Sadhguru: In tantric rituals in India, the corpses walk. There have been, and still are, many such incidents, but one has been historically recorded. There was a Yogi who had mastered a certain type of Yoga what is known as Surya Sparsh, which literally means “The solar touch.” He was a Bengali who lived in Varanasi and he periodically went to his Guru and learnt different steps of this and was mastering it step by step. Any number of times he displayed this in public that if you bring a dead bird, he could bring it back to life. This bird would have been checked by everyone to be dead. If it died within the last three hours, it would have gone rigid. The rigor mortis sets in for a bird much quicker than for a human body because the body temperature of a bird is much higher than that of a human body. So it cools down more quickly and rigor mortis sets sooner.

If you brought a bird to him three hours after the bird is dead, with a simple magnifying glass – not even from direct sunlight, from mirrored light – he would make the bird come alive using that light. The bird would chirp, it would sit up, it would walk and it would fly around for some time and then collapse and die again. So when people said, “Why can’t you make it live?” He said, “This is all I know. My Guru can make this happen. I am still learning,” but he was already close to 70 years of age at that time.

How Surya Sparsh Became Extinct

To his misfortune, the Islamic conquests had already happened and a Muslim king’s son who was 7 years of age died of some unexplained fever. They had heard of this man bringing a bird alive so they came to him and said, “Come and try it on our king’s son.” But he would never try it outside the presence of his deity. He had a small deity and a shrine and he would practice it only in the shrine. He said, “I will not do such things outside the view of my deity.” The deity is an energy form that he has created and he works with that, but they had no value for the deity because according to them it is idolatry. They said, “This deity, goddamn it, we will take it to the palace.” He said, “No, no, it cannot be moved.” They said, “It can be moved,” and they just picked it up. He cried, “Do not do this!” when they picked it up and they were trying to drag him, he said, “I am not going to come. I will not do it. I am not going to do this.” He got angry when they picked up the deity and were taking it out like it is some kind of a toy. He said, “I am not going to bring your king’s son to life. I cannot, but even if I could, I will not do it.” Then they held him by the hair and dragged him to the king and he said, “I am not going to do it.” So they butchered him right there and in the process of doing all this, they dropped the deity and it broke.


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He dipped his finger into the oil and put it into the dead boy’s mouth and the boy came alive after some time and was perfectly all right.

He had a few disciples to whom he was imparting this, and everything died with them. But this has been clearly recorded by very responsible people that any number of times, he made a dead bird, which was dead for over three hours, to actually get up and fly for a substantial period of time – more than an hour. He repeatedly said, “My Guru can make this bird live for its full length of life, whatever that is, and my Guru can even do it to a human being.”

There have been any number of such people. This Yogi with the bird was kind of a fringe Yogi, not the mainstream. There was another Yogi in southern India. This was a mainstream Yogi, so people were coming to him for blessings and so many things were happening around him. He lived southwestern Karnataka somewhere near Kollegal, and people were gathering around him. One day, it so happened that a young boy died. The parents brought this boy to the Yogi and cried their hearts out. So he looked at their plight and probably he sensed that the boy need not have died, that it was more accidental in nature. There was a lamp next to him. Almost every Yogi who is into a certain kind of a process will have an oil lamp burning next to him. He dipped his finger into the oil and put it into the dead boy’s mouth and the boy came alive after some time and was perfectly all right.

Can a Dead Body Move?

When someone is certified dead by a doctor, he is not completely dead. Death happens slowly. If you are not already aware of this after a person dies, most of the time up to fourteen days, fingernails and hair continue to grow. Death is happening slowly, it is not yet complete.

Up to five to seven minutes, it behaves as if it is alive and then exhausts itself and falls dead.

The withdrawal of life process from this lump of earth happens step by step. For all practical purposes, when it is immobile – the lungs, heart and brain activity have stopped – they will declare you dead. But the life process is still continuing and you can rekindle that and activate the system. It is by using this that the tantriks make dead bodies walk, and it is not very uncommon. Sometimes, they can do this even when the cremation is on. There have been many such instances. I have not personally seen it, but I know people who have no reason to lie about it, and they will not, who have actually seen where people have set fire to a body, and the burning body gets up and walks. At that moment when the burning begins from outside, the life process retreats within and there is a concentrated space where life is happening more intensely. They make use of that and rekindle the system in such a way that suddenly it gets up and walks. Up to five to seven minutes, it behaves as if it is alive and then exhausts itself and falls dead.

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