Friday, August 15, 2014


THE USUALLY PRIVATE AGONY OF SUICIDE - Anytime someone takes their own life, a circle of heartbroken family and friends are left struggling with a question of haunting simplicity: Why? Now, in the wake of the news that comedian Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63, an entire world linked by social media has been left trying to process why a successful and widely admired man could become so overwhelmed by despair that he felt compelled to commit suicide. 
Williams' death undoubtedly has affected the public in such a profound way because of his ability to make us all feel as if we really knew him. And while mental health experts say the reasons for suicide are complex, the outpouring of raw emotion this week has made it easier to discuss a sensitive topic that has touched so many.

“More people die of suicide than in car accidents or of breast cancer each year,” said Julie Cerel, the board chair of the American Association of Suicidology. “Twice as many people die of suicides than homicides. But nobody talks about it.” But while he was a one-of-a-kind entertainer, Williams now sadly shares commonalities with others who commit suicide. Men are three-to-four times more likely to take their own lives than women. Also, suicides among middle-aged men are rising. Overall, it is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 39,518 suicides in 2011 - or an average of 108 a day. 
Williams’ third wife, revealed a crucial reason of Robin’s suicide: He was suffering from depression, anxiety and Parkinson’s Disease. “Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly,” she said.

Robin Williams’ death has shocked the world and ignited a national debate in the USA about how people respond publicly to suicide. Williams was depressed, his publicist said on Monday, and he has admitted to substance abuse problems, two notorious risk factors for suicide. However, Robin Williams' wife revealed Thursday that at the time of his death, the late comedian was not only battling depression and anxiety but the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Williams was in an increasingly high-risk group for what some health care professionals have deemed a silent epidemic: “middle-age suicide”. Depression is a clinical sickness. It is much more than feeling sad and it is not a sign of weakness, say health professionals. And also, receiving a positive diagnosis for Parkinson’s can be devastating. It’s a chronic disease that progressively worsens, causing formerly competent men and women to gradually lose control of their own bodies. Beyond the reasons in this particular case, suicide is also more common that many people think. Americans are more likely to die by suicide than in a car accident. The suicide rate among Americans 45 to 64 has jumped more than 30 percent in the last decade, according to the CDC, and it’s possible to slice the data more finely than that. Our spiritual masters have taught us to accept all difficulties in life and see them as an opportunity to mature in life and to take shelter of God which will make us mentally and spiritually strong. Therefore, we should not commit suicide because this birth is an opportunity to use this human body to escape from this material entanglement and attain the highest goal of life divine. (Editor's note).

This human life is so valuable that with it we can take the path of the highest divine conception. [...] If we can use this human life in a valuable way, we can acquire the key by which to become free from the whole chain of life in this troublesome world. We can get rid of the bondage of all sorts of physical and mental troubles. The key is here, in this human form of life. Jiva Goswami says that lower life-forms have insufficient understanding to realize the highest truth. And in the higher life-forms, such as demigods, because previously acquired energy or karma has accumulated on all sides, the chief enjoying elements are surrounding the living being. It is difficult to escape the charm of those influences and begin the prospect of a fresh life in a higher plane of consciousness.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“The Golden Volcano of Divine Love”
Part 3 “Conclusion - A Drop of Divine Love”
Section: “Let us Take Poison ...”
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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