Scientific research has established that one’s life span is determined partly by genes but primarily by a pre-programmed bio-clock in the body which starts ticking the moment an individual is born. The clock stops ticking at the pre-progammed time and life ends. So far, research has not specified how or who pre-programmes this bio-clock and what or who determines the duration for which it will tick. Past life regression and karma theories apply here at the paranormal level.

A 25 November, 2012 report in the New York Times relates the story of  Dr. Eben Alexander III who for years had dismissed near-death revelations of God and heaven as explainable by the hard wiring of the human brain. He was, after all, a neurosurgeon with sophisticated medical training. But then in 2008 Dr. Alexander contracted bacterial meningitis. The deadly infection sent him into a deep coma. During that week, as life slipped away, he narrated later, he was reborn into a primitive mucky Jell-o-like substance and then guided by “a beautiful girl with high cheekbones and deep blue eyes” on the wings of a butterfly to an “immense void” that was both “pitch black” and “brimming with light “coming from an “orb” that interprets for an all-loving God.

Dr. Alexander was so changed by the experience that he felt compelled to write a book, “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon›s Journey into the Afterlife”.  He knew full well that he was gambling his professional reputation by writing it, but his hope was that his expertise will be enough to persuade skeptics, particularly medical skeptics, as he used to be, to open their minds to an afterworld. 

He said he had a trump card: having trained at Duke University and taught and practiced as a surgeon at Harvard, he knew brain science as well as anyone. And science, he said, cannot explain his experience. “During my coma my brain wasn’t working improperly,” he wrote in his book. “It wasn’t working at all.”  He originally planned to write a scientific paper that would explain his intensely vivid recollections. But after consulting the existing literature and talking extensively to other colleagues he decided no scientific explanation existed.

My entire neocortex — the outer surface of the brain, the part that makes us human — was entirely shut down, inoperative,” he said. His message to those who deal with dying: “Our spirit is not dependent on the brain or body. It is eternal,” he said, “and no one has one sentence worth of hard evidence that it isn’t.” There are other reliable, extremely well reputed people— both dead and living — with very gripping accounts of what happened to them and what happens between death and re-birth.

 Dr. Moody has written a book after talking to people who died “clinically” but then recovered and recounted their experiences. A man in his forties who ‘died’ and was revived reported that after floating out of his body and seeing himself inert and doctors trying to revive him, he saw a Being of Light. “Next to this Being I could also see what I would describe as an opening, very much like a tunnel. A channel of light seemed to connect the Being with the opening to the tunnel.  I was drawn towards the tunnel by the energy radiating from this channel of light.

 “Later, I learnt that these spirit bodies with their brightness and energy accompanied one also to minimise any shock people might experience at learning they had `died›. Many people, I discovered, were allowed to become aware of their deaths in their own time, at their own pace.  All were allowed to gradually move through the tunnel to a place where they were greeted by and reunited with friends, relatives or Helpers. There were also special techniques to ease dead people’s communication with those who were waiting to assist them.”

 My grandmother who died and came back to life shortly before she was to be cremated revealed she was taken away by two “beings”. Almost all people who have returned from the dead report crossing a dark river and meeting many of their friends and relatives who have died before them. Many of them also recall meeting a “being of light” who asked them what they had “done” during their life time and apparently replayed their lives before them — a factor that changed the whole focus once they returned from their “temporary” death. Curiously, their actual time of death was specified to them either by the “being of light” or by others they met who were already dead.

  Sufi Pir Mohammad Naseem Sultani Haidar Kalandari, the custodian of the Matka Pir Dargah in New Delhi pointed out to me shortly before his death that it is pointless to defy death but the important thing is to realise when your time has come… Kerry Packer, the enterprising Australian who added an exciting new dimension to cricket, had by all accounts recognised  his time had come and resolutely refused medical treatment.  Goswami Ganesh Dutt, a close associate of Madan Mohan Malviya and the founder of the historic Sapt Rishi Ashram in Haridwar was sitting in the main Lord Shiva temple at the Sapt Rishi ashram when he became aware of approaching death.

“Its upto you to carry on”, he suddenly told others present with him and leaving them somewhat puzzled went outside into the sylvan surroundings and gave up his soul. Some people are told of certain signs of death by their gurus. There are others, usually “ordinary” people, who are able to see the messengers of Yama, the Lord of Death, and know their time has come. My aunt, while in hospital, told her nephew that two figures dressed in black had come to take her, but she still had a few more hours to stay alive before the exact time which had been fixed for her death. She died suddenly precisely at that time. 

Some people see relatives who have died and know that the end is near. In other cases, an inner voice tells them that the time to leave has come. There are those too such as yogis, saints and highly evolved individuals who can choose their own time and leave their bodies voluntarily. Animals can sense death before it comes. In a USA hospital, there is a paranormal cat which goes and curls itself on the bed of a patient who will be dying in a few hours — this cat is more accurate than doctors about the time of death. Doctors have no explanation for it.


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