
>Just like if a man becomes disappointed and he cuts his own throat or...some way or other...to finish, does it mean that he is finished?...The result is, because he violated the rules of nature, he becomes a ghost...One who commits suicide, he becomes a ghost. Ghost means he does not get this material body. He remains in the subtle body, mind, intelligence...But they are not happy because they have no gross body. They want to enjoy. He's materialist. He has committed suicide for some material want. So he is want of material..., fulfilling material desire. He could not fulfill in this body; therefore commits suicide, but the desire is there. The desire is there, and he cannot fulfill it. He becomes perplexed. Therefore the ghost create disturbance sometimes.
However, the Bhagavatam also mentions a species and abode of ghosts.
> SB 5.24.5 — ...in the sky called antarikṣa, are the places of enjoyment for the Yakṣas,...ghosts [preta-bhūta] and so on. Antarikṣa extends as far as the wind blows and the clouds float in the sky. Above this there is no more air.
And earlier in the Chapter (5.5.21), Rshabdeva said this to his sons:
>Superior to animals are human beings, and superior to human beings are ghosts [pramathāḥ] because they have no material bodies.
So I believe there to be different "species" of ghost - those "jailed" for certain sins, and those who are incarnated into a purely subtle (think astral) body by dint of karmic merit. My own speculation is that this causes the difference between a haunting image or chilling presence, and a full on poltergeist situation.
What if you chose an action that you know leads you on the path of death. Isn't that the same as killing yourself really? Like going to war, and charging over the trenches despite imminent death. Is there a sub-rule? Are there millions of clauses of exceptions or is it just one big "You didn't have a heart attack" grouping.
I would say it depends on the state of mind. there are plenty of times in the Vedic stories that a person decides to fast until death, or drown themselves in a holy river and these are often seen as the proper thing to do at that point. Shiva's wife Sati immolates herself rather than tolerating slights against Shiva, and I have never heard of any punishment for this act. Heck, they even named the "holy" ritual of a wife dying on her husband's funeral pyre after her.
I think the point is if you are committing suicide due to some strong material attachment or aversion, this will trap your subtle body in the current situation.
> Bg 8.6 — Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kuntī, that state he will attain without fail.
Considering the specific example of war you gave:
> Bg 2.31 — Considering your speciﬁc duty as a kṣatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than ﬁghting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation.
>Bg 2.32 — O Pārtha, happy are the kṣatriyas to whom such ﬁghting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.
> Bg 2.37 — O son of Kuntī, either you will be killed on the battleﬁeld and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore, get up with determination and ﬁght.
Im doing an expedition in less than a year to a place I am pretty certain will kill me, but I wish to gift the world by exploring one of the last uncharted territories. Will I go to purgatory should I die? I know it is pretty certain.
First, let me say I am quite ignorant on the specific workings of karma, and welcome those with more knowledge to chime in.
I wouldn't personally think death in the pursuit of knowledge would lead to something like Purgatory. But I have no confidence in my ability to answer definitively. Karma is intricate and complex; you would also have to take into account the "balance" of previous actions. Such altruistic exploration might reap heavenly reward, yet some other action must be resolved through suffering beforehand. I've heard two concepts.
For this, consider actions to be on a karmic scale of -10 to 10.
One idea says if you perform a 10 act, then perform a -8 act, the final tally (2) will be the basis for future consequences.
The latter says first the 10 will be rewarded, then the -8 will be punished.
Found the story I was looking for! In this, King Nriga explains how he was given a lizard's body, and in it Yamaraja offers him the choice to enjoy his karmic benefit first, or suffer his karmic detriment.
> SB 10.64.23 — [Yamarāja said:] My dear King, do you wish to experience the results of your sins first, or those of your piety? Indeed, I see no end to the dutiful charity you have performed, or to your consequent enjoyment in the radiant heavenly planets.
If you couldn't tell from my post in the other thread,
Yes, it depends on your intent. Even in death intent is carried forth for us. Why you kill yourself is half the governing dynamic in where you end up.