In death's vicinity
Many attempts have been made to explain near death experiences. And although common, we are still no closer to understanding them, says Kaushal Raj Pandey
Mr Gajaraj, an old man from a village in Uttar Pradesh in India, had chronic ill health. On 10 October 2005 his condition deteriorated. The next morning at 5 am his heart stopped beating and he was declared dead. The family members and villagers were preparing to cremate his body. To everyone's surprise, he was alive again three hours later. The same day he spoke to Aaj Tak, an Indian television channel and said that he had been taken away by five men to an unknown place. There he saw a man in black, whom he referred to as Yama Raj, the Hindu god of death. Yama Raj looked at Gajaraj and scolded his men for bringing Gajaraj in place of his uncle. Yama Raj ordered them to take him back and bring Gajaraj's uncle. Gajaraj's uncle, who was apparently healthy, died at 10 am the next morning.