Death is one of mankind’s greatest mysteries. It is a great, veiled passageway that none of us can see beyond. Our faiths and spirituality often give us some idea of what lies beyond death’s door, but that is very different from firsthand knowledge. A few, however, have managed to glimpse what lies beyond, and have returned to tell of what they experienced. Doctor Rajiv Parti is one of them. A wealthy, world-renowned specialist in pain management, Parti underwent a near-death experience on the operating table, but returned more alive than ever. The knowledge he came back with is strikingly similar to that reported in many other near-death experiences, but far more complete, and it is a message he feels that others are meant to learn from, brought from the other side of that unknowable passageway. When he awoke from his surgery, Doctor Parti brought with him ideas concerning personal reflection, love, and purpose that we can all benefit from—ideas given to him by the divine so that we all might benefit.

For Doctor Parti, death was a time of reflection on his life. During his experience, he encountered an entity that he describes as a “Being of Light”. This entity filled Parti with a sense of love and belonging, and together they reviewed the parts of Parti’s life that he was not proud of—the parts that needed to change. Strikingly, this review included not only his own perspective, but the perspective of others, giving him the gift of empathetic knowledge. He felt the emotions and motivation behind his own father’s abuse, and through this understanding, was able to curb some of those same tendencies within himself. Parti’s eyes were also opened to the materialism and the selfishness that had marred his life of plenty, and the toll that these traits took on the people around him. He saw the addictions he suffered from, and how they were merely a sort of band-aid for his numerous spiritual wounds. And because of these revelations, he was equipped to help others with the same problems. The being of light informed Parti that he “had been humbled by pain, so you have the knowledge,” to help others. Parti did just that, going on to write his book for the benefit of others, so that they, too, might examine their lives closely.

This kind of humbling revelation gives the incredible gifts of self-awareness and empathy. When people like Doctor Parti go through exceptionally difficult experiences—in this case, coming close to death—they often bring back wisdom from that hardship. When they do this, they allow others access to this wisdom without having to go through that same difficulty—an immensely valuable offering. Most of us walk through life blind to our faults, but Parti was given the gift of sight. Because of this, he was able to correct many of the negative aspects of his life when he returned to the land of the living. He gave away many of his belongings, quit his lucrative job as an anesthesiologist, and now spends much of his time volunteering for community projects and advocating a consciousness-based approach to healing. Fully awoken, he began to live for others rather than for himself, and for the spiritual rather than the material. The result has been an immensely improved life. Self-reflection is not the limit of what Parti brought back, however.

“I have discovered my true calling; to endow others with a knowledge that encourages the body and mind’s natural ability to heal...”

He also returned knowing the full importance of love. Doctor Parti writes that the archangel Raphael told him that “Love adds dimension to everything,” during his near-death experience. Indeed, this is one of the most common realizations of those who undergo brushes with death, no matter what their faith—that love is the most essential trait one can possess, and that it is the principal trait of the supreme intelligence that is the source of all life. Parti, on his website, writes that “love is the supreme source of creation”. He relates to us that we can take comfort knowing that the intelligence which created us is not only infinitely powerful, but infinitely loving. It follows, as some of us need to hear, that it is okay to love. It is not unmanful or shameful or weak or a waste of time. Giving and receiving love is a necessary part of life—a part of being human. It is the way to happiness and fulfillment. It is our purpose.

Purpose is one of the most powerful things people who have undergone near-death experiences can find. Doctor Parti’s life was utterly rebuilt by his experience—he writes that “I have discovered my true calling; to endow others with a knowledge that encourages the body and mind’s natural ability to heal addiction and depression without following a pill-based approach.” This, of course, is not everyone’s calling—we all have our own, and we don’t need to have a near-death experience to figure out what it is. We merely need to examine our own lives, find out who we are, and use what we find to love and serve others. In this, we find not only our purpose, but our higher calling. Look to the changes in Parti’s life as an example, and know that this kind of change is possible—not only that, but desirable.

Doctor Rajiv Parti wrote “Dying to Wake Up,” so that others can reap the benefits of an experience with death without having to experience it, themselves, translating his moment of suffering into joy for his audiences. The wisdom he imparts is well worth reading, as are the accounts of many others who have undergone similar experiences—it is striking how alike these experiences all are, how alike the wisdom brought back is. There is most certainly a reason these experiences happen to insightful, articulate people such as Doctor Parti—these stories, borne by those with the greatest ability to communicate, will reach the widest number of people. What audiences can learn concerning their purpose, the nature of love, and of their own selves, is invaluable. Invaluable, too, is the knowledge that life does not end with death—it is, perhaps, merely another beginning. Know that, and take comfort.

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