True Mystic Experiences: Out-of-Body Experience

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In the following lines I wish to share a most astonishing incident told to me by my nephew, Dr. S. J. Gandhi, a physician at the Amey Hospital in Panvel, Maharasahtra State, India. The story concerns the experience of a patient at his hospital.

Mrs. Rajwant K. had been diagnosed as having a thyroid disorder. Her husband was a truck driver of very ordinary means. Mrs. K. had been losing weight gradually, and had become quite a skeleton. She also had a swollen neck and was advised to have surgery.

During the surgery, it so happened that one of the surgeons cut the wrong artery by mistake. The doctors were unable to stop the bleeding, and the patient was given a blood transfusion to sustain her life. One bottle was used, then two, three, and so on up to six, but no end to the bleeding was noticed.

The surgical team thought of calling in a senior doctor from a nearby city, but none was available. As a last measure they called in a young doctor from the local area. He came and saw that the bleeding was coming from a spot other than that from which they were trying to stop it. To the great relief of the attending doctors the bleeding ultimately stopped. The patient regained consciousness after some time, but the proposed operation for her ailment had to be dropped.

Later, my nephew Dr. Gandhi treated Mrs. K. non-surgically for her hyperthyroid condition. The treatment was successful, and Mrs. K. started gaining weight. Eventually she recovered fully.

One day when she was at his office, she told Dr. Gandhi what had transpired during the operation. She said she was looking at the entire operation from outside her body. She related exactly what happened. My nephew was very skeptical and did not believe her at first. So he decided to test her veracity by asking for the names and descriptions of the doctors who were present. To his utter surprise she stuttered out all the names.

Still having some lurking doubts, he decided to test her further. Dr. Gandhi had not seen the doctor who had been called last and on whose diagnosis she ultimately recovered. He arranged to call all the doctors a few days later and asked her to identify each of them by name. She did it! My nephew was sure that she could not have learned their names except from the conversations in the operating theater that occurred when she was apparently unconscious.

I would not have believed this incident had it not been narrated to by my nephew whom I have no reason to doubt, and who has nothing to gain from this story.

This incident called to my mind the concept, so succinctly exposed in the Hindu scripture, of the human soul being quite separate from the body. Perhaps in no other religion has this distinction of the mind or soul and the body been so clearly set out as in Hinduism. It is not our eyes that see, not our ears that hear, not our nose that smells, and not our brain that thinks. There is no way we can identify ourselves as anything other than the body we are encased in, except when we come across such unusual experiences.

The literature on extrasensory experiences is littered with countless incidents of how the spirit and the body are different. Here, however, is an example, empirically verified, which ought to boost our faith in religion, and the truth which is found in almost all religions, not excluding Christianity and Islam. It should prompt us to prefer good over evil, just over unjust in our daily lives, though we may all identify ourselves with our bodies during our temporary stay in the physical world without realizing its separateness from our real selves. — Sudhir M. H., N.Y.

This True Mystic Experience appeared in the November 2011 edition of FATE.