uring his soul's turmoil the dying Lazar scarcely felt his physical pains. His body, being reconciled to death, was still cleaving a little to life through the life of his very lively soul. The human body usually serves the soul best, when the soul is not thinking about it. Such was the case in this instance.
Instantaneously there suddenly appeared to Lazar's soul an extraordinary light. This light was brighter than the light of several suns merged into one. It was white, whiter than snow, but softened by a shade of light blue. This was shown to Lazar, and he saw an expanse wider than all the visible world. Off in the distance as far as the eye could see, as though it were on the border of that expanse, a light curtain was suddenly being taken off as if by steam, revealing a second expanse, just like the first. At the border of this one the beginning of a third was seen, followed by a fourth, and so on endlessly.
In these expanses were flowering fields, gardens and meadows, of extraordinary vegetation and of extraordinary colors as were also the paradisical birds in the branches of the trees. Then there were wondrous cities, full of palaces of intoxicating beauty. Rivers were seen that were white as melted silver, and blue lakes, over which many white boats were sailing.
All these expanses were populated with many, many nations, arrayed in colorful robes, but most were in white robes, interwoven with gold and beautifully embroidered. No one's face could be seen, but one could sense that among them there was a beauty only dreamed of on earth. A placid and serene hymn was heard there, sung by many thousands and thousands of voices: "Blessed be the name of the Lord henceforth and forever more." The hymn grew louder and louder, like rivers rising from a mighty deluge. Nation joined nation in the chanting, like wave after wave, until the hymn rose to the thunderous cheer of victorious armies.
Then everything suddenly became silent. And the nations were seen bending this way and that like ears of ripened wheat. A stillness ensued, unbroken by any voice. Then many fires appeared, on which something was being burned. From it there rose blue columns of smoke. And a wondrous fragrance was diffused, an intoxicating aroma that increases life in man by a hundred times, caresses him like the sun, and nourishes him more sweetly than milk and honey.
Then Lazar noticed how one man, in radiant white linen, flew down from on high. He quickly winged his way over those people until he came to another man in red raiment. As he came toward him, he took him by the hand, and then both separated from the people and swiftly headed toward Lazar. From their radiance the extraordinary light became ever brighter than when it had first opened before Lazar. In amazement Lazar gazed at these two men as they drew near to him. Both were exceedingly handsome young men, but the one in white approached in greater glory than the one in scarlet. When they arrived and stood before Lazar, the one in white began to speak.