This is an age old Custom in INDIA , known as "Santhara" , where a follower or devotee of the JAIN sect , gives up all food and water voluntarily , and wait for Death.This is not considered dying but taking a "Samadhi" , becoming one with the supreme being, the all mighty.
Santhara is the Jain religious ritual of voluntary death by fasting. Supporters of the practice believe that Santhara cannot be considered suicide, but rather something one does with full knowledge and intent, while suicide is viewed as emotional and hasty. Due to the prolonged nature of Santhara, the individual is given ample time to reflect on his or her life. The vow of Santhara is taken when one feels that one's life has served its purpose. The goal of Santhara is to purify the body and, with this, the individual strives to abandon desire.
During the last days the person is in the company of fellow devotees who sing hymns and prayers and religious texts in order that the transition from the "Earthly" to the "Heavenly" is joyous and peaceful .
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