My name at the time was Arti, and I was a very successful financial consultant. When I had purchased my white 560 SL Mercedes convertible in 1988 or ‘89, can’t remember which year, these words had popped into my head, ‘You will die in this car.’ Of course, I didn't give any credence to this thought at that time. But today, after almost six years, those words seemed to be repeating themselves to me.
Just before death, July 30, 1994:
That morning I had driven about 400 miles with my secretary from San Francisco for a couple of meetings with some clients. For some reason, throughout that day I had been feeling somewhat uneasy, like this was a premonition of sorts. So, I had been in a quiet prayer mode the whole day. I had been invited by one of my clients, in the city of Glendora, for their 80-year-old mother’s birthday celebration. Afterwards, it was almost 11:30 p.m. by the time I was able to call it a day and leave for the hotel.
I had thought that I would tell my secretary I was extremely tired and it would be better if she was the one to drive back to San Francisco after the birthday part. As destiny would have it, I was so tired I forgot to tell her while very mechanically getting into the driver's seat. Seatbelts were not mandatory in 1994. Without bothering to put on my seat belt, I started the car and began driving. After about 10 minutes on the road, car with two young boys was driving in the left lane. Suddenly, it swerved to the right, coming into my lane right in front of me, then stopping abruptly at the Stop sign that was just ahead. I had nowhere to go, so I slammed on the brakes; or so I thought! In my immediate shock and sleepy exhaustion, I had pressed down on the accelerator instead! The 560 SL is designed to go from 0 mph to 60 mph within seconds and that’s just what it did. I shot forward at full speed! CRAAAASH!
In that moment of impact, I felt my whole body lift up, fly forward with great force, and hitting something. Next thing I knew, I was seeing this white stream of Light, travelling inside my body, which was also filled with a brilliant electric white Light! It looked like light travelling in light. As I looked at this moving light energy, I realized I was also experiencing it. This powerful, white energy which was moving from my solar plexus towards the top of my head. I was moving very fast. Yet, simultaneously, I appeared to be moving very slowly. Somehow, it seemed very natural for my movement to be slow and fast at the same time. Was I in perfect balance? There was no sense of duality. I knew that this light energy was my Prana, otherwise called life force. The Prana was moving upwards through my body, almost as if being pulled by some sort of magnetic power above my head. Just then, I experienced a sinking feeling, very much like one feels when beginning the plunge down a roller coaster. I felt myself go into a gentle convulsion with an upward movement.
The next moment it was all gone. There was no light, no body, or anything. It was the strangest feeling, and yet so familiar. It was as though I had before experienced it many times. Without the body, I found myself floating alone in a dark void. I was totally confused as to where I was and what was really happening. All I could see was total darkness everywhere, but I wasn't afraid.
At a distance, I saw a pale golden vehicle-like thing in the shape of a small boat. The boat was brilliant in its golden hue and it was coming towards me. The center hollow portion of this golden boat seemed to be filled with that same shimmering, brilliant white light I had seen inside my body. As it moved closer, I could see in the center on its ‘bed’ of white Light there was a very ethereal human body. The body was lying very still on its back, draped in a pale golden gown and glowing gloriously in the dark night. It was a magnificent sight to behold! As it came closer, my entire being went into shock when I saw the face of this body. It was me. 'Oh my God', I realized, 'I am dead.' I was completely jolted by this truth. I looked at myself for the first time and saw I had no body. I was just a spark of Light and was now linked to this sparkling boat. Almost immediately, the golden boat tilted upwards with the feet of the motionless body pointing upwards and head below it. The boat transported me faster than the speed of light, almost like a thunderbolt slicing through the dark night and disappearing into that void.
Almost as if I had fully woken up after a long sleep, I found myself surrounded by an All-Pervasive Brilliance. There was no boat, no body structure, no dark void, nothing. There was only this dazzling, electrifying, brilliant white Light all around. The light was everywhere. There was nothing except this brilliant Consciousness! It seemed to have a consistency of the ever-finest, minutest electric-like sparkles and was energetically similar to the ‘bed of Light’ I had come on, except that this light was all-pervasive, limitless. It could perhaps be compared to the light of thousands of brilliant stars reflected in millions of sparkling diamonds, all-encompassing, self-luminous, and pulsating with electric energy: very delicate and smooth. I seemed to know that the light was the Supreme Infinite Light that is God, the Cosmic Consciousness.
It is truly impossible to describe in mere mortal words, this Pure Love, this vital energy, this infinite Light, this Supreme Absolute Consciousness, This Presence, which is commonly referred to by most of humanity as God or the Creator: it can only be experienced! So please forgive my humble effort with limited vocabulary to try and share what I experienced. At this moment, I was literally standing on air and was an electric body of Light. I was in this dazzling white void, this Brilliant Nothingness, filled with comfort, delight, and a deep knowing that I had reached my destination.
I seemed to know that this was the Ultimate White Effulgent Light. Experiencing myself as a shimmering sparkling white-light energy, pulsating with some kind of ethereal (ether-real!) electric life force, my Being was flooded with a gentle, very expansive Love energy. The energy was like a soft embrace from that all-encompassing Light Presence! This Light Presence of pure, unconditional Love seemed to be in me and around me. It was all-pervasive and extended into infinity. Strangely, there seemed to be no difference between this light and my Light-being. Even more bewildering, was that this Conscious Loving Presence, seemed to be the nature and substance of all of existence. In sheer delight, my Light-self was almost skipping in the air as a further wave of knowing passed through me. I whispered to myself, ‘This is the real me!’ In complete wonderment, with a sense of déjà vu and awe, I heard myself say, ‘I know this place, I know this place. I've been here before. I made it. I finally made it back!’
Drinking in the nectar of the Loving Presence which enfolded me, I saw with complete amazement a very interesting transference starting to happen. There was a string of atoms starting to flow out from within the left side of my electric body and they disappeared upwards into nowhere. Almost as if from thin air, a much finer frequency of atoms seemed to be appear and were entering through my right side into this same electric light body. I was watching and experiencing at the same time, again with no sense of duality. My entire Being was being totally emptied, refueled, and re-programmed with this ethereal, orderly, interchange of atoms. I saw that the new entry was made of a vastly different energy and seemed to have a much more expansive and delicate DNA energy. It had a new wave of very lightweight, subtle cellular frequencies, as they spiraled in, expanding and changing the previous electric body formation.
All of the above was happening very fast and yet it seemed to take an eternity. Enfolded in the comforting wrap of Pure Divine Love during this cellular exchange, it seemed as though I was gradually disappearing with the atoms leaving this electric Light body. Almost as if, another ‘me’ was birthing through the newer, finer atoms entering into this Light form. My whole being was cleansed and purified, making it ready for its next role in God’s divine drama.
I wished to take a final look and say goodbye to the world I had just left behind. I looked over behind my non-existent shoulder, somehow expecting to see my world; but, to my complete shock, I saw that there was nothing there. My earthly world didn't seem to exist! There was no world, no universe, no galaxy, no earth, nothing! Nothing existed, except this soft Conscious Presence, this pulsating Brilliance, this pure Love that was everywhere as all pure white Light. ‘Oh my God, how could that be?!’ I exclaimed to myself. ‘Where has it gone? What about all I went through as Arti? It was all real! How could it have just disappeared?’
A gentle response seemed to come from the cosmic wisdom that was all around, ‘But how could it be Real, when it has just disappeared?’ There was so much knowledge that was shared with me that I can't share it all here. The response said, ‘What is real is only that which is permanent and changeless. That which changes, is within the mirage of time, and truly non-existent. Consciousness, however, as a gentle, delicate, smooth, flowing Presence is ever present; even within the human form, above and beyond the mind, as it is the Experience-less-ness underlying all experience. It never changes, never disappears, and it is therefore, the only Reality.’
I asked, ‘But if this Consciousness alone is real, the world was an illusion? Then where did it come from?’
It replied, ‘Like all manifestation, the world too is the creation of the great illusion or great delusion, which being the Creative aspect of this Supreme Consciousness, or the Lord, is the divine movie-projector of life, in the all-powerful play of the realm of Creation. Just as a mirage in the desert disappears when viewed from a certain perspective, your life as Arti on earth has disappeared, when viewed from the perspective of the Divine Self, where you are now. Only the eternal is real; and from the viewpoint of that Reality, all that is non-eternal, disappears. Yet of course, you, being eternal Atman (the soul) can still view the ‘world of illusion’ if you wish.’
I asked, ‘So my life as Arti never really existed at all, it was an illusion?’
It replied, ‘Oh, it existed; just as a dream exists, or a movie, or a mirage.’
I continued questioning, ‘So the world, was just a figment of my imagination? How did I create it? With my thoughts and desires?’
The reply echoed all around me, ‘Y-e-s-s-s-s!’ as it reverberated within my being.
Y e s: I understood now. The world had all been only in my mind, a thought-and-senses created illusion/delusion. Without the senses, mind and body, there was now no ego to perceive the world illusion! It had all existed and happened only in my mind! Our true reality exists outside of the mind, which is where I was at the present moment. I realized the true vastness of my Being and the minuscule nature of the cage of the earthly body. The roles I had played through the many lifetime dramas with different bodies, flashed again into knowing. I smiled, seeing there was absolutely no attachment whatsoever to any of them! How could I, when it was just a play of mind? I had come to terms with the fact that once I, my ego consciousness, left the body, my mind-created world also disappeared.
Universal laws seemed to unfold rapidly and poured into my entire electric-wave body. I realized that the real goal of the mind-created life game was to remove the veil of delusion and ignorance and reach the Ultimate Truth of one's reality in life itself. This Truth, this Self I was bathing in and which had encompassed my Being, was nothing but Love. The Truth was Love; pure, unconditional, Universal Love, that is almost non-achievable in human terms. It was the fabric of this Consciousness of which I was a part. Yes, because Love is God and God is Love. It was very clear that the cosmic composition was made up of nothing but Love! Love is the God-glue that is holding ‘All’ together. I realized I was not just inside the Love but rather, one with 'It', this Universal Body of Love, of God. This was completely natural to me, as flame is to fire because it is fire. This was Home and I wanted to be here forever.
Immediately with the emergence of this thought-wish, the ego-wave that was Arti, seemed to gracefully meld into the Supreme Presence, dissolving into that Ocean of Love. Arti as the earthly Arti, was no more. An incredible wave of freedom splashed over my being, almost like coming out scrubbed fresh and clean after a long overdue bath. The cellular interchange of atoms with their spiraling exit and entry had stopped because re-programming of my electric light body was completed. I was birthing a new life later known as Mira S. I knew without a doubt that life on earth was just a playground of experience, an assignment from God, a mirror projection of the Divine. In each new lifetime, as the soul makes spiritual progress, its vibrational frequency gets tuned to a faster, higher and finer level depending upon its degree of evolution. The transformation continues until the frequency level is fine-tuned to such a degree that it connects with the frequency of the Cosmos itself, which then allows it to gain entry into Cosmic Consciousness, one’s true self, which is eternal bliss, otherwise known as ananda.
In the Light Presence, everything and anything could be readily created or manifested. It was in the Nature of this Supreme Presence. Everyone and everything, anywhere, was right here where I was, present in the seemingly invisible NOW. One just had to think it, and it was available. The transformation-transmutation within my electric body being completed, the electric body too, was no more visible because there was complete Oneness. It was infinite to such a degree that I was no more, and yet I was that Consciousness. There was nothing else and No other.
Oh dear God, That is all that exists, the only 'Being' that is! That Consciousness was all around, inside, outside, above, below. It was everywhere! The ALL! As one touched by the Philosopher’s stone, which is said to transform iron into gold, I had gone through a complete transformation and transmutation of the previous self into birthing a new higher self. I was bringing with it an immediate awakening into the ‘knowing’ of Universal Truths and the Reality of Supreme Self. This magnificent All-pervasive Effulgence was so glorious! It was true, there is only one Being, one God, and THAT is the true Self of all. All are just a reflection of God: All are That One. I, too, was That One. THAT is my Reality. I was brimming, overflowing with the supreme knowing that The Supreme Being is my own true Self, my true identity. It was here, now, and always. There is no past or future; it is all happening constantly in the now.
Losing it all, dissolving, I was, ‘I AM THAT I AM’ (Aham Brahmasmi) I knew that I was and I AM all there was to know! Just like myself, all of creation wherever and however it existed; whether human, animal, mammal, plant, or nature, all were full in themselves. All were and are God, a beautiful glorious expression of that same Fullness. Creation was just Divinity experiencing itself through Its Creation!! I was bathing in Consciousness, as Consciousness. I was enjoying this bliss of Union with the Absolute, Divine Self, God, and Full with wholeness of Being. I wanted only to remain as this Cosmic Being forever.
I never want to be separate again from this Oneness, this All-encompassing Love! This was my feeling, as a faint memory of the world of separateness wafted into my consciousness and anxiousness seemed to take over all of a sudden. I heard myself repeat twice, ‘Where do I go from here? Where do I go from here?’ By the formation of destiny, which is created by our actions and reactions, the newly transformed Being of myself now in existence, having received a downpour of higher Truths and realizing its Higher Self from having merged in Oneness with It. I knew that it had been brought within and as, the pure energy of That One, of pure white Light for a reason, so an element of wonderment was there at what might be coming next?
Much to my dismay, however, the All-Pervasive KNOWING came through with a much different response than what I was expecting. Coming loud and clear, It reverberated through that infinite space of Consciousness, ‘You have to go back. You have to do the Work’ communicating that my real work on Earth was to begin now. I called out, ‘Please I don't want to go back! I'm very happy here!!’ But the Lord, Supreme Consciousness had spoken, and it had to be.
Right then, I saw a long flexible kind of tunnel which almost looked like a huge hollow umbilical cord. I could actually see the outside and inside of it. Inside it I saw the form of an unborn human baby, with golden, light-colored skin, curled up like a fetus against the inner wall. 'So this is the Cosmic Womb Tunnel,' I thought. It seemed to be coming from infinity and spiraling downwards. But as I looked at it carefully, I exclaimed in alarm, ‘Oh no, not again!’ when I realized that I was that baby, speeding down headfirst, as the curled-up fetus in this cosmic tunnel-like womb, I was crossing the dimensional barriers. I thought, 'Oh God, oh no, I really was going back into Earth consciousness to be reborn!'
Next thing I knew, I heard myself let out a cry. I had opened my human eyes. They were looking in the rear view mirror of a car at a mouth bleeding profusely with the whole lower face covered in blood. In a complete daze, feeling totally disoriented, I touched the face in the mirror and realized it was my mouth! I thought, 'Oh God, I have a human body again! I really am back.' The lower gum-bone had been broken and lay flat on my tongue. The four lower front teeth had come out of their gum sockets but were still held by their nerves as they sat on my tongue in the middle of the mouth. Upon touching my face, I could feel tiny particles of glass from the shattered windshield all over my upper face and even my eyelashes, but none, not one, had entered my eyes. Miraculously, despite this gruesome injury in my mouth, I was feeling no pain whatsoever. There was no physical feeling at all.
Such was the amazing divine compassion of the Lord! It seemed God had sent me back with the powerful anesthetic of His All-pervasive Cosmic Energy, which was keeping me unaware of any pain. I was still consumed within the Awareness of that bliss of Cosmic Consciousness, His Pure Love energy, and still immersed in that glorious realm of Light, and that Oneness. Body consciousness had not yet set into my awareness. I was still very disoriented, much like an alien in a new place, I was not in touch with the human senses at all. Turning to my right, I saw Arti’s secretary in the passenger seat. She seemed to have had a concussion and was moaning softly in pain. Since she had had her seat belt on, she was unhurt except for a few bruises. Wanting to wipe the pouring blood from my mouth, I seemed to see without seeing as I automatically reached into the back of the side pocket of the car door and pulled out a napkin. Gently wiping some of the blood from around my broken mouth, my mind wasn't thinking clearly. I was perfectly calm, almost as if all was well and nothing was broken. Trying to open the car door, I found it jammed. Since this was a two-door convertible, I reached over the other seat, opening the passenger door and climbed over the secretary, squeezing myself out and finally standing in the fresh outside air. It was a balmy night with a nice soft breeze that almost seemed to be welcoming me back.
I saw a car standing in the distance with two young boys excitedly talking with each other. Another car pulled over, followed by bright lights as a police car drove onto scene. I stood there with a bleeding broken mouth, in a total daze, slowly taking in all that was happening outside, and inside of me. Soon the policeman came over to me and started asking questions. Since I had no pain, and was seemingly unaware of my four teeth and broken gum sitting on my tongue, I actually tried to speak, but all that came out was an unintelligible blubbering sound. I then realized how important the gum bone and front teeth are to speech. The policeman just nodded and proceeded to write down notes for a report and said an ambulance was on its way. He then looked in on the secretary who was still concussed.
A lady from the house nearby came running towards me and started asking if she could help in some way. She said that if I gave her the telephone number of anyone that I knew, she would be happy to call them for me. Searching inside Arti’s handbag in the car, I found Saroj’s phone number, the family from where Arti had been before this accident. So, I gave that number to the lady. She went away and then came back again bringing a pack of ice and told me to put it on my bleeding mouth. I put it against my mouth for a few seconds. Realizing there was no pain, I felt no need for it, so I handed it back to her shaking my head. I tried to form the words, ‘No pain. No pain.’ ‘But how can that be?’ she asked incredulously, ‘You have broken bones in your mouth, and so much bleeding?’ I tried in vain to convey the words, ‘The Light, the Light!’
Within the next few minutes, Saroj and some of her family members arrived. The ambulance also arrived, taking my secretary and my dazed-self to the nearest hospital. Saroj and her sister-in-law Kamal drove behind the ambulance and came to the hospital also. Upon arrival at the hospital, the staff apologized for not giving me painkillers. They wanted to take X-rays and the medicine would hinder that in some way. But it didn't matter to me because I still didn't need them. No dental surgeon was on duty late Saturday night, so they had to send out for him telling me that it might be somewhat of a wait. They took me immediately for x-rays.
As I was being rolled away, I saw the secretary being rolled away to another area. Saroj and Kamal were waiting as my stretcher was wheeled out of the x-ray room and followed me to my hospital room. Very lovingly and meticulously they stood and removed every tiny particle of the shattered windshield glass from my face and eyelashes. Amazing how my sweet Lord had taken care to protect the eyes! At this point, my heart was filled with deep, soul-stirring gratitude towards the Loving Lord of the Universe. More so, as I had come down with total awareness of His Presence and Truth. It was as if the Universal Supreme Consciousness I had been bathed in was very gently and lovingly taking care of every detail of my safe return. It was very clearly with me and in me even now.
After Saroj and Kamal had left, about one or two hours later, the dental surgeon also arrived. By then I had spewed out large quantities of blood in a bowl they had provided. Since my consciousness was still immersed in the joy and bliss of the Light, I was was still in absolutely no pain. This was a good four hours or more since the accident and injury. God was making sure I remained in that cosmic state of blissful unawareness of body, mind and senses, so as not to feel what would surely have otherwise been excruciating pain. What a miracle! It was some kind of divine anesthesia, a beautiful expression of God’s boundless love and compassion to keep away the unimaginable pain of broken bones and loose teeth from me.
Again, God’s hand was quite evident in the form of the gentle dental surgeon who was now standing by my bed. After looking inside my mouth, with a very kind and loving smile on his face he said, ‘You know, unfortunately, there’s no dental equipment in the hospital. So, I’m going to have to use just my hands and some wire to temporarily fix your gum-bone and teeth. Is that acceptable to you?’ Looking at the kindness and warmth emanating from him, I felt very safe and nodded, ‘Yes.’ He started by giving a few anesthetic injections within my mouth thinking I must be in pain and would feel more soon. Then, with his fingers, he proceeded to lift up my broken gum-bone from my tongue, and gently made it stand in its place. Then he took the four teeth resting on my tongue in my mouth, still attached to the gum by the tiniest of threadlike nerve fibers, and placed them one by one back into their rightful sockets in the same broken gum. With some wire, he tied the loose teeth to the solid ones, wiring the gum and teeth together. He asked me to see him for intensive surgery on Monday morning. Since his clinic was closed on Sunday, I had to stay wired up like this for one whole day and night. Then he patted me on the back for being so brave and he left.
The bleeding had stopped and I fell off to sleep, but woke up in the morning almost screaming, for I was experiencing unbelievable, deathly pain! It was killer pain! I then truly understood the agony I had been saved from for the last so many hours, such Grace! The nurse came right away and gave some strong medication that made the pain somewhat tolerable.
What a lesson the pain had given. My first lesson on my return into the world. Pain was truly only in the mind too. Right after the accident, my mind became non-functional, as I was in a state of higher Consciousness. There was no experience of pain for there is no such thing as pain in that state of Being. That is a function of the mind and senses. The senses got activated only after I was drawn back into bodily consciousness and by the painkillers and the doctor working on my mouth and myself giving attention to it. So it was only a matter of where the mind was focused. As the saying goes, ‘It’s all in the mind’! In the state of Cosmic Consciousness, there was no pain or pleasure, there was no duality, as there was no sense awareness. There is only ‘IS-NESS’. Everything just ‘IS’.
Awareness of ‘Higher Self’, is being a Love Energy of total equanimity and balance, the ‘peace that passeth understanding.’ It is a deep Samadhi-like state, unaffected by anything or anyone, a state of timeless Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Awareness, Bliss). In wonderment and gratitude, I thanked that Supreme Consciousness for allowing me to know this experientially. On the outside, the accident was something terrible that had happened. In reality, it was a monumental gift of Grace the Lord had showered, this precious awareness of Atmic discovery.
What a gift through an accident! To take a soul, entangled in human trials and tribulations, out of the human realm altogether, through the realm of death, and into the Supreme Light, to reveal to it, it’s Eternal Self, its divine Identity, and there unite it with its real Self, the Supreme Self itself! Precious blessing! Then to bring me back, into the human realm, whole within my Self, wholly transformed by The Supreme Light Presence of pure unconditional Love, filling my being with divine knowledge, to begin life anew: as the life divine.
For even as I lay on that bed in the hospital, all wired up and smiling contentedly, I seemed to almost take on a vow. As I knew, mine would be a sacred life, dedicated to the Supreme, to be lived in full knowledge of my true Being, and compassionate loving service to all He sent to me. With this Knowing, a prayer went out from within myself. I would try to stay within that knowing I had received as conscious awareness. I would walk solely on the legs of Truth and Righteousness, extending compassion to all with the arms of Love and Non-violence, and try breathing in and out the Peace that pervades the whole Universe, the Peace of the Absolute Oneness of all. Gradually, as I shared this knowing, and moment by moment tried to see and love the God within all, I would surely lead a blessed life and help in spreading that Love and Truth of who we really are and the divine power that we all are. The magnificence and pure love and bliss that exist within each and every one of us and that there is absolutely nothing to fear, especially death: for we are eternal and we never die. That the core essence of The God Self, its temporary ‘individual’ self and all ‘other selves’ are comprised only of Love, Love and Love. That ‘God is Love and Love is God’. Continuing to swim in that Beloved Consciousness, lying on the hospital bed that night, it dawned on me that it was this Awareness, this Love, this Peace, which seekers of Truth here in this world were yearning for. They search to find that happiness which constantly eluded them. I had to somehow help, that it was my duty to my ‘other’ selves.
After the hospital:
Saroj and her family came to pick me up from the hospital that Sunday afternoon. Since I was now back in body consciousness, the excruciating pain continued to be truly unbearable even with very strong medication. The pain lasted for 5-6 days. I went for surgery Monday morning. The surgeon said he either had to remove all the four teeth and put in dentures or at best he would have to do a root canal on all of them. But since the nerves were still attached to the teeth, I assured him that my God would take care of this and to please somehow save the teeth. He hesitated but then agreed saying that it was my responsibility and that I would definitely need root canal work on them in 2-3 years. I was okay with that. It took almost five hours for the surgery, where he placed a full set of metal caps and wiring on my lower teeth to help them settle back permanently and allow the nerves to heal. Since the teeth setting was very fragile with the broken gum bone not strong enough yet to bite any solid foods, I was supposed to be on a liquid diet until it became strong.
I stayed for a week at Saroj’s house to recover from the mouth surgery. I then returned to my home in the Bay area where I lived alone since I was single. For almost one year, I stayed on mainly Ensure plus, which is a liquid food, just like I was a new born baby. Existing in a very different inner world of my own, it might sound strange, but I was still quite disoriented.
Everything seemed new and I was trying to get used to the world. Fortunately, nothing seemed to truly affect me emotionally. I remembered Arti’s life but was quite unaffected by it. My lifestyle was almost the opposite of what Arti's had been. My body structure had also changed, food preferences were different. For example, Arti didn’t much care for chocolate and ice-cream but I love it. I had somewhat of a singing voice whereas Arti couldn't really sing too well. I was more of a quiet personality, wanting to keep to myself. I am very selective with whom I would spend time with, whereas Arti had had an extrovert personality and was very happy to be mixing in society, attending parties, public relations and just generally social. My clothing choices were a bit more conservative too. Interestingly, people around me would say, ‘There is something different about you after the accident but we can’t tell what it is.’
I could tell, of course, but they would never understand. On the physical level, if one looked carefully and compared the eyes of Arti and myself in photographs, they were absolutely different from each other! We were almost like twins, but different. My desire for the world and its attractions was very minimal as I knew it was temporary and not real.
Still fresh from the return and wanting to go back there, I decided to go into a world where I could still be in That Consciousness, at least some of the time. So in December of 1995, I completely walked away from the high-end lifestyle of Arti, the successful Financial Consultant. I gave up the properties, the big house (worth approximately $3-4 million today), cars and other material possessions.
I left for India to the ashram of my Spiritual Master, Sai Baba, which was the only abode of peace I knew. My name was officially given by Sai Baba as Mira S in an interview in 1996. After which, my disorientation with the world seemed to subside to a great degree as I finally had some identity of my own. I returned to California after almost five years in September 2001 on the day of 9-11. It took five days to reach America from India. I stayed with my brother and his family as I had given up my home. In 2002, I went to the Himalayas for a few months, climbing up to 19,500 feet in the snow. When I got back, I went to Stanford University for a while to study Child Developmental Psychopathology. I thought I would try to help juvenile delinquent children. Then I opened a Holistic store in San Jose for about a year. I closed it and went into Real Estate for a few years.
I started a non-profit, studied at World University and was ordained as an Ecumenical Minister. In 2007, I opened a multi-faith Sanctuary in San Jose for five years trying to help people who came there. In 2010, I went back to the Himalayas for about 4-5 months, meditating in many sacred caves, bathing in many holy rivers. I came back and was divinely guided to close the sanctuary.
Since then have been spending time in India and the US, trying to finish two books. One book is a poetry book of mystical meditations of the ‘knowings’ which I experienced from the other side. It is almost complete and ready for publishing.
Many miraculous events have occurred and continue to occur. I live in wonderment and surrender to that Supreme Being and His Love.
Mira S ‘Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu’ ‘May All The Beings In All The Worlds Be Happy’ Thank you for spending the time to read this integral part of my life story.
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Other Body was certainly dead but was not in a hospital so cannot say 'clinical' death
I was in a fatal car accident.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No I clearly left my body and existed outside it.
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 No comparison as it is totally different. Normal everyday earth consciousness is within body consciousness and is controlled by the five senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing, tasting, and by mind and ego. In Cosmic Consciousness where I was, there are none of these limitations, there is no such thing as fear. It was complete awareness and being totally alive, experiencing the tremendous power of this pure unconditional Love.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? It was almost throughout, starting to accelerate when I entered the Light and was at its peak sometime before I was told that I had to come back.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
There was no concept of Time or Duality. Almost everything that was occurring was going fast and slow at the same time: in perfect balance.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Well, prior to the death experience I was driving my car and was quite sleepy and very tired. If you mean the last thing I saw on earth before I left my body, it was the Stop sign ahead of me and the car that came in front and braked. Vision was of a 'physical reality'. WHEREAS, during the death experience, there was no physical world, just 'The Pure Love Presence' and what I could 'see' of that Presence was just an All-pervasive white Brilliance, like a zillion diamonds sparkling and which was infinite: no beginning nor end. That It was completely Still and yet, so totally alive and Full of everything and everyone, all of creation was in every particle of its Light.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Can't remember, prior to the 'experience' but during the experience, no hearing, only a soundless knowing.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Only on my Return to earth, consciousness from cosmic consciousness which happened within a long tunnel that stretched from infinity. From earth consciousness to cosmic consciousness I was transported on this golden vessel which looked like a boat.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 I have described it many times over.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Cosmic Consciousness or I can also say I was within the 'substance' of God.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? No emotions, just some feelings: initial confusion at seeing myself without a body. Then I felt shock at seeing my dead body. Then I felt wonderment at the way I was transported into Cosmic Consciousness. Then I felt unparalleled joy and delight upon recognizing the 'space' I had arrived in. Then surrender and wonderment at the transformation and transmutation happening to my Light body and Universal Truths pouring in. Then I felt shock at the world disappearing and non-existent; then complete Bliss and Oneness with Supreme Consciousness; then wanting to be there forever; then a questioning as to what next. Then dismay as I saw myself returning to earth.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others Not just the universe but myself, others. All-encompassing knowing, universal Truths unfolded.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No It was a very quick flash of 'knowing' of past lives.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Hindu Born Hindu, educated in Catholic convent schools, practiced Tao meditation, have respect and regard for all religions and their holy books.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have become spiritual rather than religious. More on the One God as He is Omnipresent. Focus on Non-duality, not duality. Oneness of all, brotherhood of man.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths After the experience, I believe in the following Truth... There is only one religion... the religion of Love, There is only one caste... the caste of Humanity, There is only one language... the language of the Heart, There is only one God... and He is Omnipresent.
As taught by Sai Baba.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Reincarnation was confirmed... How and why a soul chooses a particular life role was new to me... and other information was there too.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes From religious I became spiritual. Value system changed. For even as I lay on that bed in the hospital, all wired up and smiling contentedly, I seemed to almost take on a vow. As I knew, mine would be a sacred life, dedicated to the Supreme, to be lived in full knowledge of my true Being, and compassionate loving service to all He sent to me! A prayer went out from within myself: I would try and stay within that Knowing I had received, as conscious awareness. I would walk solely on the legs of Truth and Righteousness, extending compassion to all with the arms of Love and Non-violence, and try breathing in and out the Peace that pervades the whole Universe, the Peace of the Absolute Oneness of all.
Gradually, as I shared this knowing, and moment by moment tried to see and love the God within all, I would surely lead a blessed life and help in spreading that Love and Truth of who we really are and the divine power that we all are. The magnificence and pure love and bliss that exists within each and every one of us and that there is absolutely nothing to fear, especially death: for we are eternal and we never die.
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 I did not encounter any being. But, The Presence: Yes! As far as hearing, Cosmic Wisdom and Cosmic Knowing was 'heard' and understood by me but it was not like the hearing we have on earth. It came as a 'knowing'. The final instruction for me to return to earth was 'loud' but not like a sound with which we are familiar.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes Past lives flashed as a knowing.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Total Awareness of the Oneness and at-one-ment as That One... was experienced.
Knowing... There is no 'other'... only One and that, all are That One.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes God or the Supreme Being or Supreme Consciousness was all there was.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Universal laws seemed to be unfolding rapidly and pouring into my entire electric wave body. When the Cosmic Voice said I had to go back, it said, æTo do the workÆ, so it was clear that I was being sent back for some purpose. But then, each and every one of us has come with some purpose and all are special.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes yes, the 'knowing' came through... we never die... we are Eternal. Once we leave the body we are still alive as I was still alive...... the knowing was provided that: Life on Earth is just a temporary landing place, where we set up a temporary residence until we are ready to return to our permanent Home which is ‘the Oneness’, where I was! The universe is God’s theater, and souls are like a vast dramatic troupe that has many plays in its repertoire, which they enact at different times... and different lifetimes... in different locales. In one lifetime, a soul will be 'wearing the costume (having a particular body) and following traditions of that particular life play', performing its part in a certain drama upon a given planet; and when that lifetime is over, that soul sheds that body and moves on to another drama (another life), donning a new costume to play a different role, each new drama conveying its own message and teaching new lessons. That life was just a playground of experience, an assignment from God which was co-created by the soul too, a mirror projection of the Divine. In each new lifetime, as the soul makes spiritual progress, its vibrational frequency gets tuned to a faster, higher and finer level, depending upon its degree of evolution. The transformation continues until the frequency level is fine-tuned to such a degree that it connects with the frequency of the Cosmos itself, which then allows it to gain entry into Cosmic Consciousness, finding its true self, which is eternal bliss, ananda. So, there is certainly Life after death for we never die.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes yes, but it really is too long.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes This Truth, this Self I was bathing in and which had encompassed my Being, was nothing but Love, Love, pure, unconditional, Universal Love! Love that is unimaginable in human terms, and which was the fabric of this Consciousness I was a part of. Yes, because Love is God and God is Love. It was very clear that the Cosmic composition was made up of nothing but Love! Love is the God-glue that was holding All… together. I was not just inside but rather one with, this Universal Body of Love, of God. It was completely natural... as flame is to fire... because it is fire!
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I have always been spiritual from the time I was a small child, but I became much more so after this experience. Large changes in my life. I have always been spiritual from the time I was a small child, but I became much more so after this experience.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes For myself, once having received and experienced the Love of all Loves, that divine, pure unconditional Love of the Supreme, nothing and no one in this world can match it, so I love everyone but no one person specifically. I am in love with Love for I have experienced what Love is all about.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words to accurately describe this experience as it is not of this world and worldly language cannot express it, at least not in my vocabulary. It stays with me as a 'knowing'. It was a knowing, a face to face with and within my true Self, being none other than the Universal Self that you and I and all, are none other than that Universal Self: that we are all one, like waves in the Ocean, rising up for a short while and then merging back into the Ocean as the Ocean. In a few words, it was all about Love. It was Love meeting Love, merging and experiencing Love, from Love to Love in and as Love.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I did but they were taken away by some wrong people.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was only after a couple of years before I shared it for the first time. Family did not really understand and took it casually, just grateful that I was alive. Others were intrigued and curious, but later, at the sanctuary, people probably benefited from the unconditional love I was able to pour on them and the counseling advice and wisdom that would come through for them.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had had one previously in 1980 but that was most horrific and very, very frightening, because of the circumstances related to it. I had completely wiped it out of my system. This one was completely the opposite, divinely ordained.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It had become part and parcel of me; I was living and breathing it. It was in every cell of my body and whenever I would want to, I could close my eyes, and I was back in the same Consciousness. This continued for almost 4 years. Even now, after almost twenty years, I can go into it but only when I am in deep meditation. At other times, I still exist in a similar space within; as I said earlier itÆs not something that leaves you: it is you!
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real This kind of experience is not something that leaves you: it is you the core of you!
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Meditation will take me there.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I have already said too much!!