The Near Death Experience (NDE) by T. C. Gopalakrishnan

T. C. Gopalakrishnan was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941.    He was a student of the Ramakrishna Mission Boy’s High school; completed his high school graduation in 1957; received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Madras University in 1963; master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 1971; doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978.

Gopalakrishnan served on the research and teaching faculty of the following three institutions:

1. The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India

2. The North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA 

3. The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.

Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last fifty years or so.  His early interest in that direction was triggered by his high school text book by the title ‘Ramakrishna Upanishadam’ in Tamil containing teachings of the sage Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius, Meister Eckhart and similar Masters.  His book In Quest of the Deeper Self, published in 2007, is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.  

In connection with the book, he was invited to give talks at the following centers:

  1. J Krishnamurti Study Centre, KFI, Vasanta Vihar, Chennai, India
  2. Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai, India
  3. ‘Reflections’- A forum in the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
  4. The Computer Society of India, Chennai Chapter
  5. The Ladies and Knights of the Square Table, at the Koshy’s Chillout, Bangalore
  6. Nightingales Elders Enrichment Centre, Bangalore
  7. Senior Citizens Group, Bangalore
  8. International Women’s Association, Chennai Chapter (Talk at the Express Avenue Mall, Chennai)

Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS). He gave a talk at the IANDS International Conference held at Durham NC, USA, September 2 – 4, 2011.  The title of his talk was “On the Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences”.  A video CD was produced by IANDS on his talk, as part of the conference proceedings.

There has been a growing awareness about the experience that some people go through as a result of clinical death for a short time after which they are resuscitated.  Though there are some skeptical opinions about it, it is good to explore into the NDE as it has some clear esoteric message to gives.  Understanding the Deeper Self is aided by the understanding of Near Death Experiences.

What is NDE and why is it a good theme to explore?  These questions are explored in the book “In Quest of the Deeper Self”.   The pointers from applying ourselves to NDE can help us understand life from a wider and deeper perspective.  This, in turn, brings about harmony in our daily life and permeates it with a vibrant quality.  Our relationship with relatives, friends and others begin to have deeper meaning.  It moves us towards a compassionate field so that we bring in greater joy in our relationships.  People close to us begin to feel this enrichment brought about by understanding NDE.  Fear of death becomes weaker and weaker and there is a tendency to apply ourselves spiritedly to all aspects of life, including the frivolous ones!

 More importantly, when we gain understanding of the NDE (even though we may not have died!), we help the revived people to understand the inner meaning of NDE so that they feel comfortable with that resounding experience.  The NDE people usually feel reluctant to talk to anyone about it for fear of being considered psychotic or one who has gone nuts!  Actually, those who consider them as gone “cuckoo” are the ones who are to be pitied!   By applying ourselves to NDE, we will be able to help the NDE people readjust to their practical life while also making it clear to them that they are actually the blessed ones for being given a chance to have a peep into the other side, beyond life.

As Shakespeare said “The quality of mercy is double blessed; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”  Attention to NDE is also like that.  It elevates both the one that carries the message and the one that receives it.