Is Reincarnation Real? The Case of Parmod Sharma

The remarkable case of a 5-year-old boy who recalled detailed events from an Indian man's life, as documented by Ian Stevenson.

BY: Christopher Bache

Reprinted from Life Cycles: Reincarnation and the Web of Life with permission of the author.

Parmod Sharma was born on October 11, 1944, in Bisauli, India. When Parmod was about two and a half, he began telling his mother not to cook his meals for him any longer because he had a wife in Moradabad who could cook. Moradabad was a town about a ninety miles northeast of Bisauli. Between the ages of three and four, he began to speak in detail of his life there. He described several businesses he had owned and operated with other members of his family. He particularly spoke of a shop that manufactured and sold biscuits (cookies) and soda water, calling it "Mohan Brothers." He insisted that he was one of the "Mohan Brothers" and that he also had a business in Saharanpur, a town about a hundred miles north of Moradabad.

Parmod tended not to play with the other children in Bisauli but preferred to play by himself, building models of shops complete with electrical wiring. He especially liked to make mud biscuits which he served his family with tea or soda water. During this time he provided many details about his shop including its size and location in Moradabad, what was sold there, and his activities connected to it, such as his business trips to Delhi. He even complained to his parents about the less prosperous financial condition of their home compared to what he was used to as a successful merchant.

Parmod had a strong distaste for curd, which is quite unusual for an Indian child, and on one occasion even advised his father against eating it, saying that it was dangerous. Parmod said that in his other life he had become seriously ill after eating too much curd one day. He had an equally strong dislike for being submerged in water, which might relate to his report that he had previously "died in a bathtub." Parmod said that he had been married and had five children--four sons and one daughter. He was anxious to see his family again and frequently begged his parents to take him to back Moradabad to visit them. His family always refused his request, though his mother did get him to begin school by promising to take him to Moradabad when he had learned to read.

Parmod's parents never investigated or tried to verify their son's claims, perhaps because of the Indian folk custom that children who remembered a previous life were fated to die early. News of Parmod's statements, however, eventually reached the ears of a family in Moradabad named Mehra which fit many of the details of his story. The brothers of this family owned several businesses in Moradabad including a biscuit and soda water shop named "Mohan Brothers." The shop had been started and managed by Parmanand Mehra until his untimely death on May 9, 1943, eighteen months before Parmod was born. Parmanand had gorged himself on curd, one of his favorite foods, at a wedding feast, and had subsequently developed a chronic gastrointestinal illness followed later by appendicitis and peritonitis from which he died. Two or three days before his death, he had insisted, against his family's advice, on eating more curd saying that he might not have another chance to enjoy it. Parmanand had blamed his illness and impending death on overeating curd. As part of his therapy during his appendicitis, Parmanand had tried a series of naturopathic bath treatments. While he had not in fact died in a bathtub, he had been given a bath immediately prior to his death. Parmanand left a widow and five children--four sons and one daughter.

In the summer of 1949, the Mehra family decided to make the trip to Bisauli to meet Parmod, who was a little under five years old at the time. When they arrived, however, Parmod was away with his family and no contact was made. Shortly thereafter, Parmod's father responded to an invitation from the Mehra family and took him to Moradabad to explore his son's compelling remembrances first hand.

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