Near death experience: Encountering Jesus

 Indu Shanmugam tried many ways and means of finding meaning in life. She could not find any. She decided to commit suicide and made an (un)successful attempt. While in the hospital, she had a near death experience where she met Jesus of Nazareth, the prince of peace. Read on to know more about her experience in her own words.

This is a real story of God literally saving me from death. I almost died at the age of seventeen and I met Jesus through a near death experience. In my past I’ve been a hardcore atheist, a Hindu, an agnostic with Unitarian Universalism ideas, and even a Wiccan (a new-age cult that practices witchcraft) when Jesus found me. 

Let me start with my background. My Tamil father came from a Hindu background and my Malayalee mother came from a nominal Catholic background. Both of them were essentially atheists and were against following any type of religion. Growing up I was told not to believe in a God and that religion was a waste of time. Our family lived in Dubai for the first eleven years of my life and then we moved to the United States. 

I faced many struggles. I had problems with my parents. They had issues of their own and were always angry. I could never please them or meet their expectations. When I was eight, I was raped and sexually abused several times by a neighbor. I was too young to understand sexual abuse. Scared, confused and humiliated I internalized my deep emotional pain. When I was about fourteen, I started suffering from severe depression and became suicidal. I started cutting my wrists. I hated myself. I felt empty inside and knew my life was a mess.

I often wondered “Is there more to life than this? What is the point of studying hard, getting a high paying job, kids and achievements – in the end what matters?”

I had a desire to find the meaning of life and deeper purpose. Religion fascinated me. I wanted to follow something. I thought all religions are just different ways and I need to come to self-realization. I explored Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and other ideas. My depression got worse; I started thinking about suicide, cutting my wrists and became bulimic. I continued to search for God and started getting curious about Christianity. Why on earth would anyone willingly die on a cross? I heard that “Jesus died for your sins and the sins of the world.” That made no sense to me. I got fed up and gave up on religion and turned into a sour, bitter atheist.

At seventeen years of age, I had had enough and I tried to hang myself. It’s a miracle that I am alive today in perfect health because the doctors estimated I was hanging for about eight to twelve minutes before a friend found me. I had no pulse. The doctors told my parents that I’m most likely to die and if I make it, I would very likely be paralyzed, in a vegetative state or mentally retarded or worse. I was in a coma for eleven days. During the time I was unconscious, I can boldly say I met Jesus. I know it sounds a little out of the ordinary, but this only means we don’t serve an ordinary God. I remember waking up and being shocked that there is life after death. I feared the worst. Will He send me to hell? I’ve always pictured Jesus as a cold, distant and strict God. 

The surroundings amazed me. I saw angels of all shapes and forms. I heard music so beautiful, the sound of which cannot be reproduced on earth. I noticed that the sense of time had disappeared. I reflected upon my life, seeing it had been empty and with regrets. Why didn’t I ever listen to those Christians who witnessed to me? I’ve said obnoxious things about Jesus and laughed at Him. I have focused on philosophies and other empty religions. What’s the use now?

Two angels informed me that the Lord wanted to see me. I freaked out! I thought that Jesus would scold me and then punish me. I decided to tell Jesus that I was sorry for not believing and for not living the way I should have been and then take whatever punishment I deserve. I was taken to a vast field and surrounded by mountains. The angels departed. Far away, I see a huge bright golden thing—a sun which must be about six hundred times my size glows. The huge thing moves towards me and takes form. He calls me and I recognize the voice belonging to Jesus. I am overwhelmed by His presence and I feel faint. I fall down crying. Breathlessly I tell God, “I’m so sorry …”  He picks me up and doesn’t look angry at all. He looked concerned and caring. He started speaking to me and I thought to myself, “So, does this mean I am dead?” The Lord knew my thoughts and replied, “ No, you are not dead and I’m not going to let you die.”  Why? Lord.”

We spent a significant amount of time together. The Lord explained to me about life and death and purpose in a simple conversational way. During this time, I saw the greatness of God and that God is a person not a mystical force or someone that is far away beyond reach. Through Jesus I can have a personal relationship with God. He told me about purpose. Everyone he created on earth has a purpose including me.

This is what Jesus told me

Purpose can be found through Me. Life is like a book with a beginning and an end and divided with chapters. When you read a book, sometimes you’ll see a chapter that doesn’t make sense. You’d question why does it have to be there and question the writer. The next two chapters do not make sense either. As you continue reading, it starts to make sense. At the end of the book, everything comes together and makes sense. Do you see this? My dear, I am the writer of lives and I haven’t even started on your book yet. There is a lot yet to come. You are still young, only seventeen years of age. There is a lot you haven’t experienced. Your struggles discourage you, through Me there’s life. This is not the way to die. The right way to die is finding your purpose through me and living accordingly and then when it’s the end of your life, you’ll die with a peace, knowing that you did it and with assurance. 

We had a long talk. I saw hope and a reason to live life to the fullest with a deep sense of purpose. He explained things to me in a simple, comprehensible way and showed me how to live. When God spoke to me, He was approachable and spoke at my level. His words and philosophy were not too complicated and distant that I was confused and find hard to relate to. He knew me all along. I almost forgot to mention, I nearly died five times and He brought that up during our meeting. It was He who stopped me from dying. Throughout my life He sent people to witness to me. He’s been trying to catch my attention for a long time. Then, it was time for me to get back. I remember not wanting to back into my body. I had too much of a good time with God and wanted to stay. The two angels had to convince me to go back. I was sent back and went through a tunnel and when I reached the end of the tunnel I was awake in the hospital. 

It took me three months to recover fully. The miraculous thing was that the doctors found nothing wrong with me such as brain damage. A nurse told me, “You have no idea how lucky you are. Rarely, people in your situation would make it.” I remembered the near-death experience clearly and shaken at first. Of all the people in the world, why would Jesus want to talk to me? This was too real to be a dream. When I spent time with Jesus, I remember it like remembering something I did yesterday. I started questioning and thinking about what He told me. The mercy of God really got me. I didn’t deserve to be saved. Why did He give me the second chance and what does He want me to do? If all paths lead to the same road, why didn’t Ganapathy, Krishna, Hanuman or any of the Hindu gods or any of the Wiccan gods help me? None of the other gods (or manifestations of god) came to my rescue or gave me a revelation about my life at a critical time.

I decide to follow Jesus. Confined in the hospital, I closed my eyes and prayed, “Jesus, God. I don’t how to pray but this is what I want to say. I am tired of living my life the way I used to and don’t want to anymore. I want to live the way You showed me; a life with a higher meaning and purpose. I don’t know where to start but I know You’ll show me the way. I believe in You alone. Help me. I want to be a Christian.” I felt fulfilled and peaceful. That prayer sounds simple and innocent but it was genuine and came from my heart. I never felt this way before. In the past, when I have prayed to other gods, I have felt nothing. 

After this experience, I started growing in Christ and changing as a person. From an angry, bitter, confused teenager I became a confident and better person. I have an inner peace and happiness that I have never imagined. I experienced inner healing from childhood trauma. I remember my childhood abuse but free from the hurts, so that I can help other girls who’ve gone through the same hurts. I am healed from wrist-cutting and bulimia because I learned that God loves and accepts me and I am beautiful girl in His eyes. I accept myself for who God created me to be. I realize this experience is a little strange and some people will raise their eyebrows while reading this.

I did nothing to deserve second chances – its God’s mercy. God continues to speak to me just like how He does to all believers. He continues to guide me to a better life. We can argue several things such as I didn’t have a near-death experience but there was no oxygen in my brain. To those who may say to me “you didn’t meet Jesus, it was just a dream.”  I can say, if that was the case- how did I find a reason to live, healing from past hurt, childhood sexual abuse, bulimia, depression? Wouldn’t I live the same way? These struggles don’t just go away by coincidence. I am no longer suicidal and completely set free.

My friends and family notice significant changes in my life. That’s the power of God. Well, I hope my story encouraged you and from my experience I can say that Jesus is real.


This testimony first appeared in South Asian Connection ( Published with permission.


You can also read Near Death Experiences of R K Gupta and What He Saw



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13 Responses

  1. Hi Indu:

    Thanks for sharing your history. I HAve sent your story to my pre-Christian friends.

  2. I do not deny Indu’s experience but there cannot be any revalation from God, other than the Bible. Even science says that when there is lack of enough supply of oxygen to the brain, we tend to have similar experiences

  3. Praise God for you, dear!

  4. Yes, there can not be any revelation apart from the Bible. However, this is an example of how God reveals Himself to people. Science attest the fact of Near Death Experience. So neither science nor Bible denies any of these experiences except our own unfounded bias.

  5. it is inspiring. Let it be a matter of many to know the Lord personally.

  6. Good testimony. PTL. The time you spend on this earth be as the ‘Ambassador of Christ’. I am encouraged by your experiences with God Jesus. Keep it up. God bless.

  7. Praise the Lord God Jesus who has shown u the way.Ur testimony has increased my faith.Praise the Lord!

  8. Wonderfull,,Praise Ye the LORD

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony!

    I needed to read it!

    There will always be people who will try to analyze things like this but it is what it is: a valid visitation from Jesus Christ while your soul was out of your body. If your soul were to have imagined all of this- you would have imagined Jesus to be the same way you always expected He was- stern and inflexible. However, during your encounter with Him, you were surprised to see He is not like that at all, so even that alone proves your experience is 100% genuine and you actually encountered Christ.

    God bless you 🙂 I like the way He described our lives as a book with chapters in it and how we all have a purpose if we seek that purpose through Him.

  10. Your NDE is marvellous. Of course God and Jesus exist, hence no fear at all !!! Our life is a passage with some chances to be overcome. I would really have a NDE…but not through an accident. God bless you !!!

  11. Indu, did Jesus tell you anything else, like when he is going to return?

  12. Sam it is true that there is no revelation apart from the Bible. That means that there is no new information that hasnt been revealed by scriptures. In this testimony, there is nothing new or contradictory to the scriptures. This NDE is actually confirming the Bible. For example,

    1. how she encountered angels and description of beings when she went to heaven. It’s similar to Hosea’s descriptions of angels. Most nonbelievers think angels are beautiful, with wings and a halo that the movies and some church plays portray. However, only those who know the Bible know that angels are described like beasts. This woman has not read the Bible before and most likely not familiar with Hosea or most of the bible at all. Yet her description of the angels she encountered match the biblical description of angels.

    2. the description of lives as book – doesnt it sound like Apostle Paul’s writing describing our God as the author and finisher of our faith.

    3. Her NDE is fully glorifying Christ and the gospel of Christ as the scriptures describe. She doesnt seem to be glorifying herself. The glory goes to God, who literally saved her from death not by works but grace and God willing to sacrifice.

    4. Does this not remind you of the same Jesus who met the woman at the well? He told the woman at the well about eternal life. Yes Jesus talks to the woman at the well, addressing the realities unique to her life yet tells her how to get eternal life. In the NDE, she describes Jesus character exactly as the Bible portrays. Jesus talks to her about her depression, life problems yet promises her eternal life through Him.

    The idea of no revelation apart from the Bible means additional revelations or ideas that contradict scriptures. I dont see her describing anything contradictory to the Bible. This is an example of the Lord revealing himself to people.

  13. ‘Praise the Lord’ Jesus the way, the truth and the Life

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