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Title: Sati Self Immolation
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-12 15:57:07
Q. When Body, Mind and soul everything belongs to Krsna, (By Srila Prabhupada's mercy as we have come to know that - we are complete surrendered souls and part and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krisha) why did Mother Sati invited Agnideva and burnt herself in the Agnikunda in Dakshaprajapati's palace? She is definitely on a very high platform compared to the living entities in general as they have higher qualities than the living entities. - Shyama-lila dasi.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Committing suicide or self-immolation is normally a very big sin because we are trying to interfere with the laws of karma which are destined for us. Even if one commits suicide to escape the present pain, one will have to continue to suffer the balance destined pain in the next life as a ghost or in another body unless one can destroy those karmic reactions altogether by chanting the Holy Names in Bhakti Yoga in the next body.
Shrimati Sati (Uma) devi's case was totally different. She is not an ordinary conditioned soul like us but the eternal consort of the great Vaishnava Lord Shiva and thus She is a great Vaishnavi also who is fully in tune with the desires of Lord Shiva, her Guru and of the Supreme Lord Gauranga-Krishna.
I will reply to your question with the following numbered points. She self-immolated herself by invoking fire for the following reasons:
(1) She had heard severe and heinous blasphemy of the greatest of all devotees, her husband Lord Shiva from the vile mouth of her own father Daksha. Also it was because of her that Daksha criticized Lord Shiva publicly in the assembly so that everyone heard the blasphemy. So she felt herself to be the cause of this most unfortunate situation. In the scriptures, it is stated that if one hears blasphemy of devotees: one should either defeat it by words immediately or stop the person doing it immediately and leave the place or give up one's body if one cannot do all these. Sati could have left the place but it became too late as she had to hear the blasphemy and neither she could stop her father from doing it.
(2) Another thing was that she had done guror avagya...Lord Shiva told her not to go there as he knew that this would happen but she went anyway enamored to see all the material opulences. She disobeyed the order of her Lord and Guru Lord Shiva and that is why she found herself in such an irreversible position. Thus after she heard the blasphemy of her Lord and the great devotee of Lord Gauranga-Krishna, Lord Shiva, she decided she could no longer go back and face Lord Shiva. She felt that by disobeying the order of Lord Shiva, she had lost her qualification to return back to him in this same body, so she desired to take birth again in another body as Parvati to be with Lord Shiva again.
(3) When one hears offense against a great devotee, one's whole body becomes defiled and contaminated so she did not want to go back to Lord Shiva with such a body.
(4) She did this to teach the whole creation a strong lesson for all time to come that if one just hears blasphemy of a great devotee what to speak of talking such blasphemy, one will have to suffer severe consequences however great one is even if one is directly the consort of the great personality Lord Shiva. Giving one's ear to hear the blasphemy is as implicating as committing the blasphemy because without a receptive audience, no one will commit a blasphemy.
There are many other reasons but these are the main ones and I will end now. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!