Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Sept 29 : In her wish to attain Moksha (freedom from the cycle of rebirth), an 83-old year patient of throat cancer has undertaken the controversial Jain ritual 'Santhara' of voluntary fast-unto-death.
A resident of Kolkata, Sohini devi Duggar, who was undergoing cancer treatment since 2015, decided to opt for Santhara when she felt that she would no longer be able to sustain her life through medication.
"Throat cancer was not the sole reason for this. This has to do with the kind of spiritual background she had and her wish to attain moksha," said Sohini devi's son Anant Duggar.
"She took this step when she felt that it was no longer possible to sustain her life on just external medicines and treatments, and that it was time to let go all attachments, humanly connections and welcome death as a proper partner.
The whole concept of Santhara is o prepare for next stage in life," he added. Sohini Devi Duggar has been on a fast sans water (called 'nirjala') since September 20. On August 10 last year, the Rajasthan High Court had banned Santhara or Sallekhana, comparing it to an act of suicide.
However, the Supreme Court subsequently restored the Jain practice of the ritualistic fast unto death by staying the order.