Reincarnation is the embodiment in flesh or human form of the soul of a person now dead. Reincarnation is the belief that the soul survives after death and is reborn in the body of another person of some other living thing. This concept is called Transmigration of the Soul.
Different religions from different countries have different beliefs of reincarnation. According to the Law of Karma, after death the soul is capable of passing to another body. The new body in which the soul is said to be reincarnated may be human, animal, plant or inanimate. According to the Hindu’s a good man may be reborn into a higher caste or perhaps even a god, were a lesser man becomes an insect or a worm.
One of the best documented cases is that of a young Indian girl named Shanti Devi living in Delhi (born 1926) who at the age of three began to recall details of a former life in the town of Mutta eighty miles away. She said she had married a cloth merchant, given birth to a son and died ten years later. Her claims continued and when she was nine years old her family wrote to her claimed husband who visited her home unannounced and was immediately recognized by Shanti Devi. A committee was set up to witness her visit to Mutta and testified the fact that she did recognize other relatives, knew the way to her former house, which she recognized and in fact revealed that money had been hidden in the house. The hiding place was found and her former husband admitted he had removed the money.
The Pollock family is another well recognized case is that of the two little girls of the Pollock family who were killed by a run- away car in the town of Hexham in Northumberland. Twin girls born two years later to the same parents claimed dolls of the former children as their own. One said “That’s my Mary.'” The other girl said, “That’s my dolly that we had a long time ago”!
Dr Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia has spent thirty years investigation of reincarnation. His strongest cases are based on children with pre-natural memories that can be verified often in considerable detail and in circumstances that made it highly unlikely that the children would have searched the information. Other evidence that match marks on previous suspected incarnations particularly where they might relate to the death of the former individual, for example where the reincarnation of a gunshot victim has birthmarks which match the entry holes of the bullets in the victim.
These cases raise questions, which may play a part in understanding the mechanisms. In fact no matter how good the evidence it cannot prove reincarnation. Even if we except that a person has memories that at one time belonged to someone now dead we still can’t prove how they traveled from one to another?
When all the evidence has been examined, it seems that the ancient and widespread belief in reincarnation offers an explanation, but for many people this explanation is not enough. Some Hindu’s and Buddhist cultures believe that a single human life-time is only one stage in the development of the soul, which has to return to the earth many times in many different bodies before it can be perfect.
By Dana Clark
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