Re: Reincarnationist heresy: A HELP!
- Dear Luca,
The Holy Fathers of the Church provide many reasons for rejecting
the theory of reincarnation (metempsychosis)which was prevalent in
the ancient world, and is once more becoming popular. One major
reason is that according to the Church, at death, which is the
seperation of the soul from the body, the soul in no way loses the
personality (hypostasis) that God created it with. Once we are
created person A, B or C we will always remain that person. Death
does not destroy this.
I will quote from the book, Life After Death by Metropolitan
Hierotheos Vlachos, who further points out, "Therefore we in the
Orthodox Church cannot accept that the soul dies and disappears
after being parted from ther body, nor that it is reincarnated in
other bodies. Every body is connected with one soul, and every soul
is connected with one body, and the two constitute the particular
hypostasis, a definite man. When we characterise man as hypostasis-
person we also mean, among other things, this uniqueness and
stability of his being." (p.87)
St. Gregory of Nyssa in On the Soul & Resurrection goes into much of
this. He points out that the theory of reincarnation debases human
nature, "since they accept that the same soul is sometimes the soul
of a man, sometimes of an animal, of a reptile, a plant, and so on"
(this quote is again from Met. Hierotheos about St. Gregory's
One other point worth mentioning that I have read in one of the Holy
Fathers (forgive me I cannot now recall which one) is that the
theory of reincarnation completely negates any sense of
responsability for our sins since it denies that there is a
Judgement to come after death. If in fact 'we' are to ceaselessly
change after death (and the process goes on & on) then in fact
responsability for sin is meaningless, and consequently so also is
any sense of morality. In fact then reincarnation reflects a
nihilist view of the cosmos.
The experiences that are written about here, the 'memories' and so
on would be explained as either fraudulent or examples of demonic
possession. Fr Seraphim Rose often thought that these occurrences
were in fact real examples of the latter- ie of demonic activity who
after all are refined noetic beings that influence the thoughts &
perceptions of the unwary. He shows many examples from the Lives of
Saints in his books of similar types of possession (Kiev Patericon,
About the specific cases mentioned here, it is well known that
demons being noetic beings have a refined sense of perception which
is not bound by time or place ; they can then through suggestion
present these perceptions before a person who then accepts them as
their own. Several things stand out from these cases. We hear the
phrase, how a person recalled an, "amazing number of facts &
people", & "so many details." In fact one wonders if the number
of 'facts' remembered is far more than the purported person from the
past themselves would ever have recalled. In other words the event
described of the person 'revisiting the place of their former life'
seems to be always characterised by 'memories' with an amazing
amount of detail; this could point to some sort of debased noetic
activity (there don't seem to be too many 'memories' about the
virtues, etc of the past people!). I think the veil of falsehood
almost falls away in the account of Shanti Devi who somehow 'knows'
her now grown-up 'son' whom she has in fact not 'seen' since he was
a baby. This inconsistency is explained away as a 'mother's love
never dies'; in reality one thinks perhaps the demons are simply
pulling them by the nose.
A few final comments. Looked at uncritically it does seem that the
case is strengthened for these being genuine reincarnation memories,
as after all these were innocent children whom one could not suspect
of conscious fakery. However the demons can play with children
especially if the aim is to lead the parents and society into
accepting such demonic activity as being normal. Children are at
times remarkably sensitive to things spiritual that they do not
rationally understand. They can be like little sponges affected by
the moral atmosphere of the household or society in which they find
themselves. In parish life for example, one can nowadays see many
disturbed children even when the parents are God-fearing. Perhaps
children are influenced by society in a much deeper and more subtle
way (ie they take in 'what is in the air') than we normally
I hope this helps somewhat.
In Christ- Fr Raphael Vereshack
PS: I would also advise you go to http://www.monachos.net/cgi-
bin/mb/discus.cgi to pursue this question further
--- In email@example.com, "Luca Michellin"
> Dear all, I'm writing in Italian an article about reincarnationistheresy and the Dogma of Resurrection . In a special chapter of this
article I want to analize by an orthodox and patristic point of view
the demonic prelest of cases in which children seem to rimember the
so-called past lives; in particular I'm referring to the cases of
the occultist and new-ager Dr. Ian Stevenson and his famous book
Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.
> Fr.Seraphim of Platina (of blessed memory!) spoke about theDr.Stevenson's examples as clear demonic possessions. I ask to all
clerics and members list for a help: how do you interpret these
cases in a theological point of view? Can you cite me similar cases
of demonic possession of children (in which it seems that a person
lives another life...)in the lives of Saints? Thank you all
> in Christyoung girl's memories began when she was 3, she gave enough
> Reader Luca - Vicenza (Italy)
> P.S. These are some cases of Dr.Stevenson's "past lives" :
> - http://www.childpastlives.org/swarnlata.htm
> The story of Swarnlata is characteristic of Stevenson's cases: the
information to enable Stevenson to locate the family of the deceased
person she remembered (the case was "solved"), and she gave more
than 50 specific facts that were verified. But Swarnlata's case was
also different from most because her memories did not fade. And this
is a sweet case, characterized by love and happy memories rather
than by violent death and struggles between castes and families,
like in so many other cases.
>in Pradesh in India in 1948. When she was just three years old and
> Swarnlata Mishra was born to an intellectual and prosperous family
traveling with her father past the town of Katni more than 100 miles
from her home, she suddenly pointed and asked the driver to turn
down a road to "my house", and suggested they could get a better cup
of tea there than they could on the road.
>which were written down by her father. She said her name was Biya
> Soon after, she related more details of her life in Katni, all of
Pathak, and that she had two sons. She gave details of the house: it
was white with black doors fitted with iron bars; four rooms were
stuccoed, but other parts were less finished; the front floor was of
stone slabs. She located the house in Zhurkutia, a district of
Katni; behind the house was a girl's school, in front was a railway
line, and lime furnaces were visible from the house. She added that
the family had a motor car (a very rare item in India in the 1950's,
and especially before Swarnlata was born). Swarnlata said Biya died
of a "pain in her throat", and was treated by Dr. S. C. Bhabrat in
Jabalpur. She also remembered an incident at a wedding when she and
a friend had difficulty finding a latrine.
>the case reached Professor Sri H. N. Banerjee, an Indian researcher
> In the spring of 1959, when Swarnlata was 10 years old, news of
of paranormal phenomenon and colleague of Stevenson. Banerjee took
the notes her father made and traveled to Katni to determine if
Swarnlata's memories could be verified.
>he found the house--despite the house having been enlarged and
> Using nothing more than the description that Swarnlata had given,
improved since 1939 when Biya died. It belonged to the Pathak's (a
common name in India), a wealthy, prominent family, with extensive
business interests. The lime furnaces were on land adjoining the
property; the girls school was 100 yards behind the Pathak's
property, but not visible from the front.
>said. Biya Pathak had died in 1939 leaving behind a grieving
> He interviewed the family and verified everything Swarnlata had
husband, two young sons, and many younger brothers. These Pathaks
had never heard of the Mishra family, who lived a hundred miles
away; the Mishra's had no knowledge of the Pathak family.
>Christie, but is all true, extracted from the Stevenson's
> The next scene in this story sounds like a plot from Agatha
tabulations in Swarnlata's published case. In the summer of 1959,
Biya's husband, son, and eldest brother journeyed to the town of
Chhatarpur, the town where Swarnlata now lived, to test Swarnlata's
memory. They did not reveal their identities or purpose to others in
the town, but enlisted nine townsmen to accompany them to the Mishar
home, where they arrived unannounced.
>him "Babu", Biya's pet name for him. Stevenson gives only the barest
> Swarnlata immediately recognized her brother and called
facts, but I can imagine the emotions ran high at this point.
Imagine how Babu felt to be recognized immediately by his dead
>turn; some she identified as men she knew from her town, some were
> Ten-year-old Swarnlata went around the room looking at each man in
strangers to her. Then she came to Sri Chintamini Pandey, Biya's
husband. Swarnlata lowered her eyes, looked bashful--as Hindu wives
do in the presence of their husbands--and spoke his name. Stevenson
says nothing of Sri Pandey's reaction at finding his wife after
>Murli, who was 13 years old when Biya died. But Murli schemed to
> Swarnlata also correctly identified her son from her past life,
mislead her, and "for almost twenty-four hours insisted against her
objections that he was not Murli, but someone else." Murli had also
brought along a friend and tried to mislead Swarnlata once again by
insisting he was Naresh, Biya's other son, who was about the same
age as this friend. Swarnlata insisted just as strongly that he was
>rupees Biya kept in a box. Sri Pandey admitted to the truth of this
> Finally, Swarnlata reminded Sri Pandey that he had purloined 1200
private fact that only he and his wife had known.
>the home and town where Biya lived and died.
> Gold Fillings
> A few weeks later, Swarnlata's father took her to Katni to visit
>changes to the house. She asked about the parapet at the back of the
> Upon arriving she immediately noticed and remarked about the
house, a verandah, and the neem tree that used to grow in the
compound; all had been removed since Biya's death. She identified
Biya's room and the room in which she had died. She recognized one
of Biya's brothers and correctly identified him as her second
brother. She did the same for her third and fourth brother, the wife
of the younger brother, the son of the second brother (calling him
by his pet name "Baboo"), a close friend of the family's (correctly
commenting that he was now wearing spectacles, which he in fact had
acquired since Biya had died) and his wife (calling her by her pet
name "Bhoujai"), Biya's sister-in-law--all with appropriate emotions
of weeping and nervous laughter. She also correctly identified a
former servant, an old betelnut seller, and the family cowherd
(despite her youngest brother's attempt to test Swarnlata by
insisting that the cowherd had died).
>asked whom she recognized. She correctly picked out her husband's
> Later, Swarnlata was presented to a room full of strangers and
cousin, the wife of Biya's brother-in-law, and a midwife--whom she
identified not by her current name, but by a name she had used when
Biya was alive. Biya's son Murli, in another test, introduced
Swarnlata to a man he called a new friend, Bhola. Swarnlata insisted
correctly that this man was actually Biya's second son, Naresh. In
another test, Biya's youngest brother tried to trap Swarnlata by
saying that Biya had lost her teeth; Swarnlata did not fall for
this, and went on to say that Biya had gold fillings in her front
teeth--a fact that the brothers had forgotten and were forced to
confirm by consulting with their wives, who reminded them that what
Swarnlata said was true.
>from far away--so far, in terms of Indian culture, that her dialect
> This must have been a spectacle. Here was a ten-year-old stranger
was distinctly different than that of the Pathaks--who acted
confidently like an older sister of the household, was familiar with
intimate names and family secrets, and remembered even marriage
relationships, old servants, and friends. Just as amazing, her
memory was frozen at the time of Biya's death; Swarnlata knew
nothing about the Pathak family that had happened since 1939.
>regular intervals. Stevenson investigated the case in 1961,
> In the following years, Swarnlata visited the Pathak family at
witnessing one of these visits. He observed the loving relationship
between Swarnlata and the other members of the family. They all
accepted her as Biya reborn.
>but when alone with Biya's sons, she was relaxed and playful as a
> Swarnlata behaved appropriately reserved towards Biya's elders,
mother would be--behavior that would otherwise be totally
inappropriate in India for a 10-year-old girl in the company of
unrelated men in their mid-thirties.
>Rakhi, in which brothers and sisters annually renew their devotion
> The Pathak brothers and Swarnlata observed the Hindu custom of
to each other by exchanging gifts. In fact the Pathak brothers were
distressed and angry one year when Swarnlata missed the ceremony;
they felt that because she had lived with them for 40 years and with
the Mishras for only 10 years that they had a greater claim on her.
As evidence of how strongly the Pathaks believed that Swarnlata was
their Biya, they admitted that they had changed their views of
reincarnation upon meeting Swarnlata and accepting her as Biya
reborn (the Pathaks, because of their status and wealth, emulated
Western ideas and had not believed in reincarnation before this
happened). Swarnlata's father, Sri Mishra, also accepted the truth
of Swarnlata's past identity: years later, when it came time for
Swarnlata to marry he consulted with the Pathaks about the choice of
a husband for her.
>to remember so completely the life of a grown woman? Stevenson
> How did Swarnlata feel about all of this? Was it confusing for her
visited her in later years and corresponded with her for ten years
after this case was investigated. He reports that she grew up
normally, received an advanced degree in botany, and got married.
She said that sometimes, when she reminisced about her happy life in
Katni, her eyes brimmed with tears and, for a moment, she wished she
could return to the wealth and life of Biya. But her loyalty to the
Mishra family was undivided and, except for the regular visits to
Katni, she went about the business of growing into a beautiful young
woman, accepting fully her station in this life.
>amazing number of facts and people she remembered; the positive
> In some ways Swarnlata is typical of Stevenson's cases: the
identification of the previous personality, the exchange of visits
between the families, and the age at which she first had her
memories. What is not typical, however, is the persistence of clear
memories into her adulthood, the lack of a traumatic death, and the
support and cooperation between the families (in most cases one or
both of the families are reluctant to encourage the child or to
bring the case to the outside world). This is a sweet case that
illustrates what profoundly enriching human experience a past life
memory can bring about.
>and miraculous reunions mix with conflict, violent death, and
> But many of the cases in Stevenson's books are stories where love
hostile emotions. The cases of Ravi Shankar [Chapter 6 in Children's
Past Lives] and Titu Singh illustrate the darker side of life that
is often brought to the light when a child has a forceful past life
>born in Kanauj in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1951. From his earliest
> - One of his most dramatic cases is that of Ravi Shankar, who was
years, Ravi claimed that he was really the son of a man named
Jageshwar, a barber who lived in a nearby district. He also claimed
that he had been murdered. His present-life father did not believe a
word and started beating him to make him stop talking such nonsense.
The beatings did little to suppress Ravi's memories, and he became
more obsessed with his past-life revivifications the older he grew.
He even developed the strange delusion that his former murderers
were still out to get him. While the entire story was fantastic,
Ravi had, in fact, been born with a bizarre birthmark.
>memories. It is remarkable becasue it was investigated by a
> - http://www.childpastlives.org/shanti_devi.htm
> Shanti Devi is one of the best cases of children's past life
committee of prominent men appointed by Mahatma Gandhi, who took
Shanti Devi to the village of her past-life recollections.
>March/April, 1997 issue of Venture Inward Magazine, the magazine of
> This article is reprinted with permission from the
the A.R.E., (the Edgar Cayce research organization). It was written
by Dr. K.S.Rawat, who is a Stevenson-style researcher based in
India. Dr. Rawat welcomes comments, and is a frequent contributor
to the Forum here.
>in the early 30s, information about a girl born in a little-known
> People hear of many cases of reincarnation these days, but
locality of Delhi, who claimed to remember a past life, was
considered great news indeed. The girl at first was known only to
the local people, but gradually news of her spread all over the
country and finally all over the world. It was natural that the
world should wonder about the authenticity of her story.
>all of her life. In 1985 questions were even raised about her
> Shanti Devi, born in 1926, was the subject of speculation
existence in a special issue on reincarnation in a prominent weekly
English journal of India. This dismayed me that someone would raise
such doubts without conducting a proper study. In February 1986, I
had gone to Delhi to meet Ian Stevenson, the leading expert in
reincarnation research from the University of Virginia. Dr.
Stevenson had already investigated her case, so I showed him the
article. A few days later I met Shanti Devi and spent about an hour
and half with her. Later, I interviewed many people connected with
the case at Delhi, Mathura, and Jaipurand, including Shanti Devi's
relatives in this life and from her past life as Lugdi Bai. I also
examined the books and articles published on Shanti Devi from time
to time, besides several reports prepared on her by eminent
scholars. This is her story, perhaps the most famous reincarnation
case on record.
>blessed with a daughter, who was named Lugdi. When Lugdi reached the
> On January 18, 1902, Chaturbhuj, a resident of Mathura, was
age of 10, she was married to Kedarnath Chaube, a shopkeeper of the
same locality. It was the second marriage for Kedarnath, as his
earlier wife had died. Kedarnath Chaube owned a cloth shop in
Mathura and also a branch shop at Hardwar. Lugdi was very religious
and had been to several pilgrimage places at a very young age. While
on one pilgrimage, she was injured in her leg for which she had to
be treated, both at Mathura and later at Agra.
>stillborn following a Cesarean section. For her second pregnancy,
> When Lugdi became pregnant for the first time, her child was
the worried husband took her to the government hospital at Agra,
where a son was born, again through a Cesarean on September 25,
1925. Nine days later, however, on October 4, Lugdi's condition
deteriorated and she died.
>December 11, 1926, Babu Rang Bahadur Mathur of Chirawala Mohulla, a
> One year ten months and seven days after Lugdi's death, on
small locality of Delhi, was blessed with a daughter, whom they
named Shanti Devi. She was just like any other girl except that
until the age of four she did not speak much. But when she started
talking, she was a different girl--she talked about her "husband"
and her "children."
>cloth shop and they had a son. She called herself Chaubine (Chaube's
> She said that her husband was in Mathura where he owned a
wife). The parents considered it a child's fantasy and took no
notice. They got worried, however, when she talked repeatedly about
it and, over time, narrated a number of incidents connected with her
life in Mathura with her husband. On occasions at meals, she would
say, "In my house in Mathura, I ate different kinds of sweets."
Sometimes when her mother was dressing her, she would tell what type
of dresses she used to wear. She mentioned three distinctive
features about her husband: he was fair, had a big wart on his left
cheek, and wore reading glasses. She also mentioned that her
husband's shop was located in front of Dwarkadhish temple.
>were perplexed and worried by such statements. The girl even gave a
> By this time Shanti Devi was six years old, and her parents
detailed account of her death following childbirth. They consulted
their family physician, who was amazed how a little girl narrated so
many details of the complicated surgical procedures. The mystery,
thus, continued to deepen. The parents started thinking that these
memories might have been of a past life.
>to be taken to Mathura. She, however, never mentioned her husband's
> As the girl grew older, she persisted in asking her parents
name up to the age of eight or nine. It is customary in India that
wives do not utter the name of their husbands. Even when
specifically asked, she would blush and say that she would recognize
him, if taken there, but would not say his name. One day a distant
relation, Babu Bishanchand, a teacher in Ramjas High School
Daryaganj in Delhi, told Shanti Devi that if she told him her
husband's name, he would take her to Mathura. Lured by this offer,
she whispered into his ear the name Pandit Kedarnath Chaube.
Bishanchand then told her that he would arrange for the trip to
Mathura after due inquiries. He wrote a letter to Pandit Kedarnath
Chaube, detailing all the statements made by Shanti Devi, and asked
him to visit Delhi. Kedarnath replied confirming most of her
statements and suggested that one of his relatives, Pandit Kanjimal,
who lived in Delhi, be allowed to meet this girl.
>Devi recognized him as her husband's cousin. She gave some details
> A meeting with Kanjimal was arranged, during which Shanti
about her house in Mathura and informed him of the location where
she had buried some money. When asked whether she could go by
herself from the railway station to her house in Mathura, she
replied in the affirmative, if they would take her there.
>persuade Kedarnath to visit Delhi. Kedarnath came to Delhi on
> Kanjimal was so impressed that he went to Mathura to
November 12, 1935, with Lugdi's son Navneet Lal and his present
wife. They went to Rang Bahadur's house the next day. To mislead
Shanti Devi, Kanjimal introduced Kedarnath as the latter's elder
brother. Shanti Devi blushed and stood on one side. Someone asked
why she was blushing in front of her husband's elder brother. Shanti
said in a low firm voice, "No, he is not my husband's brother. He is
my husband himself." Then she addressed her mother, "Didn't I tell
you that he is fair and he has a wart on the left side cheek near
>When the mother asked what should she prepare, she said that he was
> She then asked her mother to prepare meals for the guests.
fond of stuffed potato parathas and pumpkin squash. Kedarnath was
dumbfounded as these were his favorite dishes. Then Kedarnath asked
whether she could tell them anything unusual to establish full faith
in her. Shanti replied, "Yes, there is a well in the courtyard of
our house, where I used to take my bath."
>son in her previous life. Tears welled in her eyes when she hugged
> Shanti was emotionally overwhelmed on seeing Navneet, the
him. She asked her mother to bring all her toys and give them to
Navneet. But she was too excited to wait for her mother to act and
ran to bring them. Kedarnath asked her how she had recognized
Navneet as her son, when she had seen him only once as an infant
before she died. Shanti explained that her son was a part of her
soul and the soul is able to easily recognize this fact.
>her?" referring to his present wife. "Had we not decided that you
> After dinner, Shanti asked Kedarnath, "Why did you marry
will not remarry?" Kedarnath had no reply.
>behavior similar to that of Lugdi in many ways. Before retiring for
> During his stay at Delhi, Kedarnath found Shanti Devi's
the night, he asked to be allowed to talk with her alone and later
said that he was fully convinced that Shanti Devi was his wife Lugdi
Bai because there were many things she had mentioned which no one
except Lugdi could have known.
>Mathura on November 15. She begged to be allowed to go to Mathura
> Shanti Devi became upset before Kedarnath's return to
with him but her parents refused.
>many intellectuals got interested in it. When Mahatma Gandhi heard
> Her story spread all over the country through the media and
about it, he called Shanti Devi, talked to her, and then requested
her to stay in his ashram. (When I interviewed Shanti Devi in 1986,
she still remembered the incident.)
>including parliamentarians, national leaders, and members from the
> Gandhi appointed a committee of 15 prominent people,
media, to study the case. The committee persuaded her parents to
allow her to accompany them to Mathura. They left by rail with
Shanti Devi on November 24, 1935. The committee's report describes
some of what happened:
>joy and remarked that by the time they reach Mathura the doors of
> "As the train approached Mathura, she became flushed with
the temple of Dwarkadhish would be closed. Her exact language
was,'Mandir ke pat band ho jayenge,' so typically used in Mathura.
>reaching Mathura happened on the platform itself. The girl was in L.
> "The first incident which attracted our attention on
Deshbandhu's arms. He had hardly gone 15 paces when an older man,
wearing a typical Mathura dress, whom she had never met before, came
in front of her, mixed in the small crowd, and paused for a while.
She was asked whether she could recognize him. His presence reacted
so quickly on her that she at once came down from Mr. Gupta's lap
and touched the stranger's feet with deep veneration and stood
aside. On inquiring, she whispered in L. Deshbandhu's ear that the
person was her 'Jeth' (older brother of her husband). All this was
so spontaneous and natural that it left everybody stunned with
surprise. The man was Babu Ram Chaubey, who was really the elder
brother of Kedarnath Chaubey."
>driver to follow her directions. On the way she described the
> The committee members took her in a tonga, instructing the
changes that had taken place since her time, which were all correct.
She recognized some of the important landmarks which she had
mentioned earlier without having been there.
>noticed an elderly person in the crowd. She immediately bowed to him
> As they neared the house, she got down from the tonga and
and told others that he was her father-in-law, and truly it was so.
When she reached the front of her house, she went in without any
hesitation and was able to locate her bedroom. She also recognized
many items of hers. She was tested by being asked where the "jajroo"
(lavatory) was, and she told where it was. She was asked what was
meant by "katora." She correctly said that it meant paratha (a type
of fried pancake). Both words are prevalent only in the Chaubes of
Mathura and no outsider would normally know of them.
>had lived with Kedarnath for several years. She guided the driver
> Shanti then asked to be taken to her other house where she
there without any difficulty. One of the committee members, Pandit
Neki Ram Sharma, asked her about the well of which she had talked in
Delhi. She ran in one direction; but, not finding a well there, she
was confused. Even then she said with some conviction that there was
a well there. Kedarnath removed a stone at that spot and, sure
enough, they found a well. As for the buried money, Shanti Devi took
the party to the second floor and showed them a spot where they
found a flower pot but no money. The girl, however, insisted that
the money was there. Kedarnath later confessed that he had taken out
the money after Lugdi's death.
>identified her aunt as her mother, but soon corrected her mistake,
> When she was taken to her parents' home, where at first she
she went to sit in her lap. She also recognized her father. The
mother and daughter wept openly at their meeting. It was a scene
which moved everybody there.
>other places she had talked of earlier and almost all her statements
> Shanti Devi was then taken to Dwarkadhish temple and to
were verified to be correct.
>worldwide attention. Many learned personalities, including saints,
> The publication of the committee's report attracted
parapsychologists, and philosophers came to study the case, some in
support and some as critics trying to prove it a hoax.
>December 1987, and interviewed her in detail about her past-life
> I met Shanti Devi, first in February 1986 and then in
memories and her recollections at Mathura. I also interviewed her
younger brother, Viresh Narain Mathur, who had accompanied her to
Mathura on her first visit. Then I went to Mathura and asked her
various relatives to describe when Shanti Devi first visited them at
the age of nine. I also interrogated a close friend of Kedarnath who
gave me some explicit information about the way Kedarnath became
convinced that Shanti was actually his wife in her past life.
>women there, remembered her old friends and inquired about them.
> Lugdi's brother told me that Shanti Devi, after seeing some
Similarly, Lugdi's sister informed me that Shanti Devi told a number
of womenfolk about Lugdi having lent them some money, which they
accepted as true. Shanti's emotional reactions on meeting relatives
from her previous life were very significant. The manner in which
she burst into tears on meeting the parents of her past life moved
everyone present there. The committee mentioned in their report that
it was a blessing that the past lives are forgotten. They felt that
by bringing Shanti Devi to Mathura they had taken a big
responsibility, and we had to forcibly separate her from the parents
she had in the previous life.
>Pandit Ramnath Chaube, told me of a very significant event, which I
> During my investigations, a friend of Kedarnath, 72-year-old
confirmed from other sources. When Kedarnath was in Delhi to meet
Shanti Devi, he stayed at Pandit Ramnath Chaube's place for one
night. Everyone had gone to retire, and only Kedarnath, his wife,
his son Navneet, and Shanti were in the room; Navneet was fast
asleep. Kedarnath asked Shanti that when she was suffering from
arthritis and could not get up, how did she become pregnant. She
described the whole process of intercourse with him, which left
Kedarnath in no doubt that Shanti was his wife Lugdi in her previous
>interview with her, she said, "Yes, that is what fully convinced
> When I mentioned this incident to Shanti Devi during my
>is one of the most thoroughly investigated cases, studied by
> Shanti Devi's case is also significant for the fact that it
hundreds of researchers, critics, scholars, saints, and eminent
public figures from all parts of India and abroad from the mid-1930s
>came all the way from Sweden to expose the "fake," as he thought it
> One critic, Sture Lonnerstrand, when he heard of this case,
to be, but after investigation wrote, "This is the only fully
explained and proven case of reincarnation there has been." I don't
agree completely with Lonnerstrand--there are many more cases just
as amazing as this one.
>Stevenson, leading authority on reincarnation, who said: "I also
> I close my story of Shanti Devi with the remarks of Dr. Ian
interviewed Shanti Devi, her father, and other pertinent witnesses,
including Kedarnath, the husband claimed in her previous life. My
research indicates that she made at least 24 statements of her
memories that matched the verified facts."
> If not proof, it is certainly strongly suggestive of
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]