Experience Description

My doctor confirmed to me that at all times during the induced arrhythmias, cardiac arrests and defibrillations, I was completely sedated/unconscious. At one point in all of this, I was face to face with my guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, who left the body in 1952. He was laughing uproariously. He was surrounded by bolts of incredibly intense light. In fact, I physically felt, more than saw, the light. The vision seemed to last for only a few seconds but it was absolutely overpowering. I had an intuitive sense that I had, through medical technology, prematurely crossed over into a plane of existence that was waiting for me at some time in the future. I think this is what made Master laugh so hard. I was like a naughty child peeking under the Christmas tree.

That evening in cardiac recovery (and, truthfully, to this day) I was unable to think of anything other than that experience. It is one thing to meditate, cultivate belief and faith; but those activities are light years away from an actual experience of God's reality. At the moment I saw Master, I understood that what we do in our entire earthly life is build a bridge to the divine. By our actions, practices and faith, our bridges we construct are what we cross over to different places/levels/points in the divine afterlife.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 'January 6, 2011'

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) I was having tests done to determine the severity of an arrhythmia problem. During the procedure, the doctor induced an arrhythmia that led to a cardiac arrest three different times.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I lost awareness of my body

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal During the entire experience, since it was very brief.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the entire experience, since it was very brief.

Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Dazzling bolts of light that I experienced physically.

Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I met my guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. What he communicated through his laughter was that I had prematurely poked my head into what was yet to come. I am so thrilled to have this divine glimpse into my future. It brings me to tears knowing my Master will be waiting for me when I leave the body.

The experience included: Light

Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Incredibly brilliant bolts of pure raw energy.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm As best I can describe, I was at a threshold point looking across and experiencing the energy of another dimension.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Joy, fulfillment, love, excitement, awe.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness

Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy

Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I did not learn that my spiritual path on earth was the correct one for me; I experienced the reality of that truth.

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future

Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Self-Realization Fellowship devotee

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain My devotional practices remain the same as they have always been. But, and I can't explain this any better, they have a different flavor.

What is your religion now? Moderate I have been a member of Self-Realization Fellowship since 1993.

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain My devotional practices remain the same as they have always been. But, and I can't explain this any better, they have a different flavor.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin

Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them

Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:

During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am quieter, more aware of the needs of others, less engaged in the clamor of this world, less worried about how everything will turn out. It is all going to turn out.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Seeing my guru was an absolute validation of my years of daily meditation and practice of his teachings. It is so liberating to walk by faith and sight.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About ten days after it happened, I shared it with my wife, who is also an Self-Realization Fellowship devotee. She believes it happened, has her own ideas about it and acknowledges that this is something that is truly known only to the NDErs.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I have read accounts and seen stories on TV about NDEs. It has never been of particular interest to me prior to my own experience.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I was in no way preparing myself for such an experience. In the lab, I interacted with four technicians who are getting me prepared; the doctor is behind a bank of windows at a computer center. The entire scene, for me, was not conducive to speculating on the afterlife. I was not praying or visualizing my guru during the lead up to the arrhythmia inducements (although as devotees we are encouraged to call on God and gurus during such times). This just happened.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real As I get more distant in time from the event, it becomes ever more solid and real in my life. I was given a great gift; a brief glimpse of what waits for me at the end of the road of this physical existence.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I have had two such events. One day when my wife was driving me back to work after lunch, I looked out the car window at some grass, the sky, some homes and suddenly all barriers or differences between those objects and me seemed to melt as I merged into them. It was a positive, uplifting experience; not at all like some psychic break. Another time, as I looked at a co-worker who is a devout Catholic, I had a powerful, intuitive realization that all sincere paths truly lead to God.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? This is not the only time I have been near death. In 2008, one day after a knee-joint replacement operation, I began a GI bleed in the hospital. The bleed came from a rare condition called Dieulafoy's Syndrome, where an artery actually protrudes into the stomach. They took me to MICU and, ultimately, replaced all of the blood in my body. The emergency surgery that was performed a few hours later had only a one in three chance of survival. But what was so different about this earlier experience, was merely a sense of detachment, almost calm about the entire drama. I had no visions or out of body sensations, merely a gradual fading out. To me, the real difference between the two experiences is that my heart never stopped beating in the first one. I now know for certain that God is just behind your heartbeat.