In Timothy D. Knepper, Lucy Bregman & Mary Gottschalk (eds.), Death and Dying : An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion. Springer Verlag. pp. 99-113 (2019)

Jainism, which arose in India more than 2500 years ago, states that the soul is eternal: it has never been created nor can it ever be destroyed. The soul becomes cloaked, birth after birth, with karmas that obscure its true nature. The utmost task for the human being entails purifying oneself of karma through untying its many knots that bind the soul, masking its innate energy, consciousness, and bliss. One technique to guarantee a better life in the next birth is to die a conscious death through a systematic process of fasting, entering into a state of dehydration. This highly regulated practice, pursued by monks, nuns, and laypersons who have gone through a rigorous period of internal reflection and external assessment before embarking on this path, provides a peaceful way to embrace death. Known as sallekhana or santara, it has recently been challenged in the courts as a form of suicide, an illegal practice, though for the Jain community it remains an important option through which one can express religious faith.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-19300-3_7
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