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Rising from the Dead
by Tarun Cherian

Ascent Painting By Tarun Cherian

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You stir out of your home early, as early as you dare, terrible anguish in your throat. The man who was everything to you was humiliated, tortured slowly for hours before your eyes and killed. Your mind replays the scene again & again & again. You hear every whiplash, the sound as metal is driven into bone. Your throat sears with pain, dark shadows wrench your throat. You walk to the grove where your loved one lies buried. You dread each step, yet you hurry almost running. You wonder how you will move the great rock placed before the tomb. You turn the corner. And then your feet go weak. The rock has been moved, the grave clothes have been strewn, ‘O! Dear God not this.' Foul grave robbers have stolen the body. No one can be this cruel. You see two figures, ‘what have you done to him?' You scream out. And then a figure dazzling appears. ‘Where can I find him? Where is my saviour?' You ask. And he smiles at you and says ‘Woman do you not recognise me?''

Death is man's greatest examiner. And to some our most implacable foe. Turning all our achievements to lie. For if all that awaits us is oblivion, then as nihilists put it, does it matter what we do here? But if death is not as invincible as he appears, if death can be cheated, if we can return from death then surely the colours of life will brighten.

Now we humans have created a great way to deal with death. Avoidance. And techno-babble. Dress young and put our faith in the ICU. The simple truth is that Death will not be so easily dissuaded. Its bony hands will reach for us. And then we will need to answer hard questions. So what better time than Easter, to examine the questions of Death, Resurrection, Ascension, Immortality, Rebirth, Reincarnation, Mukti, Armageddon, Cosmic Annihilation and Universal Salvation.

Resurrection: A trans-religious truth.

Millions of Christians celebrate Easter and the resurrection – the triumph of Jesus over death. For months after his crucifixion, he is encountered by disciples. Some are doubtful, like Thomas and seek to see the scars of the crucifixion. After creating an unforgettable example of victory over death and the physical, Lord Jesus ascends into the heavens in a blaze of glory. But this not the end of the story. To those with faith, Jesus will return from inner Kingdom a second time, to judge, to save, to lift us up. And according to some that time is now.

While many Christians tend to focus on Jesus's resurrection, this is not the only time Jesus snatched prey from death's jaws. Jesus brought Jarius's daughter back, perhaps hours after she died, and Lazarus days after he was buried in a grave.

But as we trace back, resurrection, and power over death does not emerge with Christianity, it is entrenched in the Judaic tradition. The Prophet Elijah & The Prophet Elisha both are said to have brought children back from the dead.

As we stray further afield, we encounter resurrection again & again. The Histories of Herodotus speak of the resurrection of 7th C BC sage Aristeas of Preconnesus, how his body vanished from a locked room. Not only did he return from death he is said to have gained immortality.

From China comes an extraordinary tale of the resurrection of The Bodhidharma. A whole 3 years after the Bodhidharma's demise, a Chinese emissary, Ambassador Songyun saw an extraordinary sight on The Pamir Heights. A monk walking while holding a shoe. It was the Bodhidharma. Where are you going? The Ambassador asked. The Bodhidharma replied "Home". But why was the Bodhidharma clutching a single shoe? The Bodhidharma replied "When you reach the Shaolin monastery, it will be made clear." In Shaolin, when the Bodhidharma' grave was disinterred, they discovered only a single shoe. The Master indeed had gone back home.

While Christianity is the torchbearer of the miracle of resurrection... from every religion, every part of the world come miraculous hope-inspiring accounts of resurrection, immortality, ascension, rebirth.

But it is not the ancient world alone that talks of resurrection, contemporary accounts and Creator's Child Mystics & Healers stand compelling witness to the fact that "life does not halt at death's door..."




Returning from death: contemporary accounts.

One of the most bone-chilling accounts of faith and physical resurrection comes from India . The Guru Babaji, was approached in the Himalayas by a seeker who wished to join his elite group of soul explorers. “Jump off this cliff” he told the seeker. The Seeker leapt off the cliff with nary a hesitation. When Babaji and his group of disciples went down the cliff they found the seeker's body sprawled, broken in death. With a touch Babaji revived the seeker, healed his body and welcomed him into his select group.

We were having a conversation one day with a manager from an IT firm and discussing our work when she related this extraordinary tale. Her uncle in Bengal had died. When the family informed his guru who was travelling he commanded them not to cremate the body. He arrived a few days later. He asked the wife if she would give up half her lifespan in exchange for her husband's life. She agreed. The Guru chanted non-stop for the day and well into the night, then the dead uncle stirred back to life. The niece had witnessed the extraordinary event. What makes the story even more believable is that the guru commanded them not to reveal his name in connection with this incident. Fame would interfere with his true work.

Teachers who can bring back the dead walk among us...

But even closer home or rather closer to the rational mind are innumerable instances of people who have returned from death. Classified by Western Rationalism under the misnomer, Near Death Experience, these medically validated experiences, reveal hard core, real life stories of people who have returned from death.

While clinical death and irreversible brain damage is supposed to occur roughly minutes past heart stoppage, many of these accounts are of people who have lived, well past that. Even days past that.

Precisely what happened to Ratan* a student of ours. During a medical intervention his heart failed and he was termed as clinically dead. Well after the four minutes of irreversible brain damage, he returned with an amazing account of life after death. First he hovered over the surgery and could relate the various actions that the medical team performed in graphic detail. Then he was sucked into a long tunnel and spat out into world of shimmering colour. But he had lost human form, was like a ball of consciousness, a group of spirit guides cloud like beings of consciousness lifted him up and seemed to toss him lightly and joyously… at some point they decided that his death was premature and decided to send him back! Ratan* resides in London now. And is an IT pro in a leading IT firm.

Returning from the dead is a clinical fact... The worlds that the revenants have glimpsed after death are awe-inspiring.

The most extended case of a near-death experience ever recorded is that of a neuropathologist, George Rodonaia. Pronounced dead after he was hit by a car in 1976, he was placed in the morgue for three days. As part of an autopsy a doctor began to make an incision in his abdomen and he returned to life. His travels post death makes fascinating reading, of meeting beings, of being able to explore dimensions of wisdom. “I saw the universal form of life and nature laid out before my eyes. It was at this point that any concern I had for my body just slipped away, because it was clear to me that I didn't need it anymore, that it was actually a limitation.” After the experience Rodonaia an avowed atheist devoted himself exclusively to the study of spirituality, taking a second doctorate in the psychology of religion.

Not only is death not a finality but our reality appears to be just the basement of an incredible structure of consciousness. From this perspective our life is merely a phase of greater life, where we alternate between various states of existence!

However, not all accounts of returning from death are triumphant, using a mix of puffer fish toxins and datura, Voodoo practitioners are recorded to have killed and revived people days after having been buried. The voodoo resurrection, however is a spine-chilling perversion for what returns from death is not human but a zombie, a shambling broken down creature, with humanity eviscerated, and the will lobotomised.

While many of us think we die once, we are actually constantly dying and being resurrected. In months our entire stomach lining is replaced. In 7 years practically all our cells are new. We are in a sense every day, every decade returning to life. Resurrection from this perspective is not the preserve of the few. It is written into our daily life. So scientists ask themselves, where are these death codes written find them and immortality at least physical longevity is in our grasp.

"While many of us think we die once, we are actually constantly dying and being resurrected."


Considering Immortality.

But if one is invulnerable to death then why die in the first place? While many dismiss ancient religious accounts like that of Methuselah or the Inca King Viraroccha, who are said to have lived centuries, less easy to dismiss are accounts of Babaji said to be 700 years old, a fact witnessed by unimpeachable witnesses hundreds of years ago and today. Or the account of the historical pugilist Cleomedes of Astupalaea, believed to have been made physically immortal. But why travel the world? Right here in Bangalore, Ashwin seeking a cure was directed to a Siddha practitioner working selflessly in a slum, during the conversation, the Siddha practitioner revealed that his guru was 1,500 years old.

Do Immortals live in our city... our world?

The Ascent into Light.

Most Christians celebrate resurrection but ignore another extraordinary aspect of the biblical story – Jesus's Ascension. Months after he returned from death, Jesus is said to have risen up into the heavens in a blaze of glory. If the resurrection is awe-inspiring the ascension is a step up, for one encounters the magnificent possibility that we are but light held in physical form. Amazingly, we encounter similar miraculous accounts from every part of the world. In Jerusalem a stone is marked where Prophet Muhammad and his horse was witnessed to have risen into clouds of light. The Zen account of Rinzai relates the passing of Chinese Chan master Puhua, who left an empty coffin behind, and the sound of his bell ringing in the sky. Gesar, the Tibetan Master, at the close of his life, chanted on the mountain top, then according to witnesses his clothes fell empty to the stony ground, he had disappeared. On his deathbed, Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru of Sikhs is said to have transformed his dead body into a heap of sweet smelling flowers.

On a more personal note, roughly a year, I woke up in the morning and encountered a curious phenomenon, I could look through my hand as if it were a bar of translucent Pears soap. I could see the washbasin through my hand. The experience lasted for a minute, extended only till my hand, but in that minute it revealed that the physical body our most solid and stodgy accompaniment of life is not stodgy or solid.

Dissappearing into light... vanishing into nothingness... leaving flowers instead of a corpse... The physical is more and less than we think it is...

Strictly speaking every death involves the spiritual resurrection of the person. "Celia was observing a friend passing away when she saw a luminous body lift out and rise up into the light. Escorted by guides of light. " The separation of bodies dark and light happens inevitably in every death be it a human or cockroach!


The Journey after death.

One of the hardest and most challenging tasks we do as healers is escorting the dead, and connecting to the dead. In some cases people who have passed away are entangled. For example, a powerful man had got entangled in a mesh of energy barbed wire as he sought to help his family on earth in a difficult case. We needed to free his inner body.

In some cases, we have followed the person's spirit through many steps and to another life. In a case we dealt with a few years ago, a patient we got closely involved was reborn as an elephant. And this leads us to a powerful and triumphant body of fact that carry us beyond death's long arm... Rebirth and reincarnation... It is Celia's compelling remebrance of her past life in Goa that got her to enter spirituality and healing. It is this realisation that Death is not a full stop that was the lever for her inner and outer change.

"Death is not a full stop." -- Celia Cherian, Co-founder Creator's Child

The Day of Judgement.

Yes, ascension is not the final theme of resurrection. For if Lord Jesus, the Prophet Mohammad, The Prophet Elijah, The Inca King, The Bodhidharma ascended into the light then surely the light may return them to us, now, at this time of mankind's greatest need.

The Mayan calendar is coming to a close in 2012, portending some say disaster, but does one have to be a mystic to predict challenging times? There are catastrophic drops in green cover, the melt of glaciers marches unchecked, the ozone layer is depleting, pollution is deepening, groundwater is dropping, population is spiralling out of control, strange tectonic stirrings have been felt, the season's are dangerously unstable, and if that were not enough, the geo-politico environment is fragile, and with our bio and nuclear stockpile we may shoot ourselves in the foot well before nature takes her revenge. When rabbit warrens turn crowded, numerous natural functions are altered, still births increase, doe's often reabsorb their young. A study of mankind, in the last 50 years, shows remarkable biological shifts, sperm counts have fallen by more than half, women's reproductive health is reaching alarming levels, yes, ancient racial triggers have been activated… Armageddon appears to be round the corner.

In Christian & Islamic texts are references to a Day of Judgement. A time of annihilation and final judgment. Even more extreme but on a far greater cosmic scale is the Indian concept of Yugas. Thankfully Kali Yug is supposed to end only many millennia later. Here we not only encounter a small planetary shakeup but the very destruction of the stars, the collapse of the universe itself, but even this does not capture the full scale of terror conceived by our ancient Rishis. For they envisage The Gotterdamerung, the death of the Gods. And surely this is terrifying, for many die with the assurance that life will survive, that God will cup their spirits, but what if even the Gods one day must face death?

But whether it is a single cell barely sensing sunlight facing it's death, man touching the codes of the stars finding life flicker to a close, entire civilisations facing destruction, or even the creator burning to a halt, the issues are the same… Is Death the full stop or the gatekeeper? Is the physical the boundaries of existence or merely its basement?

When giving healing through manttras for the Japan tragedy two remarkable things happened. The Group of heralers in Mumbai found the water in still bowls of water they had kept in front of them moving. Indicating the power of the invisible, the power of prayer. Secondly, while observing the whole process I saw thousands of souls lift up like seabirds... We do not die, even when we die.


Resurrection: The Universal Truth.

Easter celebrates resurrection. With delightful irony, even the festival itself is a resurrection, for Easter is the ancient festival to Goddess Astarte, taken over and given fresh life through the Christian faith that celebrates the triumph of Jesus over death. The Easter message of renewal lives on 3000 years after Astarte's true followers have been devoured by time.

Resurrection is a universal truth. From every creed, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Inca, Zen, Shinto, Shaman, or Wican… comes the acclamation that death is not our master. Physically or in spirit we shall triumph. But resurrection is not just a religious truth…

Whether you are farmer watching green spring back to life, or biotechnologist teasing mammoth DNA to reveal secrets… you believe in resurrection. Whether you are traveller returning from death, reincarnational explorer or scientist uncovering in the brain a lizard's stirring… you believe in resurrection. Whether you are quantum physicist discovering atom emerge and disappear into fields of force, or visionaries who see we are swirls of energy, temporarily casting physical shadows… you believe in resurrection.

No, resurrection is not a religious truth. Resurrection is Life.

"Whether you are farmer watching green spring back to life, or biotechnologist teasing mammoth DNA to reveal secrets… you believe in resurrection. Whether you are traveller returning from death, reincarnational explorer or scientist uncovering in the brain a lizard's stirring… you believe in resurrection."




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