From "Sivananda's Gospel of Divine Life"
Only Misery in the World: The Master had emerged from his cottage and reached the road on his way to attend Satsang. He heard songs from a gramophone record from a house where a marriage ceremony was being conducted.
He put a question to Mrs Hellman, "Is there happiness or misery in the world?"
She answered, "Plenty of both."
The Master disagreed with her, saying, "There is only misery in the world. Your answer should have been that there is only misery in the world. Worldly happiness is the cause of pain. Birth is the cause of death. If you want to avoid death, you should avoid birth. If you want to avoid pain, you should avoid pleasure.There is no happiness in the world. These people are playing gramophone records and celebrating a marriage, so they are happy now. But this happiness will be only for today. Tomorrow the wife will say, 'Bring me a new sari!'"
Mrs Hellman said, "If life is full of misery, then what is the harm if one puts an end to his life by committing suicide?"
"That is foolishness," said the Master. "One should not end one's life. Life is a most precious gift. It is meant for singing sacred songs, repeating the Divine Name and meditating, and finally evolving to attain eternal bliss. Death is followed by rebirth. It will not do."
Mrs Hellman said that she had read in a book that there was no harm in putting an end to one's life.
The Master at once said, "Then the author of that book is a fool. His disciple also is a fool. Life is meant for realisation of God. Moreover, the soul suffers greatly after suicide and will get a worse birth in its next life."
By this time the Master passed the room where Matha Satchidananda was staying. She came out, and he put her the same question, "What is there in the world, happiness or misery?"
She answered, "It depends on the mind."
The Master said, "No, there is only misery in the world. When you scratch a part of your body that is itching, you get some pleasure. Is that happiness? Does scratching give you happiness? The sense-pleasures of the world are no more than the pleasure got by scratching an itching part of the body."
Case Histories of Those Overcoming Suicidal Tendencies
Once a Christian lad who had suicidal tendencies was brought to Swamiji by a school principal. Swamiji asked him to repeat the famous Jesus Prayer used by the Desert Fathers: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me". The lad took refuge in the Divine Name and later said that his whole life was changed by repeating it. Such is the power and glory of the Divine Name!
Recently, one of our devotees had a strong urge to ring a friend of his. He did so and, after visiting his friend at an odd hour, spoke to him and gave him a copy of the Society's booklet, Solving the Problems of Kali Yuga. The next day his friend told him that he was just about to commit suicide, when the phone rang. He then waited for our devotee. He said that after reading the booklet, which contained practical information on overcoming suicidal tendencies, he had a new birth. He came to the Ashram on Swamiji's request. Swamiji encouraged him, giving him some useful instructions, and said that he must now become a spiritual ambassador and help others with such problems. He is practising daily Agni-Hotra and also participated in the recent Kavadi festival at the Umgeni Road Temple in January.
The above section on "Depression & Suicide" was compiled by Sri Swami Sahajananda from the writings of the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda.