Everyone wonders what happens after death. It is a mystery for every living creature on this planet; so is the concept of reincarnation. It remains a powerful belief today. Indeed, there are many stories across the globe where people claim that they are reincarnated and are aware of what happened in their past life. The story of Shanti Devi was one amongst them.
Shanti Devi was born in India on 11th December 1926. She was just four years old when she started to claim that the home she was in wasn’t her real home. She also said that her parents weren’t real as well! Soon, she understood that she could remember her past life. This case got a very thorough investigation, and hundreds of researchers and scholars took part in it during the mid-1930s.
This story changed the way science looked at reincarnation. The claims and stories shared by Shanti Devi about her past life dangled an intriguing possibility: could people remember their past lives?
Shanti Devi’s Reincarnation Claims
Back in her school days, Shanti Devi claimed that she was married in her past life, and also had a son. She also claimed that her husband lived in Mathura. Later, the headmaster did some research to find a merchant in Mathura whose wife died nine years earlier. The name of the merchant’s wife was Lugdi Devi, and she died after giving birth to a boy.
Shanti Devi also claimed that she died ten days after giving birth to her child. She remembered her husband’s name and stated that he used to wear reading glasses and had a wart on his left cheek. His husband’s name was Kedar Nath. An arrangement was made for a meeting of Shanti Devi, Kedar Nath, and their son.
Pandit Kanjimal made this arrangement, and Kedar Nath came along with his son. He presented himself as the elder brother of Kedar Nath to see if Shanti Devi was telling the truth. Shanti Devi didn’t fall for the trick and recognized him immediately. She also recognized her past-life son, Navneet Lal.
To prove her claims, she told them everything that she remembered about her past life, up until she was on death bed. She talked about the complicated surgeries she had to go through after her child’s birth. The researchers were quite stunned upon hearing such precise descriptions from a little girl about her past life. It was difficult for them to believe the fact that how a little girl is aware of the complicated surgery and medical procedures.
Before the meeting ended, Kedar Nath wanted to talk to Shanti Devi alone to discuss a few things to see if she really was his dead wife reincarnated into a different body. After that lone meeting, Kedar Nath confirmed that she really was his wife, Lugdi Bai. It is because there were many personal things that she mentioned to Kedar Nath while they were alone, which no one else but Lugdi Bai knew.
Mahatma Gandhi Supported the Claims of Shanti Devi
Soon this case became a sensation throughout the country, and it was brought to the knowledge of Mahatma Gandhi. He set up a commission to investigate the matter. Gandhi took charge and appointed 15 people including members of the media, national leaders, and parliamentarians to look into this case.
These 15 people took Shanti Devi with them to Mathura. At the Mathura station, Shanti Devi was presented to a stranger and asked if she could recognize the person. She immediately touched the feet of that person and recognized him as the elder brother of Kedar Nath.
When they reached her past-life home in Mathura, she didn’t take a second to recognize her father-in-law within the crowd. People were stunned to see that! She also said that in her past life, she buried some money in a specific location in her Mathura house.
Shanti Devi guided people to that spot, where there was a flower-pot. People searched, but ultimately found no money. Yet Shanti Devi insisted that she did keep money there in her past life.
Kedar Nath, her past-life husband, confessed that he took that money after her death. And with all of these facts, her claims were considered to be proved. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the leading authority of the reincarnation investigation, said that Shanti Devi made around twenty-four statements of her memories that were an exact match to that of the verified facts. After interviewing all of the participants, the report in 1936 stated that she was indeed the reincarnation of Lugdi Bai!
Many people saw this as confirmation of their religious beliefs, while some were still not ready to believe, despite its apparent credibility. Shanti Devi’s current parents earlier denied the claims of Shanti Devi by assuming it was childish acting on her part. But later in life, with all of the evidence, it was clear that Shanti Devi was not lying at all! As far as the researchers were concerned, she was able to recall enough memories to prove her claims. The researchers judged her only upon twenty-four statements, but for them, that was enough!
Getting twenty-four statements right at a small age isn’t something that can be planned. It is difficult for a girl of such a small age to remember so many details about names, faces, and past memories. Even today, this case is considered a very convincing validation of belief in reincarnation.
Top image: Shanti Devi was able to convince independent observes that she had been reincarnated. Source: vrx123 / Adobe Stock
By Bipin Dimri