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Medical Study Confirms Vedic Viewpoint - Life Exists After Death

By: for ISKCON News on Oct. 16, 2014
Photo Credits: www.ascensionearth2012.org

World’s largest medical study on Near Death Experience (NDE) and Out of Body Experience (OBE) carried out by the scientists of University of Southampton discovered that “Life Exists After Death”.  2060 cardiac patients were closely examined during the experiment for 4 years before the scientists published their research in journal Resuscitation.

In one of the cases, one 57 year old man who was clinically dead for 3 minutes - his heart had stopped beating and the brain was shut down - later after coming back to life was able to recall in minute details the activities of the nursing staffs and the doctors during those 3 minute period who were treating him. He said that he was observing his resuscitation from a corner of the room. Now this is not just interesting but it proves that life continues even after the body perishes.

The man’s brain had stopped functioning, his eyes were closed and he had no consciousness in his body. Then who was the “conscious being” who was observing everything from the corner of the room? That “conscious being” was able to see, hear (he clearly heard the bleeps from a machine that makes noise at three – minute intervals) and was able to store all the observed information. Here we see that the locus of the consciousness had also shifted. He did not perceive things from the bed but instead he was observing everything from the room’s corner, in fact he was observing his own body.  And the person was not hallucinating else he would have not been able to provide accurate information.

The Vedic literatures explain that “conscious being” is atma (soul) which has an independent existence. As long as the soul remains in control of the physical body the body functions and the moment the soul’s connection with the body ceases the body becomes lifeless. As per the karmic quota a soul is bound to a physical body, when the quota is exhausted the soul leaves for a different destination.

In the case of this man, the soul was temporarily displaced from the physical body but since the karmic quota wasn’t exhausted so soul remained emotionally connected and finally returned back into the body bringing back life into the clinically dead body.  This was not one of the cases; the team of researchers found that of the 2060 cardiac patients who were examined, 330 survived and 140 of them spoke about some sort of awareness when they were medically dead and being resuscitated. 

For the students of Vedic literatures and spiritualists in general, this scientific revelation isn’t surprising. Vedic books contain many logical explanations, with examples, about the relationship between the soul and the physical body.

For e.g. Srimad Bhagavatam narrates the story of King Citraketu whose little son came back to life after being dead. The king was inconsolable upon seeing his dead son, so sage Narada, just to educate the king about the ephemeral nature of physical body, temporarily brought the child’s soul into the lifeless body. The moment the soul entered, the dead body began exhibiting all the symptoms of life. And the soul through the body of the boy spoke to the king. To king’s disbelief the boy said that he is not his only father, he had had many fathers and mothers in the past because since time immemorial he has been occupying different bodies including that of humans, animals, aquatics, plants.

This new scientific research complements Vedic understanding.   The scientists who are trying to uncover the mysteries of life through experimentation can also refer Vedic literatures to understand the science of soul and how soul animates the body. The soul’s existence is not physical but is metaphysical. In Gita 2.20 Krishna asseverates that soul is eternal and in no circumstances can die. Krishna further explains in Gita 2.22, “As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless one.”

Dr Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief at Resuscitation said: “Dr Parnia (who led the experiment) and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.”

If we think scientifically and honestly and without any prejudice then we can understand our life, this world and most importantly our relationship with God.

If we study our life and this world scientifically, honestly and without any prejudice then we can understand who we are and what is our relationship with God.

As acclaimed scientist Louis Pasteur, Founder of Microbiology, says, “Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him.”

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Reference: “First hint of 'life after death' in biggest ever scientific study”, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/11144442/First-hint-of-life-after-death-in-biggest-ever-scientific-study.html#disqus_thread  

(Purushottam Kumar is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. Check his blog http://krishnamagic.blogspot.in/)

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[ afterlife ] [ death ] [ life ]
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