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Coming back as a ghost after dying in an accident

Hare Krishna

I  understand that suicide is a "deliberate act" and that one will come back as a ghost in their next life. What happens though if it is a devotee who commits suicide? Do they get a ghost body too? I have read in the Garuda Purana that if someone dies in an accident that they will come back as a ghost too. Why? Dying in an accident is not a "deliberate" act like suicide. It's an accident. So why is anyone punished for dying in "an accident"? So would a devotee who dies in an accident get a ghost body too?

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  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna dear Devotees, please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Srila Prabhupada tells that driving cars is dangerous. Previously people used to use animals with carts, so there was no accidents;

    we create so many things these days which are dangerous for ourselves...anyways we have to adjust to new things;

    HH Jaypataka Swami Maharaj says that after 80 km per hour my mercy finishes.

    So it is advised for Devotees not to drive fast; but be careful.

    Suicide is not permitted by Lord Chaitany Himself. If not some extreme cases (i do not know as Rashmi Mataji told)

    But He personally stopped Sanatana Goswami to commit such thing even in Holy Dham under the chariot of Lord Jagannath.

    So it is not allowed! Even if one is a Devotee he can become a ghost.

    In only rare cases some Devotee in the past did such suicide which was approved by authorities.

    One is HH Vishnujana Swami Maharaj who entered into Ganges and drowned. Because maybe he fell from his sannyasa ashram, so as a punishment for himself committed suicide.

    When Srila Prabhupada heard this, he told that it was correct according to shastra; Sannyassa should not associate with woman. So he went to heavenly planets to preach.


    Another is Chota Haridas (if i do not make mistake in the name) in Chaitanya lila. He got attracted to a woman even though he was in sannyasa ashram. Because of that Lord Chaitanya rejected him. All Devotees begged Lord to forgive him; Lord said if you again ask me this 'I will drawn Myself in Ganges'

    So that sannyasa committed suicide and became a gandharva.

    And in that body he used to come to Lord Chaitanya every night and sing for Him. So Lord was pleased with him.

    Your servant,

    • Hare Krishna dear Devotees

      Thanks for all of your comments. OK-So a non-devotee who gets killed in an accident/suicide can come back as a ghost. They can get released from the ghost body if any family member gets a Bhagawatam path done in the name of the departed soul. What is a Bhagawatam path? I am also wondering if dying in an accident can be a blessing in some cases. For example, some old people are abandoned by their families and left to die alone in nursing homes. Some people  are suffering  a great deal of pain for a long time before they die.

      • E-Counselor

        Hare Krsna Pandora Mataji,


        Bhagawatam path is a one week program in which someone will come and give discourses on Bhagawatam, such as to cover the entire text, in one week. It is a very common activity in India, in fact there are a lot of people who do this professionally. They will discuss the main main stories and give their interpretations, and bring with them a team of brahmanas who will read the bhagawatam shlokas end to end, from the first till the last, such that the entire reading gets over in these 7 days. It is the custom amongst hindu families in India to get a Bhagawatam path done after the death of a family member in normal course to give peace tothe soul. This involves a lot of expenditure (almost like a marraige because so many listeners and the brahmanas are feasting for a week), therefore a lot of people cannot afford it.

        Even ISKCON has its Bhagwath week, some people do it.

        If you want to do it on a smaller scale, you can get someone to read the shlokas end to end. Generally, it is done in timeframes of either a week or a month.

        It is a very harsh fact of life, but whoever suffers, whether old or young, is suffering the effects of his or her own karma only, maybe of this lifetime or of another lifetime. If they get into devotion, disillussioned by the world and all relatives, then they will understand the purpose of life and it will relieve their pain to a large extent. If you know any such person, better to make that person chant the holy name - whatever they can, it is the only solution to all problems - material or spiritual.


        Your servant,


        • Hare Krishna dear Rashmi Khaitan

          WoW! It is very interesting to learn about the Bhagawatam path. What a wonderful way to honor a departed loved one. Yes, I can understand why a lot of people cannot afford to do it. That's nice to hear that India ISKCON has it's Bhagwath path too. My parents were not devotees, but they always loved going to the Ratha Yatra festivals every year at Venice Beach in California USA. They ate lots of maha-prasadam and pulled on the Ratha Yatra rope at the festivals. In ISKCON  USA, it is recommended that one sponsor the Sunday Feast in order to honor one's departed loved ones.

  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Pandora mataji,


    Devotees are supposed to be in a different category - to whom the laws of material nature do not necessarily govern. I have heard of a Russian devotee (his name was Shark in Russian), who got a dream in which Lord Chaitanya comes and tells him that He is very pleased with his devotional service. Now it is time for him to return to the lord. That devotee went to the temple the next morning and narrated the whole story and then asked the temple to get permission from the Govt (as per their rules) to commit suicide. After a lot of reluctance, the temple authorities finally agreed and started to send his papers for processing. In the meantime, he was travelling once by car which had an accident with no survivors. When the devotees reached the accident site, they found that he was seated beside the driver, with his hand in his bead bag and not a scratch on his body, still he had left his body. The others didnt survive - still everyone was convinced that the lord had personally sent His servants to collect his devotee.

    Another example is of another exalted devotee - HG Aindra Prabhu. Then there is HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. So there are a lot of instances of devotees whose lives have ended in accidents, still everyone is convinced that it is the design of the lord to claim back His beloved devotee.

    For others who are non-devotee, the laws of material nature apply. However, they can be released from the ghost body if any family member gets a Bhagawatam path done in the name of the departed soul.

    I hope I have been able to clarify your doubts.


    Your servant,



  • Not necessarily dieing in an accident results in being ghost////rather it is the accumulation of karmas thrughout the life that determines the feeling and 'where the heart,mind and soul is carrying or concentrating' at time of death///////if he is krishna consciousness and honestly was devoted to krishna at his/her lifetime he would never go in ghostly lives in next births and even if non-devotees it is decided on basis of karma !!!!1

    Hare Krishna!!!

    • Hare Krishna

      Thanks to all for your comments. It is very sad to hear that a few devotees have committed suicide or gotten themselves killed in some kind of accident. So it sounds like none of them became ghosts after they died  because they were devotees. Is that correct?

      • if they were devotees once and then became lost in wwave of time committing suicide b'se of their hating their life so much/////////then they wold be surely judged based on their karma and since they hv disrespected the very precious human life they would hv to take numerous births to again become human///////but their even slight dedication in this path of nishkama bhakti will surely be making them cross fastly those numerous other life cycles and in even nest human life will attract and push them towards the godhead from the point they stopped !!!!As lord says in gita anyone whoever practises this yoga or bhakti for reaching to me will never be in loss and even his slightest devotion will make him reach the godhead at last!!!!!!and for those who died in accidents they will be getting even more push towards their original goal of human life based on their past life efforts of reaching the almighty!!!!!!

        Hare Krishna!!!!!!!1krishna is the dearest well wisher of evry jiva far better than anyone.....he knows how,when and whom to bring closer to him!!111

  • Hare Krishna Chirag Sharma

    Yes I love this website!!! It's fantastic! It has helped me so much to be able to associate with all of the wonderful  devotees at this site. I know I should be spending my time reading Srila Prabhupada books. It's just that I saw a ghost when I was 16 years old and so have been very curious about ghosts all of my life.

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