BENGALURU: Supplementing Vedic knowledge with science and case studies, T S Viswanathan, a city-based Sanskrit scholar spoke about his book titled Do We Really Die? at the recently concluded lit fest. The book is a result of four years of research.
He started his speech asking if death is real. It was a question that troubled even the ancient gods, he said, citing conversations between nine-year-old Nachiketa and Yama.
When the child asked the God of Death this question, Yama tried to distract him with material gifts. But the God failed and was forced to give an answer. Viswanathan said that the answer is in his book, tempting the audience to get a copy.
The conclusion of the book and the talk was that death is indeed not final. Viswanathan quoted doctors from Harvard Medical Schools, London School of Economics and Psychology Psychiatric Trust of University of Virginia to prove his point.
Some of the stories he narrated were told first hand to him and some he received through the Internet. He spoke of the Theresa Experiment, in which a young boy woke up after nine days in the hospital and told his family about dead family members. The family paid little heed to what the child was saying until he mentioned his elder sister Theresa who, he said, told him to go back. His father was furious for having named Theresa as dead, when she was studying in the university about 1,000 km away from the hospital. But, when the father called the University, he was informed that his daughter had met with an accident at midnight and the authorities were frantically trying to reach out to the family. This led Dr Bruce Greyson, professor emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Sciences at the University of Virginia, to believe that something is there beyond our comprehension. Dr Bruce Greyson had shared the story in 2011 at Dharamsala Buddhist Conference.
Then came the story of Dr Eben Alexander III from Harvard Medical School, who was in coma after an E. Coli attack in the brain. His state of coma read between 3 EEG (Electroencephalograph) to 5. Only dead people show a reading of ‘3’ and ‘5’ is when a person is on the brink of death. On the seventh day, Dr Eben woke up and all he remembered was the perfect state of bliss and light.
You may have missed his talk but you can catch him on Shankara TV from December 31, on his debut show, hosting a segment on a similar topic.