Past LivesReincarnation Story

The following case study is taken from Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives by Jim Tucker. These cases are an impressive overview of stories from all over the world, and provide insight into and proof of the existence of past lives.

Kumkum Verma: Reincarnation

Kumkum Verma, a girl from in India, began talking about a previous life at the age of three-and-a-half. She said that she had lived in Darbhanga, a city of 200,000 people that was twenty-five miles away from her village, and that Urdu Bazar was the name of the section of the city where she had been. Her father, an educated man who was a landowner, homeopathic physician, and author, did not know anyone in Urdu Bazar, a commercial district where small businessmen, artisans, and craftsmen lived.

Kumkum asked her family to call her Sunnary, which means beautiful, and made many statements about the previous life. Her aunt made notes of some of them six months before anyone tried to identify the previous personality. Dr. Stevenson, who met Kumkum’s family when she was nine years old, obtained an English translation of extracts of the notes, but he was unable to get the complete notebook, because it had been lost after being loaned to someone. The extracts listed eighteen statements that Kumkum made that all proved to be correct for the previous personality, including the name of Urdu Bazar, her son’s name and the fact that he worked with a hammer, her grandson’s name, the name of the town where her father lived, the location of his home near mango orchards, and the presence of a pond at her house. She had correctly stated that she had an iron safe at her house, a sword hanging near her cot, and a snake near the safe to which she fed milk.

Kumkum’s father eventually talked about her statements to a friend who lived in Darbhanga. That friend had an employee from the Urdu Bazar section of the city, who was able to identify the previous personality, Sunnary or Sundari Mistry, whom Kumkum seemed to be describing. The previous personality’s family belonged to a relatively low artisan class and would have been quite unlikely to have social contact with a family with the education and social status of Dr. Verma’s family. In fact, they had little contact even after the case developed. The previous personality’s grandson visited Kumkum’s family twice. Dr. Verma went to Urdu Bazar once to meet the previous personality’s family, but he never allowed Kumkum to go. Apparently he was not proud of his daughter’s claim to have been a blacksmith’s wife in her previous life.

One interesting note is that Kumkum said that she died during an altercation and that her stepson’s wife had poisoned her. Sundari, who died quite unexpectedly five years before Kumkum was born, was preparing to be a witness for her son in his suit against her second husband, involving the son’s belief that his stepfather had misappropriated his deceased father’s money, when she died. No autopsy was performed, and Kumkum’s statement that she was poisoned remained unverified.

Also of note is that Kumkum spoke with an accent different from that of her family. The family associated it with the lower classes of Darbhanga and reported that in addition, Kumkum used some unusual expressions that seemed related to them as well.

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