I have an Uncle who recently lost his wife whom he loved dearly. He is now having suicidal thoughts and is tormented by deep suffering. He believes he deserves being punished by God, especially since he has struggled with drug abuse for several decades. I am a Kriyaban and want to offer hope and wisdom to him, but could you please assist me with your deepest counsel? Many Blessings to you.
We are very sorry to hear of your Uncle’s loss. It is natural that you would want to help someone like this — he really seems to need all the help he can get at this time.
First, it would be good to put his name on the Ananda Healing Prayer Council list right away at the Request Healing Prayers page. We will begin praying for him daily. And you should do the same, using Yogananda’s healing prayer techniques.
If you don’t know them, you can watch this video on Yogananda’s healing prayer technique.
The suicidal thoughts are very troubling. Perhaps you should suggest that he might want to talk to a qualified counselor about this right away.
Spiritually speaking, suicide is NOT a good thing to do, because it accomplishes nothing and is a big (though temporary) set-back to spiritual progress. The person who does this is forced to reincarnate and go through all the same circumstances again, that led up to suicide — as often as needed, until the realization that life is very precious and not to be thrown away is very strong.
But even if suicide should happen — all is not lost. We all go through many, many incarnations until we are free. No one is lost in darkness forever or doomed to hell for eternity. This is simply not possible.
No one is ever being punished by God for wrong things done in the past. The reason we suffer is because of the karma we create ourselves. Everybody has done wrong things. The solution is not to dwell on them, but to do everything you can to improve yourself from this point forward.
Even the worst things we can do are only a temporary part of our learning process.
You might try to explain these things to him, if you feel he is open to hearing and understanding it. If not, perhaps your (and our) prayers are all you can do until he is ready.