Opinions

Dr King had a 'prophetic premonition'

April 4, 2018 was the 50th year of Dr Martin Luther King Jr's martyrdom. He was assassinated by James Earl Ray, a white supremacist, on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, US. It's said, and also endorsed by Dr King's wife Coretta Scott King, that the legendary non-white Civil Rights activist had a 'prophetic premonition' of his assassination. He told his friend Reverend Mortimer Cartvelt that he'd meet with a violent end and would probably be killed by an assassin's bullet. He'd the vision of his assassination on March 31, 1968, four days ahead of his death. 

Mahatma Gandhi also had the same 'prophetic premonition' and he shared that with Vallabh Bhai Patel on January 26, 1948, five days ahead of his assassination on January 31, 1948.

Indira Gandhi had the clear premonition of her violent death a day before it happened. She was in Orissa on October 30, 1984 and she dropped the hint in a public speech that she could be assassinated very soon. She indeed was assassinated the very next day on October 31, 1984. 

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat told his fellow Egyptian Nobel laureate in Literature Naguib Mahfouz that his days were numbered. He was assassinated on October 6, 1981, six days after his inkling of death. 

The same 'prophetic premonition' of death occurred to John F Kennedy a few days before his assassination on November 22, 1963 in Dallas. 

There're several instances of 'prophetic premonition' of death (esp. violent death) in recorded history. Julius Caesar saw himself getting stabbed by a group of people and even saw his dearest friend Brutus among those stabbers! Ancient Roman historian Tacitus described this in his incomplete book on Caesar's times.

'We all have a premonition of death (esp. of a violent death) at least a couple of months ago and our subconscious sends those signals to our conscious selves,' observed the psycho-neurologist Dr Clarke Reymonds at Lucas Laboratory of Neurological Sciences at Cornell University, US. 

Though we say that death comes tip-toeing, it actually sends an advance notice of its coming which's often so clear and not so subtle.

Buddha called it 'conscious awareness'. When the mind, body and the self are in unison, futuristic events, esp. death' can be foreseen. Persian mystic Jalaluddin Rumi worded this so beautifully, 'Lahza-e-aakhir un-naveez shudam choon zaheenastam' (Evolved souls are always in the know of their last moments). Rumi himself knew the day and time of his death. 

He died on December 17, 1273 and predicted his own death zeroing in on the day and time. Sufi mystics Rabia Basria and Alifia Baghdadi also jotted down the days of their death in advance and told their disciples that their end was fast approaching.

Great Persian mystic Mansur al-Hallaj, who proclaimed Ana al-Haq (I'm the Truth -- equivalent to the Upanishadic 'Aham Brahmasmi'), had the vision of his execution through excoriation at the age of 13 and it was a recurrent vision till he was really excoriated on March 26, 922 AD. Ironically, he was born on March 26, 858 AD. 

Coming back to Dr King. He was a spiritually evolved person. Neuro-biologists and scientists like the celebrated Richard Dawkins and Nayef al-Rodhan believe that, 'A spiritually evolved (not necessarily religious or believing kind) and enlightened person often has the inkling of his/her impending death.' The Occipital lobe in the brain of a spiritually advanced individual is super-sensitive as well as receptive and it sends signals of imminent end. Combined with the temporal lobe, Occipital lobe (exact function is still unknown) gets premonitions of death and it informs the neural system. 

Even an ordinary individual can also develop these two lobes with the help of meditation, introspection and prayers. Gandhi's Occipital lobe was very evolved. So was King's. So, both got the grim hunches well before their assassinations. As for others, accidental and violent deaths warned them subtly and they got the drift while still alive. 

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