Sometimes described as fasting to death, prayopavesa is a traditional and acceptable Vedic way for a person to end his or her life. Praypoavesa is not considered a suicide, euthanasia or assisted suicide for the following reasons:
- it's non-violent and uses natural means;
- it's only used when it is evident that the time is right to be released from the body - there is terminal disease or a great disability;
- unlike the suddenness of suicide, prayopavesa is a gradual process, giving ample time for the person to prepare himself and those around him for his death;
- whereas suicide is often associated with feelings of frustration, depression, or anger, prayopavesa is associated with feelings of calm, serenity, peace and acceptance;
- it is utilized only by those who feel their life purpose has been fulfilled and that any remaining responsibilities can be taken on by others.