CHAPTER NO :- 5 》 METHODS OF RECOLLECTION OF PAST LIFE MEMORIES, METHODS OF INVESTIGATION IN REINCARNATION CASE STUDIES AND REVIEW OF INVESTIGATIONS OF REINCARNATION CASE STUDIES


(A)  NATURAL  WAYS

1.  Spontaneous  recalling of rebirth  memories in children
2.  Information given by a person about himself or another person’s previous existence through clairvoyance and trance readings
3.  Information given by dead persons through dreams and visions
4.  Astonishing  innate talents and abilities ­ child prodigy cases
5.  Phobias  and  Special preferences possibly related to previous births
6.  Momentary revival of previous existence or  Déjà vu   
7.  Revelation of previous existence through Meditation and Astrological methods  and  yogic ways  



(B)   INDUCED  METHODS

a. Induced by drugs  
▪ Details  of  previous  existence  induced  by  the  use  of  certain drugs.

b. Induced by hypnosis  
▪ Past  Life  Regression  through  hypnosis.

WE ARE GOING TO DISCUSS ALL THESE IN DETAIL IN NEXT CHAPTERS

Spontaneous   Recollections  of   rebirth  memories

(1) Recognition of places at first sight :
▪ Guilfoyle had a survey and found these percentages: 35% never had, 50% had once or twice, and 15% more than twice a feeling that they had been there before. Muller (1970) found that 6% of his subjects had intense feelings of recognition at the first visit. This must be differentiated from déjà vu, which does not point to a past life. Deja vu is more like the consciousness moving ahead of the body. 

(2) Recognition of people at first sight :
▪ This is quite common, but one must not jump to conclusion too quickly. Liking or disliking someone at first sight may not be past life experience. An intense affinity or mutual affection, which developed spontaneously, may be a relationship from the past. Certainly love at first sight is from the past.

▪ Uncommon familiarity and being totally comfortable with the other person are
good pointers. Intense hatred at the first meeting is also a good possibility of a disagreeable past. 

(3) Recognition in Dreams :
▪ Dreams are not a common way in recalling past life. This is because we mostly forget our dreams, which are also pretty unconvincing as evidence. Unless it is a recurring dream, which should also be lucid (that means we know that we are dreaming) and vivid. The accompanying emotions are also intense, and we can describe the details years later. When one dreams of one's past life, the person is usually in the dream, but not when dreaming of other people.

(4) Recollections triggered by objects, photos and books :
▪ Almost anything can trigger a recollection, and it may end up in a dream. Lenz found that 9 out of 127 cases had memories triggered by listening to some music, seeing a painting or an object. 

(5) Recollections triggered by a similar situation :
▪ This is rare but it happens, as we are told that we repeat the same mistakes, life after life. 

(6) Recollections under extraordinary circumstances :
The conditions from which a memory can arise are (a) during a life-threatening accident, (b) under anesthesia or semiconscious (c) under great stress and strain as in war or other activity that entails lack of sleep, (d) depression and despair due to a great loss. 

(7) Spontaneous Recollection :
▪ Many well-known people do proclaim their past incarnations, but without proof they were treated with little credibility.

▪ Cases of children who claim to remember previous lives (cases of the reincarnation type) have been investigated in various cultures. In recent years, nearly 6000 cases have been reported to the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia. Nearly 2700 cases have been investigated, and many of them have been published, by Stevenson and his associates. Most of the reported cases (78%) have been investigated in Asian countries, although a few cases have also been reported from Western cultures.

▪ The subjects of these cases generally start speaking about a previous life between the ages of 2 and 4 years and stop making spontaneous references to that life between the ages of 5 and 8 years.

▪ Their statements often include the names of places and persons associated with the deceased person whose life they claim to remember, lives which more than half of the children state have been terminated violently. Examination of their claims revealed that  the frequency of a violent mode of death of the previous personality was far greater than that of the general population in their respective countries.

▪ Four features, namely, the age at first mention of a previous life; the age at which the child ceased to spontaneously talk about the previous life; the recall of the mode of death by the subjects; and the higher frequency of violent modes of death in the previous personalities, have been reported among cases from almost all cultures in which they have been investigated.

▪ In addition, most subjects show behavioral features that correspond with the actual or expected behavior of the previous personality but that are incongruous with their present circumstances. Some of the subjects also have birthmarks or birth defects that correspond with primarily fatal and sometimes nonfatal injuries on the bodies of the concerned deceased persons. 

▪ An analysis of 856 cases in six cultures, namely Burma (now Myanmar), India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Thailand, and the United States (non-tribal cases), revealed that persons corresponding to the statements of subjects were identified in 576 (67%) cases. These cases refer to are called as “solved.” ones. One third of the cases, however, remained unsolved, including many in cultures where memories of a previous life are considered desirable or are even encouraged.

▪ For example, only 32% of the cases in Sri Lanka are solved, even though most of the people of Sri Lanka believe in rebirth. In India, where Stevenson first started his investigations in 1961, nearly 450 cases have been reported and investigated.

▪ Most of these cases came from North India; only seven cases came from South India. Dr. Satwant Pasricha joined Stevenson in 1973 and have investigated or participated in the investigation of over 450 of the cases, either in collaboration with or independently of Stevenson or his associates. 

▪ During the course of her investigations, she learned about a few cases from different states of South India and have investigated seven of these sufficiently to make a comparison with cases in North India. Hinduism, a religion in which reincarnation is a principal tenet, is the main religion of both North and South India.

METHODS OF INVESTIGATION IN REINCARNATION CASE STUDIES


▪ The methods of investigation essentially were interviews with several first hand informants regarding both the subject as well as the previous personality’s sides of the case. Depending upon availability and cooperation, on the subject’s side of the case, they interviewed the subject, his or her parents, grandparents, siblings, and neighbors, or anyone who had heard the subject make statements directly or who had witnessed certain unusual behavior in the child at first hand. 

▪ On the previous personality’s side of the case, they interviewed this personality’s relatives, friends, neighbors, and other persons who qualified as firsthand informants. In addition, they also examined written documents (horoscopes, birth certificates, etc.), whenever available, to check the accuracy of dates of birth.

General  Behavioural  characteristics  of  cases of  apparent  recalling  of  rebirth  

▪ The following are the general characteristic features noticed by the study of thousands of reported and investigated cases of apparent recalling of previous births by various Centre’s in different countries.

1. Children less than 5 years of age, normally experience recalling. 

2. By and large, memories crowd in during the ordinary waking state. Of course, in some cases it can be clearly seen how some extraordinary stress and strain, harsh treatment sudden calamity, or an operation or chronic illness would precipitate the occurrence of apparent recalling. 

3. Characteristically though, these subjects desire to go back to their abode of previous birth, express their longing to live in the midst of ‘kith and kin’ (who, now of course, are no better than strangers except for the fact of disclosure of verifiable details of blood relationships) either for a short duration or permanently. 

4. Identification as to the details of person, and place such as the name of the former person, town, site of residence, house number, and descriptions of the rooms, etc., is amazing. 

5. In a number of instances the child is asked to reach the place of apparent recalling, unaided, to recognize its blood relations and the child was able to recognize accurately. 

6. In most cases, persons who suddenly remembered their previous existence lived in a different town, In very few cases in a different country. While in just a few instances they lived in the same town or village as recalled. 

7. In a handful of instances the supposed reincarnation took place in the same family or among close neighbours of the former family. 

8. Besides recalling, there are recorded cases of individual’s Coming out accurately as to the nature of their lives in their previous existence, their agonies and frustrations, particular situations and trials, unnatural and premature 
deaths, if any, Violent and ghastly occurrences, etc. 

9. Usually memories of previous births: occur spontaneously irrespective 
of the sex.

10. Normally memories begin to fade away when children attain the age of 8 or 10 years. 

11. Tallying of details as regards the faithfulness of reports in all their certainty; and the possible inference that such a recalling was not a phenomenon of ordinary means. 

12. Invariably in all cases of investigation neither the parents nor the rememberer had visited the home of the previous person or had any access to knowledge about him before experiencing any recall.

13. Familiar response in matters of relationships depending upon the degree of intimacy and the nature of training while addressing kith and kin, and persons of acquaintance.

14. Attitudes and approaches to the problems and people as befitting the placement while in previous existence - for example in all experiences shared : of tears and joy, affection and resentment, fear and feeling, - and so on. 

15. Houses, places of visit and similar things identified as they existed at the time of verification, that, is as they had been and were remembered by those who had seen.

16. Behavioural patterns reproduced identically bringing of all mannerisms, habits, skills and similar traits as acquired during the course of previous personality. In some instances this “ carry over ” or “ the residual traits ” being possessed by the individual over a period of time for some years could be noticed. 

17. Exhibition of a certain talent or prodigious virtue or skill in the life of the present period despite the absolute absence of an environment of that nature; evidently the manifestation of such special abilities could be clearly seen as the effects of previous existence whether it may be the case of acquisition of several languages, the proficient learning and skill associated with certain trade and profession.

REVIEW OF INVESTIGATIONS OF REINCARNATION CASE STUDIES

▪ All available evidence springs from those whose recalling is spontaneous, and this has invariably happened in the case of young children whose bearing on reincarnation makes the claims associated with events of past lives - in close correspondence with people and places, whose identification can’t be questioned.

▪ What is surprising is the mode of remembrance and the operative part of it in small children ! Sometimes, though rather rare, several lives get themselves related in a series !

▪ Reports of cases suggestive of rebirth started appearing only towards the latter half of the 19th Century, though of course, in a very inconspicuous manner. Sporadic reports as such came to be known during the early part  of the 20th Century.

▪ These were mostly single case reports and were never published anywhere in a systematic manner. The reasons are not far to  seek-such things had not yet taken root through printed material although people by and large spoke about some of these things in their own way. And there was still another strong reason for the lack of popular conviction-most of the reports published between the 1890’s and 1960’s  were published in books, written from the point of spiritualists.

▪ The ‘spiritualism’ connotes something which may frighten people, since it involves primarily ‘mediumship’, or employs exorcism, and so on. May be that must have been the real reason for the slow growth of literature on reincarnation. Hence such things fell outside the domain of traditional psychical research.

▪ Eventually, on account of strong proofs, the theory of reincarnation developed itself as part of modern parapsychology. Ever since William James first analytical attempt at some of the intricate problems connected with the human mind, over a hundred books have been published on Reincarnation as on today.

▪ Fielding Hall, an English civil servant who lived amongst the Burmese published 6 brief case histories of Burmese children who recalled their previous lives in 1898. In 1924 another book worth the name was published, containing a variety of cases of Asian and European origin.

▪ This was indeed a milestone in as far as the reproduction of the reincarnation type was
concerned. As such many original letters and papers and documents came to light with greater vehemence. Shirley published an important book in 1932 which included many interesting cases, often cited by Delaine.

▪ It was in this publication that the case of Nellie Forster was first reported in St. Louis. What Delaine omitted was described in some detail by Globe-Democrat, India did not lag behind in this area of exploration on reincarnation. Rao Bahadur Shyam Sunderlal made a systematic investigation for the first time in the country during the year 1922-23, and furnished reliable material on rebirths. Four cases were reported and published by him in 1924, in the reputed French Journal “Revue Metapsychique”.

▪ K.K.N. Sahay, an advocate by profession at Bareilly, brought out a booklet covering seven cases in favour of reincarnation. One of the cases was about the previous existence of his own son, Jagadish Chandra by name. S.C. Bose published a book which included 14 cases in 1959 for which material he had studied in depth in the late 1930’s.

▪ Professor B. L. Atreya of Banaras Hindu University brought out a volume on Parapsychology in 1957 wherein he devoted a section exclusively to reincarnation, offering in one instance a complete and self-contained account of the reincarnation type which he had personally investigated. 

▪ Ian Stevenson is a notable name in the history of reincarnation. A major turn took place after his advent on the scene in the 1960’s. His investigations, so far published reveal a rich treasure of material that needs to be grasped thoroughly about the possibilities of reincarnation. 

▪  “The evidence for survival from claimed memories of former incarnations ” published by Ian Stevenson in 1960 has attracted the attention of the parapsychologists of the world. In this book he examines certain cases of children and adults given to recalling their past lives for a critical assessment. 

▪ Herein he records 44 cases quite typical of the phenomenon of reincarnation along with the allied features that accompany former lives. We find in this document 44 cases representative of different nationalities. The study under investigation, as seen in the work, goes as follows: 18 cases are drawn from India, 5 from Burma, 6 from Italy, 3 from the United States of America, 2 from 
Belgium, 3 from England and 1 each from Greece, Cuba, Mauritius, Japan, France, Syria and Canada. There is Splendid variety in the distribution wherein 38 of the rememberers recalled life as persons belonging to the same sex as in the previous existence, 6 as those of ‘the opposite sex in relation to their past lives.

▪ Further explanations offered in respect of Tatsugoro from Japan, the case of Laura Rayand from Italy, the recalling of Shanti Devi from Delhi, Eduardo Espluguscobrera from Havana, Prabhu Khairati from Bharatpur (India), Robert from Belgium, Alexandrine Samana from Palermo Sicily, from the very core of Ian Stevenson's work.

▪ Part II of the book is specially devoted to the analytical treatment of the subject matter, primarily correlated to the evidence, in order to find out whether there are other possibilities for this recall (along with other possible explanations) such as fraud, racial memory, extra-sensory perception, precognition, retrocognition, possession from a surviving personality. 

▪ In another publication by Ian Stevenson in 1966, “Twenty cases suggestive of Reincarnation”, he deals with what are called ‘on the spot investigations’ of reported cases, analysed to their source, logical roots and findings. In detail he goes into the cases of Prakash, Jasbir, Sukula, Swarnalata, Ravi Shankar, Mallik, Pramod Sharma – all from India.

▪ There are case studies of Gunatillake H.A. Wijeratne, Rajith Makalanda from Sri Lanka, and cases of Martha, Paulo Lorenz from Brazil, Jimmy Stevenson, William George Jr, Charles Porter, Norman Despers, Henry Elkin, Derek Pajitnov and Corliss Botkin Jr are taken from South Eastern Alaska and quite a typical case of Imad Elawar from Lebanon.

▪ Ian Stevenson is of opinion that in evaluating memories of former incarnations, the problem consists in judging whether someone clearly living once died. If pursued with sufficient zeal, this may contribute decisively to the question of survival. 

▪ Dr. Ian Stevenson has in his recent writings brought out a lot of further details about reincarnation type in a set of three volumes wherein ten are taken from India (vol I), ten from Srilanka (Ceylon) (vol II), and ten cases from Lebanon and Turkey, (vol III). By the middle of the year 1982, he had come across as many as 1984 cases of actual instances of reincarnation, from different parts of the World. As on to-day there are more than 6000 cases in the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

▪ Now we will study the Investigation and Publication done on Reincarnation by researchers in India and outside India on Spontaneous recalling of rebirth memories in children. 

▪ Investigation and Publication done on Reincarnation by researchers in India & 
outside India on Spontaneous recalling of rebirth memories in children through Natural Ways 
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