He became ill with a fever and his condition deteriorated until he was thought to have died, at which time his relatives began preparing his body for cremation. However, he revived, and he gave the following account of his experience as he remembered it afterward:
Four black messengers came and held me.
I asked, "Where are you taking me?"
They took me and seated me near the god. My body had become small. There was an old lady sitting there. She had a pen in her hand, and the clerks had a heap of books in front of them.
I was summoned ...
One of the clerks said, "We don't need Chhajju Bania [the trader]. We had asked for Chhajju Kumhar [the potter]. Push him back and bring the other man. He [meaning Chhajju Bania] has some life remaining."
I asked the clerks to give me some work to do, but not to send me back. Yamraj was there sitting on a high chair with a white beard and wearing yellow clothes. He asked me, "What do you want?"
I told him that I wanted to stay there.
He asked me to extend my hand. I don't remember whether he gave me something or not.
Then I was pushed down [and revived].
Chhajju mentioned that he later learned a person named Chhajju Kumhar had died at about the same time that he (Chhajju Bania) revived. He said his behavior changed following his near-death experience, particularly in the direction of his becoming more honest.
Chhajju's wife, Saroj, remembered her husband's experience, but her account of what he told her about the near-death experience differed in some details from his statement. For example, she said he told her (about reviving) at the place to where the four men had taken him, there "was a man with a beard with lots of papers in front of him" (not an old lady). The bearded man said, "It is not his turn. Bring Chhajju Kori (a weaver)" (Not Chhajju Kumhar). Other discrepancies between the two accounts concerned unimportant details. Saroj remembered her husband telling her that he had not wanted to leave "there" and that he had been "pushed down" before he revived.
Chhajju Bania was interviewed in 1981, at which time he was about 40 years old. His near-death experience occurred some 6 years earlier.