– Duke Jeyaraj

Raghavan Devarajan with his wife and kids
The newspaper headline was painful to read. It went this way: “Indian Techie kills five of his kin, turns gun on himself in US” (The Times of India, Hyderabad edition, 1 April 2009). Here are dreadful details of that gory story: He had it all – a dream job in the US. A job with a great company – Yahoo to be precise. A decent house in an upscale Santa Clara locality. A pretty wife. Two cute kids – an 11-year old boy and 4-year old girl. Financial trouble was far away despite the financial downturn. Yet Raghavan Devarajan, the 43 year old techie we are talking about was apparently missing something in his life – inner peace. He felt so empty on the inside that he felt compelled to empty bullets from his .45 semiautomatic handgun on his two school-going children and three relatives who stayed with him till they no longer were breathing. Yes – he killed them brutally. His wife, in her mid-thirties barely escaped with multiple gunshot wounds. He was found on the home’s top floor, dead from a self-inflicted wound. Police Lt. Phil Cooke, who inspected the crime scene specifically, said there was no reason to believe that this Yahoo engineer was in the danger of losing his job ( accessed on 19 April 2009).
You know what – there is a connection between you and this suicide-committing Yahoo engineer. Yes, there is a link. Yup, there are some striking similarities between you and this bloke. Hang on and I will explain that.

What would you make of this sort of suicide – a suicide by a man who apparently lacked nothing in life? It is this: Man’s needs go beyond the physical world. You can have the best of food, clothing and shelter – yet you can be so empty and miserable. You have been there – haven’t you? When you are about to switch off your bedroom light and sleep off, some questions simply don’t switch off.

I am talking about questions like, “Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? Where am I going? What is my destiny?”
Jesus was spot on when He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!” Jesus’ point was this: you need bread to satisfy physical hunger within and you need the Bible (which is God’s Word) to satisfy your spiritual hunger.

Not possessions
Jesus also stated, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Life does not become meaningful when you have the latest gadgets to captivate you, and a stout salary to feed you – that was Jesus’ assertion here. What makes life meaningful is a living relationship with the One who is Life. I am talking about Jesus here. What makes life purposeful is a living relationship with the One who gave His life for you. I am talking about Jesus here. Nothing else will fill your life with sense. Your possessions cannot give your life meaning. Ask Judas he would tell you. Judas, who? The Judas who was Jesus’ disciple. We read in the Bible about how this money-loving guy killed himself (Mathew 27).

Not profession
Your profession cannot fill your life with meaning. Ask Ahitophel he will tell you. Ahithophel who? The Ahithophel in the Bible. This counselor to the kings ended his life on his own when he found that he was a failure in his profession and his counsel was not listened to (II Samuel 17).

Not position
Your position cannot fill your life with meaning. Ask Saul he would tell you. Saul, who? The Saul in the Bible . This young man who ascended to the position of the first ever king of Israel only to fall on his sword to end his life (I Samuel 31).

If you are looking in the direction of your profession, position and possessions to find meaning in life, you are looking in the wrong direction. Having found out that these do not give meaning to life, you too have asked yourself, “What is the point of living, then? I might as well die!” (You may not admit this before people, but deep down, you know, this is true).

Jumping from the frying pan to the burning furnace
But make no mistake – suicide is no solution to your life’s lack of purpose and meaning. It is like jumping from the frying pan to the burning furnace. The Bible teaches those who commit suicide will have to live forever in the lake of burning fire and sulfur called “Hell” through the example of Judas. He was doomed to hell, Jesus told us in no uncertain terms. And as a matter of fact, you cannot kill yourself. The real you – which is the soul – will go on living forever. What you do with Jesus will decide where your soul will live – eternal heaven or eternal hell.

Embrace Life, Embrace Jesus
Are you toying with the idea of suicide? Commit your life with the only one who ended His life on His own terms without having to resort to suicide – Jesus. He was the only one in this planet who bowed His head and then died – He knew exactly when He would die. After all, He is God in human flesh. And when you do that, all your suicidal tendencies would fly away. You will begin to truly enjoy life with Jesus who came to give you life to the full (John 10:10). Why should you wait even one nano-second to do that?!

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