CHAPTER NO:- 7 》PART:- 7 》 Investigation and Publication of Reincarnation Case Studies by Dr. Antonia Mills



▪ Dr. Antonia Mills was previously a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer at the University of Virginia, USA. She earned her BA and her PhD from Harvard. First Nations land claims, religion and law, and reincarnation beliefs and cases are her current research interests.

▪ Amerindian Rebirth : Reincarnation Belief Among North American Indians. She has been awarded a Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Fellowship for “A Longitudinal Study of Young Adults who were said to Remember a Previous Life.” She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and one on “Indigenous Perspectives on Reincarnation and Rebirth”. Antonia Mills has also published a variety of journals such as Culture, B.C. Studies, and the Journal of Anthropological Research, and chapters in books.

▪ Antonia Mills reported an ongoing longitudinal study of Hindu and Muslim children who reported memories of a previous life, both with and without a shift in religion, from Hindu to Muslim or vice versa.

▪ The objective is to evaluate the later effect of the children’s experience as young adults, how it impacts their attitude toward efforts at Hindu-Muslim reconciliation, their integration in their communities, and whether they score higher on dissociative and psychic experience scales than those who have no such memories.

▪ These cases of a shift in religion are very rare. Reincarnation is accepted as a reality by Hindus, yet most of the reported cases entail someone who died violently and came back quickly.

▪ Muslims do not formally accept reincarnation as a possibility, yet they report about as many cases of children remembering a life in the “other” religion as do the Hindus.

▪ In a summary of her work, Mills concluded that the numerous cases of the reincarnation type require an explanation for which reincarnation appears to be the most compelling.

▪ However, it is impossible to eliminate other possible sources of the child’s knowledge.

▪ Cryptomnesia or amnesia as the source of the information may be present in some cases but are unlikely to account for most of them. Other paranormal means of communication such as extrasensory perception (ESP) may account for some elements of some cases, but the evidence for telepathic or other types of ESP indicate that they alone could not account for the level of knowledge and the personal characteristics shown in these cases.

▪ Mills suggested three criteria be used as guidelines to evaluate whether reported cases of reincarnation are indicative of more than cultural construction and wishful thinking: Statements made by the child based on knowledge the child could not have learned through normal means such as the name of the previous personality and the mode of death, and speaking from the point of view of the previous personality including recognition of people, objects and places.

▪ The presence of skills and interests in the child which it cannot be expected to have acquired in the current life such as speaking a language unknown to the current family and community, the ability to play a musical instrument, or abnormal Phillies or phobias.

▪ Specific birthmarks or birth defects which correspond to wounds or marks on the previous personality, comparing them to photographs, medical records or autopsies of the previous personality. In cases where the mother witnessed the marks or wounds on the previous personality, one cannot eliminate the possibility that the mother’s awareness had an impact on the creation of the birthmark.

▪ The author describes the features of 26 Moslem cases of the reincarnation type in India. In eight of these cases a Muslim child is said to have recalled the life of a Moslem. In seven cases a Muslim child is said to have recalled a life as a Hindu, and in 11 cases a Hindu child is said to have recalled the life of a Moslem.

▪ Most Moslems in India do not officially endorse the concept of human earthly reincarnation. In some instances the absence of the doctrine in Islam made Moslems hostile to investigation of the cases.

▪ However, the cases are generally very similar to the more common Hindu cases, except that in solved Moslem a higher proportion of previous personalities died violently, and the subjects in the half-Moslem cases showed behaviour and (in two instances) birthmarks appropriate for the other religious community.

▪ Both Hindu and Moslem parents found it troubling to have a child recall a past life in a different religion. Such cases are unlikely to be the result of subtle clues given the child to adopt an envied identity.

▪ The Characteristics of Moslem and Half-Moslem Cases The Sample of Cases The 34 Moslem or half-Moslem cases among the 356 cases from India in the files of the Division of Personality Studies of the University of Virginia comprise nine percent of the Indian sample.

▪ Antonia Mills have not included in the analysis the brief synopses of eight Moslem or half-Moslem cases because the information is incomplete and has not been verified by Stevenson or his associates.

▪ The 26 cases she have included were at least cursorily investigated by Stevenson or his associate. With the exception of one case reported by K. K. N. Sahay in the 1920s the cases were all investigated between 1960 and 1989, that is, after partition.

▪ Even for the cases I have included, information is missing in some instances, due to incomplete questioning, absence of documents, or gaps in the memories of the informants. Therefore the sample size is less than 26 for some of the features discussed below.

▪ Location of the Cases Like most of the cases on file at the University of Virginia, the 26 Moslem and half-Moslem cases are all from northern India. Fourteen of the subjects lived in Uttar Pradesh, seven in Rajasthan, three in Madhya Pradesh, and one each in Gujarat and in India's most northern state, Jammu and Kashmir. Most of these cases were identified in the course of studying the other cases of the reincarnation type in India.

▪ Religion of the Subject and Previous Personality Of the 26 Moslem and half-Moslem cases, in 7 (27%) a Muslim child remembered being a Hindu in a previous life, in another (42%) a Hindu child recalled being a Moslem in a previous life, and in 8 (31%) a Muslim child was identified as the reincarnation of a Muslim

▪ The majority of the Moslem subjects or previous personalities considered themselves Sunni Moslems. One subject from Rajasthan said he was Sunni but really more Sufi than either Sunni or Shi'ite. Three of the Rajasthan cases came from a special Merhat group described as a Moslem merchant caste. In one case, described further below, a Sunni Moslem girl claimed to have been a Muslim Bohora in a previous life. Although some Bohras in India are Hindu, the Muslim Bohras are members of the Isma'ili Shi'ite branch of Islam.

▪ The Case of Doohi Khan The case of Doohi Khan rests on the affidavit K. N. Sahay had signedby the relatives of the subject and the previous personality in this Muslim to Muslim case. On October 17, 1926, Mr. Sahay wrote up the following affidavit, quoted in Bose (1960, p. 94).

▪ My daughter Robin died at the age of five. One year after her death the daughter of Mohammed Madari Khan of this village gave birth to a girl child. When the girl was five years old, I chanced one day to go on some business to the house in which she was living. She recognized me and called me "Father." I brought her to my house with me and she recognized my wife as her mother and my two sons are her brothers. She also knew my parents, grandparents, two brothers, and near relatives of this village; namely, Mordan Khan, Pir Khan, Alisher Khan, Sahib Khan, Tej Khan, etc.

▪ She even told which things of the house she had used as her own. She is now with her husband, Mohammad Khandan Khan in Sarolly Village of [District] Bareilly. (Signed) Mohammed Jehan Khan Hafiz (Dated) October 17, 1926.

Antonia Mills’s Life Work and Publications
1. Rebirth and Identity: Three Cases of Pierced-Ear Birthmarks
2. Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.
3. Cases of the Reincarnation Type. Twelve Cases in Thailand and Burma.
4. American Children who Claim to Remember Previous Lives.
5. Twelve Cases in Lebanon and Turkey.
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