www.bible-teaching.dk

 


index

 

 

 

Buddhistmunk bekræfter 
den kristne tro på evigheden

BACK FROM THE DEAD

The Remarkable Testimony of a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (Burma) who came back to life a changed man!Introduction

The story that follows is simply a translation of a taped testimony from a man with a life-changing story. It is not an interview or a biography, butsimply the words from the man himself. Different people react in different ways when they hear this story. Some are inspired, some skeptical, a few will mock and ridicule, while some others have even been filled with rage and anger, convinced these words are the ravings of a mad man or an elaborate deception. Some Christians have opposed the story simply because the radical and miraculous events described herein do not fit their feeble image of an Almighty God.

We were first made aware of this story from several Burmese church leaders who shared it with us. These leaders had looked into the story and had not found any suggestion of it being a hoax. It was with this in mind that we decided to step out and circulate the story. We do not do so for any monetary gain, or with a motivation of self-promotion. We just want to let the story speak for itself, and invite Christian believers to judge it according to Scripture. If God wants any part of it to be intended for His glory or to encourage His people, then we pray His Spirit will work in the hearts of the readers in those ways.

Some people have told us they think the monk in this story never actually died, but that he just lapsed into unconsciousness, and the things he saw and heard were part of a fever-driven hallucination. Whatever you think, the simple fact remains that the events of this story so radically transformed this man that his life took on a complete 180-degree shift after the events described below. He has fearlessly and boldly told his story at great personal cost, including imprisonment. He has been scorned by his relatives, friends and colleagues, and faced death threats for his unwillingness to compromise his message. What motivated this man to be willing to risk everything? Whether we believe him or not, his story is surely worth listening to and considering. In the cynical West many people demand hard evidence of such things, evidence that would stand up in a court of law. Can we absolutely guarantee, beyond doubt, that all of these things happened? No, we cannot. But we feel it is worth repeating this man's story in his own words so that readers can judge for themselves.

My Early Years

Hello! My name is Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu. I am from the country of Myanmar. I would like to share with you my testimony of what happened to me, but first I would like to give some brief background information from my life growing up.

I was born in 1958 in the town of Bogale, on the Irrawaddy Delta area of southern Myanmar [formerly Burma]. My parents, who were devout Buddhists like most people in Myanmar, named me Thitpin [which means 'tree' in English]. Our lives were very simple where I grew up. At the age of 13 I left school and started working on a fishing boat. We caught fish and sometimes also shrimp from the numerous rivers and streams in the Irrawaddy area. At the age of 16 I became the leader of the boat. At this time I lived in Upper Mainmahlagyon Island [Mainmahlagyon means 'Beautiful Woman Island' in English], just north of Bogale where I was born. This place is about 100 miles southwest of Yangon [Rangoon], our nation's capitol city.

One day, when I was 17, we caught a large number of fish in our nets.

Because of the many fish, a large crocodile was attracted to us. It followed our boat and tried to attack us. We were terrified so we frantically rowed our boats toward the riverbank as fast as we could. The crocodile followed us and smashed our boat with its tail. Although no one died in this incident, the attack greatly affected my life. I no longer wanted to fish. Our small boat sank because of the crocodile attack. We had to go home to our village that night on a passenger boat.

Not long after, his employers transferred my father to Yangon City [formerly spelt Rangoon]. At the age of 18 I was sent to a Buddhist monastery to be a novice monk. Most parents in Myanmar try to send their son into a Buddhist monastery, at least for a time, as it is considered a great honor to have a son serve in this way. We have been observing this custom for many hundreds of years.

A Zealous Disciple of Buddha

When I turned 19 years and 3 months old (in 1977), I became a normal monk.

The senior monk at my monastery gave me a new Buddhist name, which is the custom in our country. I was now called U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya. When we become a monk we no longer use the name given to us at birth by our parents. The name of the monastery I lived at is called Mandalay Kyaikasan Kyaing. The senior monk's name was called U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw [U Zadila is his title]. He was the most famous Buddhist monk in all of Myanmar at the time. Everyone knew who he was. He was widely honored by the people and respected as a great teacher. I say he "was" because in 1983 he suddenly died when he was involved in a fatal car accident. His death shocked everyone. At the time I had been a monk for six years.

I tried hard to be the best monk I could and to follow all the precepts of Buddhism. At one stage I moved to a cemetery where I lived and meditated continually. Some monks who really want to know the truths of Buddha do things like I did. Some move deep into the forests where they live a life of self-denial and poverty. I sought to deny my selfish thoughts and desires, to escape from sickness and suffering and to break free from the cycle of this world. At the cemetery I was not afraid of ghosts. I tried to attain such inner peace and self-realization that even when a mosquito landed on my arm I would let it bite me instead of brushing it off!

For years I strived to be the best monk I could and not to harm any living being. I studied the holy Buddhist teachings just like all my forefathers had done before me.

My life proceeded as a monk until I got very, very sick. I was in Mandalay at the time and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment. The doctors did some tests on me and told me I had both Yellow Fever and malaria at the same time! After about one month in the hospital I was getting worse. The doctors told me there was no chance for me to recover and discharged me to make arrangements to die.

This is a brief description of my past. I would now like to tell you some of the remarkable things that happened to me after this time…..

A Vision that Changed My Life Forever

After I was discharged from the hospital I went back to the monastery where other monks cared for me. I grew weaker and weaker and was lapsing into unconsciousness. I learned later that I actually died for three days. My body decayed and stunk of death, and my heart stopped beating. My body was prepared for cremation and was put through traditional Buddhist purification rites.

Although I faded away in my body I remember my mind and spirit were fully alert. I was in a very, very powerful storm. A tremendous wind flattened the whole landscape until there were no trees or anything else standing, just a flat plain. I walked very fast along this plain for some time. There were no other people anywhere, I was all alone. After some time I crossed a river. On the other side of the river I saw a terrible, terrible lake of fire. In Buddhism we do not have a concept of a place like this. At first I was confused and didn't know it was hell until I saw Yama, the king of hell [Yama is the name ascribed to the King of Hell in numerous cultures throughout Asia]. His face looked like the face of a lion, his body was like a lion, but his legs were like a naga [serpent spirit]. He had a number of horns on his head. His face was very fierce, and I was extremely afraid. Trembling, I asked him his name. He replied, "I am the king of hell, the Destroyer."

The terrible, terrible Lake of Fire

The king of hell told me to look into the lake of fire. I looked and I saw the saffron colored robes that Buddhist monks wear in Myanmar. I looked closer and saw the shaven head of a man. When I looked at the man's face I saw it was U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw [the famous monk who had died in a car accident in 1983]. I asked the king of hell why my former leader was confined to this lake of torment. I said, "Why is he in this lake of fire? He was a very good teacher. He even had a teaching tape called 'Are You a Man or a Dog?' which had helped thousands of people understand that their worth as humans is far greater than the animals." The king of hell replied, "Yes, he was a good teacher but he did not believe in Jesus Christ. That's why he is in hell." I was told to look at another person who was in the fire. I saw a man with very long hair wrapped on the left hand side of his head. He was also wearing a robe. I asked the king of hell, "Who is this man?" He replied, "This is the one you worship: Gautama [Buddha]." I was very disturbed to see Gautama in hell. I protested, "Gautama had good ethics and good moral character, why is he suffering in this lake of fire?" The king of hell answered me, "It doesn't matter how good he was. He is in this place because he did not believe in the Eternal God." I then saw another man who looked like he was wearing a soldier's uniform. He had a large wound on his chest. I asked, "Who is this man?" The king of hell said, "This is Aung San, the revolutionary leader of Myanmar." I was told, "Aung San is here because he persecuted and killed Christians, but mostly because he didn't believe in Jesus Christ." In Myanmar the people have a common saying, "Soldiers never die, they live on." I was told that the legions of hell have a saying "Soldiers never die, but they go to hell forever."

I looked and saw another man in the lake of fire. He was a very tall man and he was dressed in military armor. He was also holding a sword and a shield. This man had a wound on his forehead. This man was taller than any person I have ever seen. He was six times the length between a man's elbow and the tips of his fingers when he stretches his arm out straight, plus one span of a man's fingers when he spreads out his hand. The king of hell said, "This man's name is Goliath. He is in hell because he blasphemed the Eternal God and His servant David." I was confused because I didn't know who either Goliath or David were. The king of hell said, "Goliath is recorded in the Christian Bible. You don't know him now, but when you become a Christian you will know who he is." I was then taken to a place [not in the Lake of Fire] where I saw both rich and poor people preparing to eat their evening meals. I asked, "Who cooked the food for these people?" The king of hell replied, "The poor have to prepare their own food, but the rich people get others to cook for them." When the food had been prepared for the rich people they sat down to eat. As soon as they started a thick smoke came up. The rich people ate as fast as they could to ease their consciences. They were struggling to breathe because of the smoke. They had to eat fast because they were fearful of losing their money. Their money is their god.

Another king of hell then came to me. I also saw a being whose job is to stoke the fires beneath the lake of fire, to keep it hot. This being asked me, "Are you going into the lake of fire too?" I replied, "No! I am only here to observe!" The appearance of this creature stoking the fire was very terrifying. He had ten horns on his head and a spear in his hand that had seven sharp blades coming from the end. The creature told me, "You are right. You came here just to observe. I cannot find your name here." He said, "You must now go back the way you came." He pointed me toward the desolate plain that I had first walked along before I came to the lake of fire.

The Road of Decision

I walked a long time, until I was bleeding. I was hot and in great pain.

Finally, after walking for about three hours I came to a wide road. I walked along this road for some time until I came to a fork. One road, going off to the left, was wide. A smaller road went off to the right hand side. There was a signpost at the fork saying that the road to the left was for those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The smaller road to the right was for believers in Jesus. I was interested to see where the larger road led so I started down it. There were two men walking about 300 yards ahead of me. I tried to catch up with them so I could walk with them but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't catch up with them, so I turned around and went back to the fork in the road. I continued to watch these two men as they walked down the road away from me. When they reached the end of the road they were suddenly stabbed. These two men cried out in great pain! I also cried out when I saw what happened to them! I realized the bigger road ended in great danger for those who traveled down it.

Looking into Heaven

I started walking down the believers' road instead. After traveling for about one hour the surface of the road turned to pure gold. It was so pure that when I looked down I could see my own reflection perfectly. I then saw a man standing in front of me. He was wearing a white robe. I also heard beautiful singing. Oh, it was so beautiful and pure! It was much better and more meaningful than the worship we have in churches here on the earth. The man in the white robe asked me to walk with him. I asked him, "What is your name?" but he did not answer. After I asked his name six times the man answered, "I am the one who holds the key to heaven. Heaven is a very, very beautiful place. You cannot go there now but if you follow Jesus Christ you can go there after your life has finished on the earth." The man's name was Peter.

Peter then asked me to sit down and he showed me a place to the north.

Peter said, "Look to the north and see God create man." I saw the Eternal God from a distance. God spoke to an angel, "Let us make man." The angel pleaded with God and said, "Please don't make man. He will do wrong and will grieve you." [In Burmese literally: "He will make you lose face."].

But God created man anyway. God blew on the man and the man came to life.

He gave him the name "Adam". [Note: Buddhists do not believe in the Creation of the world or of man, so this experience had a significant impact on the monk].

Sent Back with a New Name

Then Peter said, "Now get up and go back to where you came from. Speak to the people who worship Buddha and who worship idols. Tell them they must go to hell if they don't change. Those who build temples and idols will also have to go to hell. Those who give offerings to the monks to earn merit for themselves will go to hell. All those who pray to the monks and call them 'Pra' [respectful title for monks] will go to hell. Those who chant and 'give life' to idols will go to hell. All those who don't believe in Jesus Christ will go to hell." Peter told me to go back to the earth and testify about the things I had seen. He also said, "You must speak in your new name. From now on you are to be called Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu ["Paul who Came Back to Life."].

I didn't want to go back. I wanted to go to heaven. Angels opened a book. First they looked for my childhood name (Thitpin) in the book, but they could not find it. They then looked for the name I had been given when I entered the Buddhist monkhood (U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya) but it wasn't written in the book either. Then Peter said, "Your name is not written here, you must return and testify about Jesus to the Buddhist people."

I walked back along the gold road. Again I heard beautiful singing, the kind of which I have never heard before or since. Peter walked with me until the time I returned to the earth. He showed me a ladder that reached down from the heaven to the sky. The ladder didn't reach to the earth, but stopped in mid-air. On the ladder I saw many angels, some going up to heaven and some going down the ladder. They were very busy. I asked Peter, "Who are they?" Peter answered, "They are messengers of God. They are reporting to heaven the names of all those who believe in Jesus Christ and the names of those who don't believe." Peter then told me it was time to go back.

It is a Ghost!

The next thing I was aware of was the sound of weeping. I heard my own mother cry out, "My son, why did you leave us now?" I also heard many other people weeping. I realized I was lying in a box. I started to move.

My mother and father started shouting, "He is alive! He is alive!" Other people who were farther away did not believe my parents. I then placed my hands on the sides of the box and sat upright. Many people were struck with terror. They cried out, "It is a ghost!" and ran away as fast as their legs could carry them.

Those who remained were speechless and trembling. I noticed I was sitting in smelly liquid and body fluids, enough to fill about three and a half cups. This was liquid that had come out of my stomach and my insides while my body was lying in the coffin. This is why people knew I had indeed been dead. Inside the coffin there was a type of plastic sheet fixed to the wood. This sheet is placed there to retain a corpse's liquids, because many dead bodies release much fluid like mine did.

I learned later that I was just moments away from being cremated in the flames. In Myanmar people are placed in a coffin, the lid is then nailed shut, and the whole coffin is burned. When I came back to life my mother and father were being allowed to look at my body for the very last time.

Moments later the lid of my coffin would have been nailed shut and I would have been cremated!

I immediately started to explain the things I had seen and heard. People were astonished. I told them about the men I had seen in the lake of fire, and told them that only the Christians know the truth, that our forefathers and us have been deceived for thousands of years! I told them everything we believe is a lie. The people were astonished because they knew what kind of a monk I had been and how zealous I had been for the teachings of Buddha.

In Myanmar when a person dies their name and age is written on the side of the coffin. When a monk dies, the monk's name, age and the number of years he has served as a monk are written on the side of the coffin. I had already been recorded as dead but as you can see, now I am alive!

Epilogue

Since 'Paul who came back to life' experienced the above story he has remained a faithful witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Burmese pastors have told us that he had led hundreds of other monks to faith in Christ. His testimony is obviously very uncompromising. Because of that, his message has offended many people who cannot accept there is only one Way to Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite great opposition, his experiences were so real to him that he has not wavered. After many years in the Buddhist monkhood, as a strict follower of Buddhist teachings, he immediately proclaimed the Gospel of Christ following his resurrection and exhorted other monks to forsake all false gods and follow Jesus Christ with all their hearts. Before the time of his sickness and death he had no exposure to Christianity at all. Everything he learned during those three days in the grave was new to his mind.

In a bid to get his message out to as many people as possible, this modern-day Lazarus began distributing audio and video cassette tapes with his story on them. The police and Buddhist authorities in Myanmar have done their utmost to gather these tapes up and destroy them. The testimony you have just read has been translated from one of those cassette tapes. We are told it is now quite dangerous for citizens of Myanmar to be in possession of these tapes.

His fearless testimony has landed him in prison at least once, where the authorities failed in their bid to silence him. Upon his release he continued to testify of the things he saw and heard. His current whereabouts are uncertain. One Burmese informant told us he is prison and may have been killed, while another informant was told he is now released from prison and is continuing his ministry.

Translated by:

Asian Minorities Outreach

P.O.Box 901

Palestine, TX 75802

U.S.A.

E-Mail: monkstory@yahoo.com

TILBAGE FRA DE DØDE

Det usædvanlige vidnesbyrd fra en buddhist munk i Myanmar (Burma), der kom tilbage til livet som en forandret mand!

Indledning

Følgende er ganske enkelt en oversættelse af et båndet vidnesbyrd fra en mand med en historie, som ændrede hans liv. Det er ikke et interview eller en biografi, men simpelt hen ordene fra manden selv. Forskellige mennesker reagerer på forskellige måder, når de hører denne historie. Nogle bliver inspireret, nogle skeptiske, nogle få vil håne og spotte, medens andre endda er blevet fyldt med raseri og vrede, overbeviste om, at disse ord er en gal mands fantasterier eller et detaljeret bedrag. Nogle kristne har gjort indvendinger mod historien simpelt hen, fordi de yderliggående og mirakuløse begivenheder beskrevet heri ikke passer til deres forsagte billede af en Almægtig Gud.

Vi blev første gang gjort opmærksom på denne historie fra flere burmesiske kirkeledere, som delte den med os. Disse ledere havde undersøgt historien og ikke fundet noget, der antydede, at det var et svindelnummer. Det var med dette i tankerne, at vi besluttede at træde frem og bringe historien. Vi gør det ikke for økonomisk vinding eller for at reklamere for os selv. Vi ønsker bare at lade historien tale for sig selv og invitere troende kristne til at dømme den ifølge den hellige skrift. Hvis Gud ønsker, at noget af dette er til hans ære eller til opmuntring for hans folk, så er det vor bøn, at hans Ånd vil arbejde i læsernes hjerter på disse måder.

Nogle mennesker har fortalt os, at de tror at munken i denne historie aldrig rigtigt døde, men at han kun gled ind i bevidstløshed, og at de ting, han så og hørte var feberhallucinationer. Lige meget hvad du tror, er der det simple faktum tilbage, at begivenhederne i denne historie forvandlede denne mand så radikalt, at hans liv tog en 180 graders vending efter begivenhederne beskrevet herunder. Han har frygtløst og frimodigt fortalt sin historie med store personlige omkostninger, blandt andet fængsling. Han er blevet hånet af sine slægtninge, venner og kolleger og modtaget dødstrusler, fordi han ikke ville gå på kompromis i sit budskab. Hvad motiverede denne mand til at være villig til at risikere alt? Hvad enten vi tror ham eller ej, er hans historie bestemt værd at lytte til og overveje. I det kyniske Vesten kræver mange mennesker hårde beviser for sådanne ting, beviser som kunne holde i en retssal. Kan vi fuldstændig garantere ud over al tvivl, at alle disse ting skete? Nej, vi kan ikke. Men vi føler, at det er værd at gentage denne mands historie med hans egne ord således, at læserne selv kan dømme.

Mine tidlige år

Goddag! Mit navn er Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu. Jeg kommer fra landet Myanmar. Jeg vil gerne dele mit vidnesbyrd med dig om, hvad der skete for mig, men først vil jeg give en kort baggrundsinformation om min opvækst.

Jeg blev født i 1958 i byen Bogale, i Irrawaddy Delta området det sydlige Myanmar (tidligere Burma). Mine forældre, som var hengivne buddhister ligesom de fleste i Myanmar, kaldte mig Thitpin (som betyder "træ" på engelsk). Vores liv var meget enkelt, hvor jeg voksede op. I en alder af 13 år gik jeg ud af skolen og begyndte at arbejde på en fiskerbåd. Vi fangede fisk og nogle gange også rejer i de talrige floder og vandløb i Irrawaddy området. Som 16-årig blev jeg leder på båden. På dette tidspunkt boede jeg på den nordlige del af øen Mainmahlagyon, (Mainmahlagyon betyder "Den Smukke Kvinde’s Ø" på engelsk), lige nord for Bogale, hvor jeg blev født. Dette sted ligger ca. 160 km sydvest for Yangon (Rangoon), vort lands hovedstad.

En dag, da jeg var 17 år, fangede vi en stor mængde fisk i vore net. En stor krokodille blev tiltrukket på grund af de mange fisk. Den fulgte efter vor båd og prøvede at angribe os. Vi var rædselsslagne og roede som vanvittige ind mod flodbredden, så hurtigt vi kunne. Krokodillen fulgte efter os og knuste vores båd med halen. Selvom ingen døde i dette tilfælde, fik angrebet stor indflydelse på mit liv. Jeg ønskede ikke mere at fiske. Vores lille båd sank på grund af krokodilleangrebet. Den nat måtte vi tage hjem til vores landsby med en passagerbåd.

Ikke længe efter blev min far forflyttet af sin arbejdsgiver til Yangon City (tidligere stavet Rangoon). Som 18-årig blev jeg sendt til et buddhistisk kloster for at gå i lære som munk. De fleste forældre i Myanmar forsøger at sende deres søn i buddhistisk kloster, i det mindste for en tid, idet det bliver betragtet som en stor ære at have en søn, som tjener på denne måde. Vi har fulgt denne skik i mange hundrede år.

Buddha’s Nidkære Discipel

Da jeg var 19 år og 3 måneder (i 1977), blev jeg normal munk. Klosterets seniormunk gav mig et nyt buddhistisk navn, hvilket er skik i vort land. Jeg blev nu kaldet U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya. Når vi bliver munke, benytter vi ikke længere det navn, vi fik ved fødslen af vore forældre. Navnet på det kloster, hvor jeg boede, er Mandalay Kyaikasan Kyaing. Seniormunkens navn var U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw (U Zadila er hans titel). På den tid var han den mest berømte buddhist munk i hele Myanmar. Alle vidste, hvem han var. Han var højt æret af folk og respekteret som en stor lærer. Jeg siger, han "var", fordi han pludselig døde i 1983, da han var impliceret i en skæbnesvanger bilulykke. Hans død chokerede alle. På det tidspunkt havde jeg været munk i seks år.

Jeg prøvede alt, hvad jeg kunne at blive den bedste munk og at følge alle buddhistiske forskrifter. På et vist tidspunkt flyttede jeg til en kirkegård, hvor jeg boede og mediterede uafbrudt. Nogle munke, som virkelig ønsker at kende sandheden om Buddha, gør lignende ting. Nogle bevæger sig dybt ind i skovene, hvor de lever et liv i selvfornægtelse og fattigdom. Jeg søgte at fornægte mine selviske tanker og ønsker om at undgå sygdom og lidelse, og at bryde denne verdens cyklus. Jeg var ikke bange for spøgelser på kirkegården. Jeg forsøgte at opnå en sådan indre fred og selverkendelse, at selv når en myg landede på min arm, ville jeg lade den stikke mig i stedet for at børste den væk.

I årevis stræbte jeg efter at blive den bedste munk og ikke at gøre noget levende væsen fortræd. Jeg studerede den hellige buddhistiske lære, således som alle mine forfædre havde gjort før mig.

Mit liv fortsatte som munk, indtil jeg blev meget, meget syg. Jeg var i Mandalay dengang og var nødt til at komme på hospitalet for at blive behandlet. Lægerne tog nogle prøver og fortalte mig, at jeg havde både Gul Feber og malaria på samme tid! Efter cirka en måned på hospitalet fik jeg det værre. Lægerne sagde til mig, at jeg ikke havde nogen chancer for at blive helbredt og udskrev mig, så jeg kunne forberede mig på at dø.

Dette er en kort beskrivelse af min fortid. Jeg vil nu gerne fortælle dig om nogle af de bemærkelsesværdige ting, som skete herefter…

En vision som ændrede mit liv for altid

Efter at jeg blev udskrevet fra hospitalet, tog jeg tilbage til klosteret, hvor andre munke passede mig. Jeg blev svagere og svagere og gled ind i bevidstløsheden. Senere fik jeg at vide, at jeg faktisk var død i tre dage. Min krop gik i forrådnelse og stank af død, og mit hjerte ophørte med at slå. Mit legeme blev forberedt til ligbrændingen og gennemgik de traditionelle buddhistiske renselsesceremonier.

Skønt jeg visnede væk i min krop, husker jeg, at min sjæl og ånd var helt årvågen. Jeg befandt mig i et meget, meget voldsomt uvejr. En mægtig vind lagde hele landskabet fladt, indtil ingen træer eller noget andet stod op. – Kun en flad slette. Jeg vandrede meget hurtigt over denne slette i nogen tid. Der var ingen andre mennesker nogen steder. Jeg var helt alene. Efter et stykke tid krydsede jeg en flod. På den anden side af floden så jeg en frygtelig, frygtelig sø af ild. I buddhismen har vi ikke noget begreb ligesom dette sted. Først var jeg forvirret og vidste ikke, at det var Helvede, indtil jeg så Yama, kongen over Helvede (Yama er det navn, som tilskrives Helvedes Konge i talrige kulturer ud over hele Asien). Hans ansigt lignede en løves, hans krop var som en løve, men hans ben var som en "naga" (en slangeånd). Han havde et antal horn på hovedet. Han så meget vild ud og jeg var overordentlig bange. Rystende spurgte jeg ham om hans navn. Han svarede, "jeg er kongen over Helvede, Ødelæggeren."

Den frygtelige, frygtelige Sø af Ild

Helvedes konge befalede mig at kigge ind i ildsøen. Jeg kiggede og så de safran-farvede kutter, som buddhistiske munke bærer i Myanmar. Jeg så nærmere efter og så en mands kronragede hoved. Da jeg kiggede på mandens ansigt, så jeg, at det var U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw (den berømte munk, som var død i en bilulykke i 1983). Jeg spurgte Helvedes konge, hvorfor min tidligere leder var indespærret i denne sø af pinsler. Jeg sagde, "Hvorfor er han i denne ildsø? Han var en meget god lærer. Han havde endda et undervisningsbånd med titlen – Er Du en Mand eller en Hund? – som havde hjulpet tusindvis af mennesker til at forstå, at deres værd som menneske er langt større end dyrenes." Helvedes konge svarede, "Ja, han var en god lærer, men han troede ikke på Jesus Kristus. Det er derfor, at han er i Helvede".

Jeg blev befalet at kigge på en anden person, som var i ilden. Jeg så en mand med meget langt hår, viklet rundt på den venstre side af hovedet. Han bar ligeledes en kutte. Jeg spurgte Helvedes konge, "Hvem er denne mand?" Han svarede, "Dette er ham, du tilbeder: Gautama (Buddha)."

Jeg blev meget foruroliget over at se Gautama i Helvede. Jeg protesterede, "Gautama havde en god morallære og en god, dydig karakter, hvorfor lider han i denne sø af ild?" Helvedes konge svarede mig, "Det har ingen betydning, hvor god han var. Han er i dette sted, fordi han ikke troede på Den Evige Gud."

Jeg så nu en anden mand, som så ud som om han bar en soldateruniform. Han havde et stort sår i brystet. Jeg spurgte, "Hvem er denne mand?" Helvedes konge sagde, "Dette er Aung San, Myanmar’s revolutionære leder." Jeg fik fortalt, "Aung San er her, fordi han forfulgte og dræbte kristne, men mest fordi han ikke troede på Jesus Kristus." I Myanmar siger folk, "Soldater dør aldrig, de lever videre." Jeg fik fortalt, at Helvedes legioner siger, "Soldater dør aldrig, men de bliver i Helvede for altid."

Jeg kiggede og så en anden mand i søen af ild. Han var en meget høj mand og han var klædt i militær harnisk. Han holdt også et sværd og et skjold. Denne mand havde et sår i panden. Denne mand var højere end noget menneske, jeg nogen sinde har set. Han var seks gange længden imellem en mands albue og fingerspidser, når han strækker armen helt ud, plus afstanden imellem en mands fingre, når han spreder dem helt ud. Helvedes konge sagde, "Denne mands navn er Goliath. Han er i Helvede, fordi han bespottede Den Evige Gud og hans tjener David." Jeg blev forvirret, fordi jeg hverken vidste, hvem Goliath eller David var. Helvedes konge sagde, "Goliath er omtalt i den kristne Bibel. Du kender ham ikke nu, men når du bliver kristen, vil du vide, hvem han er."

Jeg blev så ført til et sted (ikke i Ildsøen), hvor jeg så både rige og fattige, som forberedte sig på at spise deres aftenmåltider. Jeg spurgte, "Hvem lavede maden til disse mennesker?" Helvedes konge svarede, "De fattige må lave deres egen mad, men de rige har andre til at lave maden for dem." Da maden var blevet tilberedt for de rige, satte de sig ned for at spise. Lige så snart de begyndte, viste der sig en tyk røg. De rige mennesker spiste så hurtigt de kunne for at lette deres samvittighed. De kæmpede for at få vejret på grund af røgen. De var nødt til at spise hurtigt, fordi de var bange for at miste deres penge. Deres penge er deres gud.

Så kom en anden konge i Helvede hen til mig. Jeg så også et væsen, hvis job det er at fyre op i bålet under søen af ild for at holde den varm. Dette væsen spurgte mig, "Skal du også ned i ildsøen?" Jeg svarede, "Nej! Jeg er her kun for at observere!" Udseendet af dette væsen, som fyrede op i ilden, var meget rædselsvækkende. Han havde ti horn på hovedet og et spyd i hånden, som havde syv skarpe klinger for enden. Væsenet sagde til mig, "Du har ret. Du kom her kun for at iagttage. Jeg kan ikke finde dit navn her." Han sagde, "Du skal gå tilbage af samme vej, du kom." Han pegede ud mod den øde slette, som jeg først havde vandret på, før jeg kom til søen af ild.

Beslutningens Vej

Jeg gik i så lang tid at jeg blødte. Jeg var varm og havde store smerter. Endelige, efter at have gået i omkring tre timer, kom jeg til en bred vej. Jeg gik ad denne vej i et stykke tid, indtil jeg kom til en skillevej. Den ene vej til venstre var bred. En mindre vej gik til højre. Der var et vejskilt ved skillevejen, hvor der stod, at vejen til venstre var for dem, som ikke troede på Herren Jesus Kristus. Den mindre vej til højre var for dem, der tror på Jesus.

Jeg var interesseret i at se, hvor den brede vej førte hen, så jeg begyndte at gå ud ad den. Cirka 100 meter foran mig gik to mænd. Jeg prøvede at indhente dem for at slå følge med dem, men uanset hvor meget jeg prøvede, kunne jeg ikke indhente dem, så jeg vendte om og gik tilbage til skillevejen. Jeg fortsatte med at betragte disse to mænd, mens de gik ud ad vejen bort fra mig. Da de nåede enden af vejen, blev de pludselig gennemboret. De skreg op i stor smerte! Jeg skreg også, da jeg så, hvad der skete med dem! Det gik op for mig, at der lurede store farer for enden af den brede vej for dem, som gik ad den.

At kigge ind i Himmeriget

Jeg begyndte at gå ned ad de troendes vej i stedet. Efter at have vandret i omkring en time blev vejbelægningen til det rene guld. Det var så rent, at når jeg så ned, kunne jeg se mit eget spejlbillede helt klart. Så så jeg en mand stå foran mig. Han bar en hvid kåbe. Jeg kunne også høre smuk sang. Åh, den var så smuk og ren! Det var langt bedre og mere meningsfyldt end den tilbedelse, vi har i kirker her nede på jorden. Manden i den hvide kåbe bad mig om at gå med ham. Jeg spurgte ham, "Hvad hedder du?" men han svarede ikke. Efter at jeg havde spurgt om hans navn seks gange, svarede manden, "Jeg er han, som har nøglen til Himmeriget. Himmeriget er et meget, meget smukt sted. Du kan ikke komme derind nu, men hvis du følger Jesus Kristus, kan du komme ind, når dit liv er slut på jorden." Mandens navn var Peter.

Peter bad mig så om at sætte mig ned og han viste mig et sted i nordlig retning. Peter sagde, "Se mod nord og se Gud skabe manden." Jeg så Den Evige Gud på afstand. Gud talte med en engel, "Lad os skabe en mand." Englen tryglede Gud og sagde, "Skab ikke manden. Han vil gøre uret og volde dig sorg." (Ordret på burmesisk: "Han vil få dig til at tabe ansigt"). Men Gud skabte alligevel manden. Gud blæste på manden og manden blev levende. Han gav ham navnet "Adam". (Bemærk: Buddhister tror ikke på skabelsen af verden eller af manden, så denne oplevelse gjorde et stærkt indtryk på munken).

Sendt tilbage med et nyt navn

Så sagde Peter, "Rejs dig nu op og tag tilbage, hvor du kom fra. Tal til de mennesker, som tilbeder Buddha og som dyrker afguder. Fortæl dem, at de skal komme i Helvede, hvis de ikke omvender sig. De, som bygger templer og afgudsbilleder kommer også i Helvede. De, som giver offergaver til munkene for selv at få fortjeneste, vil komme i Helvede. Alle de, som beder til munkene og kalder dem "Pra" (en respektfuld titel for munke) vil komme i Helvede. De, som besynger og vil "give deres liv" for afguder, kommer i Helvede. Alle de, som ikke tror på Jesus Kristus, vil komme i Helvede." Peter befalede mig at tage tilbage til jorden og vidne om de ting, jeg havde set. Han sagde ligeledes, "Du skal tale i dit nye navn. Fra nu af skal du kaldes Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu ("Paul som Kom Tilbage til Livet.").

Jeg ønskede ikke at gå tilbage. Jeg ønskede at komme ind i Himmeriget. Engle åbnede en bog. Først kiggede de efter mit barnenavn (Thitpin) i bogen, men de kunne ikke finde det. Så kiggede de efter det navn, som jeg havde fået, da jeg gik ind i den buddhistiske munkestand (U Nata Pannita Ashinthuriya), men det var heller ikke skrevet ind i bogen. Så sagde Peter, "Dit navn er ikke skrevet her. Du skal vende hjem og vidne om Jesus til det buddhistiske folk."

Jeg vandrede tilbage ad den gyldne vej. Igen hørte jeg smuk sang af en slags, som jeg aldrig før eller siden har hørt. Peter vandrede sammen med mig indtil det tidspunkt, hvor jeg vendte tilbage til jorden. Han viste mig en stige, som rakte ned fra Himmeriget til himlen. Stigen nåede ikke ned til jorden, men stoppede midt i luften. På stigen så jeg mange engle, hvor nogle var på vej op mod Himmeriget og andre var på vej ned. De havde meget travlt. Jeg spurgte Peter, "Hvem er de?" Peter svarede, "De er Guds budbringere. De meddeler til Himmeriget navnene på alle dem, som tror på Jesus Kristus og navnene på dem, som ikke tror." Så sagde Peter til mig, at det nu var tid at vende tilbage.

Det er et spøgelse!

Det næste jeg kan huske, er lyden af gråd. Jeg hørte min egen mor græde, "Min søn, hvorfor forlod du os nu?" Jeg hørte også mange andre mennesker græde. Det gik op for mig, at jeg lå i en kasse. Jeg begyndte at bevæge mig. Min mor og far begyndte at råbe, "Han er i live! Han er i live!" Andre, som var længere væk, troede ikke på mine forældre. Så anbragte jeg mine hænder på kanten af kassen og satte mig op. Mange mennesker blev skrækslagne. De skreg, "Det er et spøgelse!" og løb væk så hurtigt, som deres ben kunne bære dem.

De som blev tilbage var målløse og rystede. Jeg lagde mærke til, at jeg sad i en ildelugtende væske og sekreter fra kroppen, nok til at fylde omkring tre og en halv kop. Det var væske, som var komme ud af min mave og mine indvolde, mens min krop lå i kisten. Det er derfor folk ved, at jeg virkelig havde været død. Indvendig i kisten var der en slags plastiklagen fastgjort til træet. Dette lagen er anbragt for at holde på væsken fra liget, fordi mange døde kroppe afgiver meget væske, ligesom min gjorde.

Jeg fik senere at vide, at jeg kun var øjeblikke fra at blive brændt i flammerne. I Myanmar bliver folk anbragt i en kiste, låget sømmes så fast og hele kisten bliver brændt. Da jeg kom tilbage til livet, havde min mor og far netop fået lov til at se min krop for aller sidste gang. Øjeblikke senere ville kistens låg være blevet sømmet fast og jeg ville være blevet brændt.

Jeg begyndte øjeblikkelig at forklare om de ting, jeg havde set og hørt. Folk blev forbavsede. Jeg fortalte dem om mændene, jeg havde set i ildsøen, og fortalte dem, at kun de kristne kender sandheden, at vore forfædre og vi er blevet bedraget i tusindvis af år. Jeg fortalte dem, at alt vi tror på er løgn. Folk blev forbavsede, fordi de vidste, hvilken munk jeg havde været og hvor nidkær jeg havde været for Buddha’s lære.

Når et menneske dør i Myanmar, bliver deres navn og alder skrevet på siden af kisten. Når en munk dør, bliver hans navn, alder og antal år, han har gjort tjeneste som munk, skrevet på siden af kisten. Jeg var allerede blevet registreret som død, men som du kan se, er jeg nu levende!

Efterskrift

Siden "Paul som kom tilbage til livet" oplevede ovennævnte historie, er han forblevet et trofast vidne for Herren Jesus Kristus. Burmesiske præster har fortalt os, at han har ført hundreder af andre munke ind i troen på Kristus. Hans vidnesbyrd er tydeligvis meget kompromisløst. Af samme grund har hans budskab krænket mange mennesker, som ikke kan acceptere, at der kun er én vej til Himmeriget – Herren Jesus Kristus. På trods af stor modstand har hans oplevelser været så levende for ham, at han ikke har vaklet. Efter mange år i den buddhistiske munkestand, som tro discipel af den buddhistiske lære, forkyndte han øjeblikkelig Kristi evangelium, idet han fulgte hans opstandelse og tilskyndede andre munke til at forkaste alle falske guder og følge Jesus Kristus af hele deres hjerte. Førend hans sygdom og død vidste han intet som helst om kristendom. Alt, han lærte i løbet af disse tre dage i graven, var nyt for ham.

I et forsøg på at få dette budskab ud til så mange som muligt begyndte denne nutidige Lazarus at uddele video- og kassettebånd, som indeholdt hans historie. Politiet og de buddhistiske myndigheder i Myanmar har gjort alt for at indsamle disse bånd og destruere dem. Det vidnesbyrd, som du netop har læst, er blevet oversat fra et af disse kassettebånd. Vi har fået at vide, at det nu er temmelig farligt for indbyggere i Myanmar at være i besiddelse af disse bånd.

Hans frygtløse vidnesbyrd har bragt ham i fængsel mindst én gang, hvor myndighederne befalede ham til tavshed uden held. Efter sin løsladelse fortsatte han med at vidne om de ting han så og hørte. Det er usikkert, hvor han opholder sig lige nu. Én burmesisk meddeler fortalte os, at han er i fængsel og måske dræbt, mens en anden meddeler fik at vide, at han nu er løsladt fra fængslet og fortsætter sin tjeneste.

Oversat til dansk af:
Nina Madsen
Alstedvej 6
4173 Fjenneslev
E-Mail: skovriderhuset@adr.dk