Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reincarnation - Myth or Reality

Reincarnation is an ancient belief not only in India but also in ancient Greece and in early Christianity. The research of Dr. Ian Stevenson is one of the most respected and well known collection of scientific data to prove that reincarnation is real. Dr. Stevenson used to collect data of children who spontaneously remember a past life. He recorded their statements and verified the facts of the departed individual which rules out all possible "normal" explanations for the child’s memories. Professor N.K. Chadha of Delhi University worked together with Dr. Ian Stevenson in India during 1990's.

Dr. Ian Stevenson, MD, who died in 2007, served as Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine.

Prof. N. K. Chadha, Ph.D. (Delhi University) and Post-Doctorate (University of Virginia, USA), is a professor of psychology at University of Delhi and Head, Department of Adult Continuing Education and Extension, University of Delhi.

The most interesting of all the cases examined by Professor Chadha is that of Titu Singh. It is one of the most fascinating cases of double birthmarks, and made its appearance in a London-based magazine, Reincarnation International. BBC was the first to broadcast this story in a news program Forty Minutes in 1990. Titu was born in a village of Bad, nine miles from Agra in December 1983. He began speaking at the age of one and half, sooner than his five siblings. From the age of two and half years, he started claiming that his name was Suresh Verma and he was the owner of an electronics shop in Agra which specialized in radio and TV. He asserted that Uma Verma was his wife and they had two children. From early on he demanded “Tell my grandfather to look after my children and my wife. I am having my meals here and am worried about them.” When his mother asked who he was, he replied that he was from Agra.

Reincarnation of a soul from an old body to a new one

He recalled about his death in great detail in which he was shot in his head a late evening when he returned home in his Fiat from work. As usual, he blew the horn so that his wife Uma would open the gate but all of a sudden two men appeared running dangerously towards him. They open fired at him, in which one of the bullets hit him in his head which resulted in his death. He was cremated and his ashes immersed in a river. Titu was often aggressive towards his parents and did not believe in them. He used to say that his mother would not wear such old sarees and often got frustrated and threw plates and utensils around. He stubbornly maintained that his real parents lived in Agra. He said that their house was dirty and he did not want to stay. He also said that his house was very big. He normally refused to travel on foot or a bus, and said that he used to travel in his car. Initially his parents did not take him seriously (as most of the normal parents would do) but his activities often perplexed them. He often behaved as if he was not a part of the family.

Suresh Radios - TV and Radio shop in Sadar Bazaar, Agra

As he grew older, Titu used cry almost everyday saying that he was homesick and wanted to go home back to Agra. Gradually he became more and more insistent and one day he packed his clothes and threatened to leave home. Slowly he began providing more information about his previous live. He said that he had a shop in Sadar Bazaar in Agra and named one of his brother (Raja Babu) and sister (Susheela). He was upset that his father used to go to Agra to teach Chemistry at a college but he never took him to visit his home. He once told his elder brother and a friend that he was a smuggler and owned a shop of transistor and radios named Suresh Radios. During a stay in Agra, his elder brother with his friend decided to verify his claims. He was shocked to find a TV, radio shop named Suresh Radios in the Sadar Bazaar run by a widow named Uma Verma. They spoke to her and learned that her husband Suresh Verma, who used to be a noted smuggler and the owner of the shop was murdered on August 28, 1983 in exactly the same manner as described by Titu. He was speechless. He then described how his younger brother claimed to be Suresh Verma, her deceased husband. He told her everything that Titu used to tell in his home.

Titu Singh who still remembers his past life.

Uma was very curious to meet the boy who claimed to be her deceased husband. She informed about the incident to rest of the family. They decided to pay an unannounced visit to Titu's home to verify the claim. Uma along with Suresh's parents and his three brothers left for the village in April 1987. Titu immediately recognized his parents, his wife and his brothers and was so happy that he ran up to them and hugged them all. He then drummed on a stool with his hands as an expression of joy in the same was as Suresh used to do in his childhood. Titu then asked Uma to sit close to him and asked about the children. Then he surprised the widow by narrating the details of a trip to Dolpur to a fair with their two children where Suresh had bought some sweets for her. Before they left, Titu observed that they had come in a different car as his car was white. Although he had not seen a car before, he played the audio system in the car and successfully drove it for a short distance with the help of his previous life brother Raja Babu who handled the brake and clutch pedal. He became furious when he realized that they were not taking him to Agra. He threw his shoes at his mother saying that he was not hers and she was not his mother. When his father tried to take him away from his former family, he resisted very strongly tearing his shirt. He hugged to Chanda Singh, Suresh Verma's father, who then persuaded him that he will visit him again. It was then decided to take Titu to Agra with his parent's permission to confirm the memories of his past life.

Titu Singh standing in front of Suresh Radio in Sadar Bazaar, Agra

When they reached Agra, arrangements were made for Suresh's children to play among neighborhood children. Titu recognized Suresh's children and singled them out from the rest. Then in an attempt to show the radio shop, Suresh's brothers tried to mislead him on purpose but the four year old could not be fooled. He shouted “Stop! This is where my shop is!” when they were approaching the shop in the fast moving vehicle. He also identified modifications in the shop made after Suresh's death. After identification of several things, finally Suresh's family was convinced that he was a reincarnation of Suresh reborn as Titu.

Titu Singh with his mother and Uma

Titu's family has a mixed feeling about his relationship with his former family. His mother do not mind him talking about his former family. But his father worries that he might go to live with his former family once he grows older. Suresh's parents are certain that Titu is their Suresh reincarnated. He greets them with affection. Once he came across a former nanny who thought him to be one of Uma's sons. Titu got annoyed at her saying “Don't you know who I am?”.

Titu Singh with his mother and Uma

Titu accurately described how Suresh was shot by two men in his head in late evening while he was sitting in his Fiat. He had just arrived home from work and was waiting for his wife to open the gate. This fact was confirmed by Uma. Autopsy report of Suresh confirmed that he was shot in his head and died of the bullet wound in his right temple. The autopsy showed the exact size and location of the wound and also the exit wound on other side of his head. Titu has a round dent on his head from birth which coincides exactly with the entry location of the bullet. He also has a second birthmark on his head (a star shaped scar) which coincides with the exit location of the bullet.

A dent on right temple of Titu Singh which is believed to be the spot where Suresh Verma was hit by a bullet.

Titu later remembered the name of his murderers. A businessman named Sedick Johaadien was the one who fired the bullets at him. When Agra police questioned the man, he confessed to the murder. Titu narrated the details of the crime to an Agra court and the court was convinced that he really is the reincarnation of the deceased Suresh Verma.

This is one of the best documented cases of apparent reincarnation because of the involvement of the police. Titu Singh's emotional outcome to apparently finding himself in a child's body with memories of his past adult life provides a powerful testimony to the intense feeling experienced by many young children in such conditions. Antonia Mills, an associate of Dr. Ian Stevenson has done a detailed case study on this case in her papers – A Replication Study: Three Cases of Children in Northern India Who Are Said to Remember a Previous Life.

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