Consciousness During a Coma


What is believed to happen to a person's soul or life force when they are stuck in a semi-conscious or unconscious state and/or are on life support?

—James, USA


Dear James,

From my understanding, as long as the person is alive, the soul is present. There are still lessons that can be learned on many levels, even in a seemingly unconscious state. My husband, Bharat, has a friend who was in a coma with a serious illness. While in that seemingly unconscious state, she had a powerful and life-transforming experience of the Light. After the experience, she suddenly came “awake” again. Since that experience, she has been rushed to the hospital many times because of recurring bouts of this illness, but she says that, while her family is afraid for her, she is never afraid, because she has experienced that Light and has no fear of dying.

Yogananda told the following story in the book Karma and Reincarnation, which might be of interest to you: “Two students of mine, a brother and sister, had a singular experience. The sister lay dying in a room, with her brother and doctors in attendance. When the brother left the room for a moment to get some water, the doctors exclaimed: “All is over; her pulse has failed.” There was a spasm and she lay apparently dead. As soon as the brother came back, he ordered everybody out of the room. He then shook his sister vigorously, crying: “Sister, your teacher told you to make the effort and you will live.”

In a few moments her pulse came back; she breathed, sat up, and told the following experience: “My entire body was paralyzed, but I could hear the footsteps of my brother leaving the room. I was making an effort to stir the life force in my inert body by will, but as soon as I heard the doctors say: ‘All is over,’ I gave up the will to live and I witnessed a complete inertia in my outer muscles and internal organs, and a blinding flash of light in the head, followed by intense darkness. In this state, I heard my brother coming toward me as though from afar, and as soon as he urged me to use my will power and wake up, I revived my will to live, and here I am. My consciousness was able to resuscitate itself into the inner organs, muscles, and the senses, which had become inert before.”

The sense of hearing is the last thing to go. When a person is in a seemingly unconscious state, it’s important that you speak to them in a positive and loving way.

I hope this is helpful for you.

In divine friendship,