Sallekhanā

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Sallekhanā. In Jainism, ritual death by fasting. Through gradual fasting in accordance with detailed prescription and under close supervision of mendicant teachers, Jains can meet their death in a controlled and peaceful manner. Jains insist that this is a noble act, and not common suicide, because the vow to take sallekhanā is made publicly and the consent of the ācārya or family must first be given.