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Friday, February 3, 2012

A Well-Known Case Of Rebirth—Shanti Devi

A sensational, sensational because so amazingly credible and true case of rebirth at Delhi, reported officially by a locally appointed committee consisting of enlightened, critical and competent men, was much publicised in leading Indian and foreign newspapers. Born on the 12th October, 1926, Shanti Devi, a little girl, who bore in her memory the most vivid and living pictures of the whole span of her past life beginning in the year 1902 and ending in the year 1925, began ever since she could speak, to recollect and narrate whenever the context and associations in daily life necessitated, the incidents, events and experiences in surprising detail of her past life at Mathura with her husband Pundit Kedar Nath Chaubey. Her unbelieving parents not only dismissed such graphic narrations of the past life, as though they were the jabber of a child, but fervently hoped that these recollections would efface themselves from the memory of the child as she grew. But, contrary to their expectation and hope, the child was insistent on recollecting more and yet more of her past life, and persisted in requesting her parents to take her to Mathura the city of her previous birth, where she desired to show the present parents, her old house and certain things in it which only an inmate who long lived in it could have so done.
At last, the child prevailed over the parents. A grand uncle of the girl was called; Shanti Devi gave him the address of her husband in previous life; inquiries were made; communication was sent to her husband Pundit Kedar Nath and surprisingly enough a response came from Pundit Kedar Nath of Mathura who in his letter, among other things, suggested to the inquiring party at Delhi, to contact a relation of his, Pundit Kanji Mal, who was employed in Messers. Bhana Mal Gulzari Mal of Delhi, and give him an interview with the child, Shanti Devi. No sooner Sri Kanji Mal was brought into her presence, she had not only recognised him to be the younger cousin of her husband but made most satisfactory response to the other question touching facts of an intimate nature.
Aroused to a fresh and active interest in efforts at probing into the facts of Shanti Devi’s narration of the events, facts and experiences of her past life, the parents, the party and Kanji Mal called Kedar Nath Chaubey to Delhi, from Mathura. When Pundit Kedar Nath Chaubey came to Delhi, with his ten-year old son, and his present wife, to see Shanti Devi, at the very first sight, Shanti Devi recognised her husband and felt greatly touched by the figure of her son, and began to shed tears. After a long interchange of thought and words between Shanti Devi and her alleged husband, who was greatly moved by the veracity of the recollections and the truth of her statements, Pundit Kedar Nath confirmed the fact that this was the same soul, viz., that of his first wife who had died at Mathura, and stated that her narration of the details in each of their particulars was true. This made the parents grant the repeated request that the girl Shanti Devi made many a time during the past few years, to go to Mathura, which the girl now reiterated with greater force as a result of the present meeting with her husband of previous life. Shanti Devi not only gave out the colour of the house at Mathura, named the roads and streets leading to that house, described the Visram Ghat, the temple of Dwarkadish, but stated certain things which only the former wife of Pundit Kedar Nath could alone have known. She also said that she had hidden “underground” in the upper-storey room of the house at Mathura, some money, a hundred rupees from which she had vowed to give to the temple of Dwarakadhish. Upon the grant of this request and wish of Shanti Devi to go to Mathura, the persuasion of the investigating committee was exerted; and the party with the committee, parents and Shanti Devi, left for Mathura. As the train steamed into the Mathura station, Shanti Devi shouted in joy, “Mathura has come”, “Mathura has come”, and when she got down from the train, identifying in the crowd an elderly man wearing a typical Mathura dress, whom she had never met before, she came down from the arms of Deshbandhu Gupta where she was, and instinctively touched the feet of the old man stating that he was the elder brother of her husband named Babu Ram Chaubey. This fact when found to be true, was but only one among the many surprises that Shanti Devi held for the admiration and awe for her witnesses. She had not only led the way to the house at Mathura, from the Railway station, but went on giving certain interesting facts as that there was on that particular road no tar earlier, and when once in the house of her description, she had successfully passed every test that the inquiring gentleman put to her. When she was taken to the Dharmasala at Mathura, she identified the ‘brother’ of her previous birth, now in twenties, and recognised her ‘uncle-in-law’. At every step the truth of her past narrations which were dismissed as so much of a child’s jabberings were proved true beyond doubt. When in the house of her description, she entered its courtyard and felt dismayed at the absence of the well that was then during her previous incarnation there, noting which her husband Pundit Kedar Nath lifted up the stone covering the wall-less well and showed her the well. And going upstairs, she dug up the hole where she had hidden her money, and to her uneasiness the money was not there, as it was, as Pundit Kedar Nath confessed that he had taken it from there, after the death of his former wife, now the girl Shanti Devi. After this when she was taken to her parents’ house, she recognised them, and both the girl and the parents sank into continued sobs; it was with great difficulty that the girl was weaned away from the parents of her previous birth, and taken to the Visram Ghat where she unfolded many more surprises to the investigating committee and to others by the display of the contents of the memories of her previous life. Such instances as these are not uncommon in India. There was also another case of a girl who recognised her parents of her previous birth, and when a similar process of investigation was conducted, and her narrations found true, the parents of the girl in her previous life, who were rich began to support her, and give her decent education, as the later parents were poor. It is ridiculous to presume that rebirth is untrue when one has not taken pains to pursue the results of the investigations that have been conducted.

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