Cases of reincarnation in Thailand
Many Thai children bring with them more than a bundle of joy, they also carry the memories of their past lives, an established Buddhist belief especially in rural areas.
Like all children, Nopporn Jairaew was born innocent, at least until the two-year-old revealed to his parents that in his previous life he was shot after breaking into the home of a neighbor. At first, his parents refused to believe the boy, who even insisted that his name in that life was Teep, but they did not want to confront this bad “karma“, this is the compensation or penalties that everyone receives caused by their good and bad deeds in previous lives.
“To test whether Nopporn was really the reincarnation of Teep, we took him to the doctor. Then, we discovered that he had three birthmarks in the same places where Teep had received the shots, in the jaw and head,” said his mother, Po Jairaew.
The child, who did not want to tell who killed Teep, finally visited his parents of his previous life, now old people and with gray hair who lived nearby and who received him as if he were his own son. Nopporn’s story, now 22, was received with absolute normality in Khao Takro, a small village located between rice fields in the Thai province of Nakhon Sawan, about 250 kilometers north of Bangkok. Let’s dive into more cases of reincarnation.
In 2006, another neighbor called Monkhol Jaikaew died from lightning while conducting his work in the field and at the funeral, his relatives made a mark on his forehead and chest to be able to recognize him if he was reborn. A few years later, the parents of the peasant struck by lightning were visited by a mother and son, Bom, who claimed to be the reborn version of Monkhol.
“He stopped me on the street and invited me to lunch, he asked me about the dogs he had before he died,” told with undisguised satisfaction Monkhol’s father, Arun Jaikaew. “Remembering past lives is normal,” he says, holding the portrait of his deceased son in front of his home, a modest wooden shack with a small garden where chicken scurry.
Arun and his wife, now ill, consider themselves fortunate to be able to see their child, even if born in a six year old, which is Bom. According to locals, these children usually only recall their past lives until the ages of seven or eight years, and then gradually lose the memories until they completely forget. There are many cases of reincarnation like these, but many of them go unnoticed by the families.
That is what happened to Moowan, who in her early years revealed to her neighbor as her reborn grandmother and told her personal details about the deceased relative, such as where she kept her clothes and even details of their properties.
Buddhists prefer to say “rebirth” to “reincarnation” because they do not believe in the existence of soul.
The influx of cases of children who claim to remember past lives in Thailand attracted between 1970 and 1980 the attention of American psychiatrist Ian Stevenson, who toured the country several times to catalog evidence. The psychiatrist, who died in the United States in 2007, collected about 3,000 suspected cases of reincarnation or rebirth in several continents and dedicated a book to cases that were documented in Thailand and Burma, “Twelve Cases in Thailand and Burma”.
Stevenson, who with only 38 years of age became the head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia (USA), considered the reincarnation or rebirth as the “most plausible explanation” for many of the cases studied. In his view, many physiological problems were explained by past lives, such as the water phobia who affects people who in their past lives have drowned.
The psychiatrist work was at first met with skepticism and rejection by many of his colleagues, but his tenacity and a grant from the inventor of the copier, Chester Carlson, allowed him to create in 1967 the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, perhaps the first parapsychology department in the world. A year before his death, Stevenson wrote an article entitled “Half a career with the paranormal” in which he urged his colleagues to continue investigating this field regardless of the misunderstandings that also suffered in his day scientists like Galileo, Wegener or Jenner.
Read also: Reincarnation Studies And What They Found
Cases of reincarnation: Psychology of children who remember past lives
Is there any scientific evidence to certify the authenticity of reincarnation? Some studies have shown that certain psychological factors may explain why some children claim to remember a previous life. Researchers like Ian Stevenson, Erlendur Haraldsson, Hernán Andrade Guimaraes, Hamendra Nat Banerjee. All of them have traveled the world trying to find these exceptional cases.
Researchers agree that there are two factors that frankly suggest cases of reincarnation, and can help understand the origin of the experiences of children who claim to remember previous lives:
1. Psychological Factors: this refers to children who naturally and spontaneously (without hypnosis), claim to remember past lives and are able to determine who and how they were identifying places, people and things that belonged to their “previous life”. It also refers to the exact correspondence of the same desires, emotions, interests of the personalities who they claim to be. But it also refers to the manifestation of a genuineness in the previous personality that are experiencing; they are not in any way pretending. They can feel being them.
2. Physical factors: this refers to strange birthmarks or birth defects that appear to be fatal wounds and legacy of another life and begin to occur during the development of the embryo that will form the new physical body, long before the child is born.
Most researchers also agree that there are two theories of psychic nature, that can explain cases of reincarnation:
1. Super-Psi theory: It states that there is no such reincarnation, but exists in these children, a Super-Psi capacity; that is, that most of these children can obtain information via Extrasensorial means about the lives of these dead people, (either by telepathy or clairvoyance).
2. The theory of reincarnation (or hypothesis reincarnation). It argues that statements and expressions of children who claim to remember a previous life, are true and have their origins precisely in reincarnation. This means that they are in fact experiencing the memory of a previous life.
In most cases, the research methodology involves traveling to the scene and directly investigating the person and everyone involved. For example, Erlendur Haraldsson, a renowned parapsychologist from the University of Iceland, traveled numerous times to India and Sri Lanka to study the cases of 30 children, between 7 and 13 years, who from an early age, claimed to remember a past life.
He also conducted the same study on a group of normal children (control group). Those who claimed to remember their past lives, showed a high level of psychological functioning; for example, they performed much better in school, made a good use of vocabulary and obtained better scores on intelligence tests. They also had more memory, but were no more suggestible than the other children. Their parents saw them as perfectionists and careful in their personal cleanliness, and teachers considered them excellent students.
Verifiability of these cases of reincarnation
The first studies were carried out by Hamendra Nat Banerjee in India, in the late 50s. The impressive results of these studies led Dr. Ian Stevenson to visit the Asian country to conduct similar studies. Years later, Stevenson visited Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina. Among its more than 2,500 documented cases, he selected those considered most probative and exposed them in his book, “Twenty cases suggestive of reincarnation”. Other researchers such as Hernani Guimaraes Andrade, Director of the Institute for Research Psicobiofísicas in Sao Paulo (Brazil), have conducted numerous similar studies.
Read also: 15 Questions About Reincarnation Answered
Surprising cases of reincarnation
The Thusita Silva case
Among the cases studied by Haraldsson, he highlights one in particular himself: “The Silva Thusita case is especially interesting because their descriptions were collected before anyone could find out who they belonged to”. Thusita was born in 1982 in the southwest of Sri Lanka, but moved to Panadera (about 29 kilometers south of Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka) when her father died.
At the age of two, Thusita started speaking of a former life in the town of Akuressa. She said she had fallen from a suspension bridge into the river and had drowned. She said she was a married woman and that at the time of her death she was pregnant. She described many other details concerning that life and belongings such as a yellow bicycle. She also said to have worked in a hospital. Thusita’s mother said that her daughter was suffering from an atypical phobia of bridges.
Thusita’s family had no contact with anyone from Akuressa despite her brother traveled there trying to find data that corresponded with the statements made by the girl. The only similarity he could find was the life of a woman named Chandra Nanayakkara who had died after falling from a bridge but could not find any members of her family.
Haraldsson and one of his assistants traveled to Akuressa and managed to find Chandra’s relatives who lived near that bridge. According to what was told by that who had been Chandra’s husband, she had stepped on a broken plank and fell from the bridge, then she was dragged by the current.
He had tried to help her and almost died trying to rescue her. Days later they found her body. Indeed, Chandra was seven months pregnant. It is interesting that this is the only suspension bridge in the whole area.
Other significant details and many matches were collected, along with some errors, although minimal. For example, the girl (Thusita) said she had a yellow bicycle, however it turned out that Chandra’s was black and that her husband was a bus driver, not a postman as the girl remembered.
Despite the efforts by carrying Haraldsson to take Thusita to recognize the places where Chandra had lived, her brother refused and they had to drop the investigation.
Diluksh Nissanka’s case of reincarnation
Dilukshi Nissanka was born on October 4, 1984, she was an only child and lived with her parents in Rukmalie (Sri Lanka). Dilukshi started talking about a past life when she was three. Her previous name was Shiromi, she lived in Peravatte and had died drowned in a river. To the dismay of her parents, she refused to call them father and mother and asked them repeatedly to take her to see her “old mother”. Even under threat her parents tried to make her forget about it. But she did not.
Three years later, the family contacted, through a friend, a monk of the temple of Dambulla, one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka. The monk asked them to send him a list of the statements made by the girl and he started researching in and around Dambulla, but could not find anyone to coincide with the features described by the child. Later he got in touch with a journalist, H. W. Abeypala, who was interested in the case.
The reporter interviewed the parents of Dilukshi and their testimony was published in the Sinhalese and English editions of the Weekend Magazine. A man named Dharmadasa Ranatunga read the article and wrote a letter to the parents of the girl. Days later, everyone gathered six kilometers and a half from the town of Dambulla, where this man lived with his wife. Soon, the couple accepted Diluksh as her deceased daughter, after checking that the girl remembered many details of the life in that house, she recognized objects and was able to recount events that nobody else could have known at all.
Duminda Ratnayake’s reincarnation case
Buddhist parents, Duminda was three when, in 1987, he began talking about a previous life as an abbot at the Asgiriya Temple. Often, the child expressed a great interest in visiting this temple. In 1988, Haraldsson interviewed some key witnesses of the child’s statements, namely monks of that temple. Duminda claimed to have lived there, have owned a red car and had died of a heart attack in the hospital.
The child showed some unusual behavior for his age. He liked to dress in monk’s robes, asked to be called “podi” (little monk), attended the Buddhist shrine in the morning and in the evening, visited the temple regularly, did not play with other children and recited songs and Buddhist prayers in religious language (Pali) that he could not have ever heard since it is only spoken between monks and requires many years of study. Finally, Duminda’s parents took him to the Asgiriya temple. The child suffered such emotional impact that his parents decided to leave him there.
This concludes our article on cases of reincarnation from the modern day. Keep reading this website to learn more about reincarnation and the afterlife.