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Jala Samadhi – Casting off body underwater – Jal Samadhi

Jala Samadhi is a unique ritual practiced by Yogis. It is giving up one’s life in water. Jal Samadhi is a method of casting off one’ body voluntarily and it should not be mistaken for suicide. A true yogi has the power to discard one’s life at one’s own will.

Jala Samadhi is performed when a yogi realizes that the purpose of the body has been successfully accomplished. Such a yogi then enters into a deep state of Samadhi underwater.

There were also instances when Jala Samadhi was opted when a person had lost a philosophical debate. It is said that father of Ashtavakra entered into a debate with another scholar in the court of King Janaka. The condition put was that whoever lost the debate would perform Jal Samadhi. Ashtavakra’s father lost the debate and he then performed Jal Samadhi. Years later Ashtavakra came to the same court and defeated the scholar who had defeated his father. However, Ashtavakra did not ask the scholar to take Jal Samadhi. Instead, he asked King Janaka to stop this tradition.

Story of Ashtavakra