A few days ago the news of an NRI’s suicide in America shocked India. Karthik Rajaram (46), a Los Angeles based NRI, shot his family and himself dead when stock market crashed in US. Rajaram had been a bright student and had worked with high profile companies before he started his on venture fund company. He made many million dollars when the company was liquidated. Thereafter he got unemployed and invested his money in the stock market and rest is known to all.
In his suicide note, he blamed his economic conditions that have worsened in the aftermath of Subprime crisis. (Read more here about this crisis)
He was one of the most educated and affluent group of American Indians. He had enjoyed all the luxuries of life. Yet he failed to cope with the stress of the pressing economic condition.
When I think about this incident, I feel that this suicide is among one of those cases where the person fails to accept the harsh realities of his life and started blaming himself for all kind of miseries he and his family are facing.
Suicide is an act of taking one’s own life intentionally. According to Emile Durkheim, a noted sociologist, depending on the motive of a suicide, there are three kinds of suicides.
The first kind of suicide is the altruistic suicide in which the intention is to sacrifice one’s life for the good of others. This is often done by soldiers and security men to save others. In recent time this mode of suicide is also being misused by terrorist organizations (using suicide bombers to inflict destructions on public property & innocent people.)
The second type suicide is the anomic suicide (anomic – Socially disoriented), which is committed by someone who thinks that life is no more meaningful and in state of total isolation from the society.
The third type of suicide is the egoistic suicide which is committed when a deep sense of personal failure dawn on the person. One feels that one is personally responsible for not living up to the societal and personal expectations.
On the basis of his past history, it can be said that Rajaram’s death is a case of egoistic suicide. He failed to adjust his lifestyle with the changing economic condition of his life and instead of facing the tough time; he preferred to end his life.
It is clear that as a result of recent economic turmoil which has engulfed the global economy; many people are facing tough times. Companies are cutting costs, many people have lost their jobs, the demands for goods have deteriorated, stocks markets are touching new lows everyday and the overall economic conditions are very dull.
However, even in such times of crisis, we should not allow the negative traits of our personality (basically ego) to overwhelm us. Tough times come and they come to shake us from the secure mould of our lives. Tough time is a good teacher who gives us an opportunity to contemplate on our mistakes, to learn new lessons for the future life.
Whether you believe it or not, it is often during tough time that we understand the ephemeral nature of life. When life comes to a standstill, when it starts giving us jolt after jolt it’s often only then we realize then we are – after all – just like any other ordinary mortals who can fail. Tough time makes us more human and helps us understand the pain of all humanity.
Tough time is a good opportunity to understand our true nature, to understand the indestructible self, the witness which observes all the ups and downs of life. A clear understanding of self in turn gives us the wisdom to deal with the vicissitudes of life in a more confident and effective manner.
No matter what condition you are facing in your life, always remember that in the ultimate analysis we all are pawns in the hands of a big player. Call this big player God, existence, creation or Universe. He keeps writing destiny notes for all of us. However, he never gives us sorrow and setbacks without giving us the power to withstand them.
No matter how tough or insurmountable the condition appears now, we all have an indistinguishable supply of energy to cope with them. We only need to look within to find that inexhaustible source of energy.
It is not the first time that a depression has come. Tough economic conditions have been a part & parcel of the human history. Neither this is going to be the last depression of world. Such ups and down are parts of the process called life.
The need of the hour is to learn from our mistakes, to make an inner evaluation of our strength and to make a new beginning. Ending once life in tough times is no solution,
We all should face this moment as it is. The existence wants this time to be just like this. Let us be a witness of this cosmic play. Play the game with your heart. Tough time will not last forever. Soon the good days will come.
Here are some suggestive meditations for coping with the tough times
One unrelated yet topical book for these times :