Sallekhana jako przykład śmierci wolitywnej
Sallekhana as an Example of a Socially Imprinted Death
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Socially imprinted death is a concept introduced by Marcel Mauss and related to many different phenomena, one of which is the ritual death by fasting still present in contemporary Jainism. Sallekhana is a traditional ritual once performed by chiefs, kings, brave warriors and holy monks, and is therefore linked to bravery, strength, salvation, and makes the person who performs it a hero. On the other hand, by the letter of the law sallekhana is merely suicide, extreme violence against the self, and as it requires the professional guidance of a monk and is performed mostly by elderly people it is often seen as an act of euthanasia. Both of these acts are forbidden by Indian law and should be perceived as something far from heroic. This article explains various layers of the paradox of sallekhana, as a phenomenon having opposite meanings at the same time – like being violent and being against all violence, and dealing with many obstacles when it comes to social practice. It also investigates several ways such a death is embedded in and accepted by both the society and religion, and how it interprets and pushes to its limits the general rules and the complex ideology of Jainism.
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