What is that

A near-death experience (NDE), refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body; feelings of levitation; extreme fear; total serenity, security, or warmth; the experience of absolute dissolution; and the presence of a light. Some also claim to meet dead people and a supreme being.

These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or otherwise very close to death, hence the term near-death experience. Many NDE reports, however, originate from events that are not life-threatening. With recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques, the number of reported NDEs has increased[2]. Many in the scientific community regard such experiences as hallucinatory,while paranormal specialists and some mainstream scientists claim them to be evidence of an afterlife.

NDE testimony offers answers to the big questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? What does it all mean? NDEs also provide circumstantial and scientific evidence supporting the afterlife theory for which scientific reductionism cannot adequately explain. The evidence suggests that NDEs are transcendental journeys to another dimension of reality which profoundly changes the lives of those who have them. As an example, one particular experiencer named Dr. Dianne Morrissey has stated:”If I lived a billion years more, in my body or yours, there’s not a single experience on Earth that could ever be as good as being dead. Nothing.”


An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE), is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one’s body and, in some cases, perceiving one’s physical body from a place outside one’s body (autoscopy). One in ten people has an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives.[6] OBEs are often part of the near-death experience. Those who have experienced OBEs sometimes claim to have observed details which were unknown to them beforehand.[7]

The NDE’s are essentially a special case of OBE. We can’t brush away an OBE or NDE to be a hallucination or something like a dream because many of the cardiac patients who experience OBE have been able to recollect all the events that transpired in the operation theatre with astounding details including what doctors spoke etc which is nightmarish because they were under anasthesia or in some cases supposed to be even brain dead. So let us see if there are some explanations for these strange phenomenon. The science have always maintained that they are mental illusions created in a dream like state but how do they explain the memory recollections.

Some Explanations

*NDE experiences occur even in situations where no brain activity can be measured.
*Conversations are heard and sights seen that are simply not possible from the location of the body, e.g., seeing scars on the surgeon’s scalp, describing medical equipment and procedures, etc.
*Person blind from birth able to see for the first time, including colors never seen.
*Young children telling of seeing Angels, etc even though they are raised in secular families and no reason exists for them to anticipate such things.

The explanations can be categorized into theistic and atheistic interpretations. Science dismisses NDEs as delusions or hallucinations. But this is a bit of a stretch, here we see two scientist who differ in opinion.

Michael Sabom

‘Light and Death – One Doctor’s fascinating account of Near-Death Experiences’ by Michael Sabom, one of the best books on near death experience with thorough, accurate scientific records.
Michael Sabom, M.D., is a cardiologist whose first book. Recollections of Death, is considered to be a landmark in the field of near-death research. He is a leading authority with over twenty years in the field. In 1994, he founded the Atlanta Study which is the first comprehensive investigation of its kind into NDEs. Its purpose was to document the life-and-death dramas played out in operating rooms and hospital beds – and the

simultaneous events unseen by medical personnel but reported with astonishing clarity and conviction by nearly 50 individuals who returned from death’s door. Dr. Sabom’s latest book, Light and Death, shares with the world his findings from the Atlanta Study. Below are some of the findings from Sabom’s Atlanta Study. Near death experiences (NDEs), like life after death, fascinate most people and require a leap of faith. Proof of the existence of either is slim, and belief in them often relies on an individual’s personal philosophy of life. The author of this book is a cardiologist in private practice who describes himself as a Christian. He has been involved in NDE research since 1977 and has
published a previous book on the subject titled Recollections of Death. That book, according to the author, “allowed no space” for considering religion when evaluating an NDE. This book documents the experiences of a number of patients who have experienced an NDE and looks at their experiences from the author’s and from the patient’s religious viewpoints.

The book recounts patients’ experiences of near death as they occurred during surgery, cardiac catheterizations, resuscitations, and trauma events. The author raises questions about death and the sequence of events that lead to it; he discusses the criteria for death and how those criteria have evolved from looking for condensation on a mirror to the more complex criteria used today. The author attempts in his final chapters to prove that NDEs actually occur and that they are not biological or chemical neurological events that can be tied to hypoxia. He is relatively successful at this, describing activities and events that patients recalled, which would require a fairly sophisticated knowledge of medicine and hospital procedures not common to most patients.

The author also strives to prove that NDEs are a confirmation of life after death, the existence of God, and the presence of heaven. He has chosen a difficult task and he describes it best when he compares the process to “nailing Jello to the wall.” For those who do believe in God, NDEs are merely confirmation of their intrinsic beliefs and for those who are skeptical, this book gives a substantial food for thought based on many accurate, scientific evidences.

Michael Cremo

Dr Michael Cremo an associate member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute specializing in history and philosophy of science. In his book Human Devolution “We did not evolve up from matter; instead we devolved, or came down, from the realm of pure consciousness, spirit,” says Cremo. He bases his response on modern science and the world’s great wisdom traditions, including the Vedic philosophy of ancient India. Cremo proposes that before we ask the question, “Where did
human beings come from? we should first contemplate, “What is a human being?” Cremo asserts that humans are a combination of matter, mind, and consciousness (or spirit).

Human Devolution contains solid scientific evidence showing how a subtle mind element and a conscious self that can exist apart from the body have been systematically eliminated from mainstream science by a process of knowledge filtration. “Any time knowledge filtration takes place you can expect a great deal of resistance, criticism, and ridicule when it is exposed and challenged,” says Cremo. See the video of his interview at Laura Lee show.

Vedic Observer

The phenomenon of NDE,OBE fits very well in vedic metaphysics. Bhagavad-gita (7.4) describes that the whole material world is composed of eight basic elements – five gross material and three subtle material.

Gross material elements are: earth, water, fire, air and ether. In modern terminology: solid substances, liquids, radiating energy, gasses and all-pervading space. Above these five gross are three subtle material elements: mind, intelligence and false ego. Although we cannot perceive them due to their higher nature they are still material. Together they constitute so-called subtle material body (in Sanskrit linga-sarira, desire body, also called astral body) in which our thinking, feeling and willing is manifested. This means that our thoughts, feelings and desires correspond to our mind (manas) and intelligence (buddhi).

Ahankara creates our false identification with our body (therefore “false ego”). That which we usually consider a body is therefore composed of two various bodies – gross material a subtle material body.

So when we talk of NDE or OBE we are talking of the astral body leaving the gross body. The NDE or OBE happens due to some physical situations like cardiac transplant which provides a gap in time and space continuum for an astral body to venture out. The yogis who are experts in mystical science of yoga can do it at will like the case of Shankaracharya. NDE and OBE goes well with the vedic theory of Reincarnation. The astral body is transferred to a different body according to ones’s [[Karma]].

‘A Second Chance – The Story of a Near-Death Experience’ by Srila Prabhupada.

by Authors#Lndasa

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Even the entirety of whatever there may be within the three worlds to satisfy one’s senses cannot satisfy a person whose senses are uncontrolled.

by Bhagavatam 8.19.21

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