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


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Among those who met Parmod at the railway station was Parmanand's cousin, Sri Karam Chand Mehra, who had been quite close to Parmanand. Parmod threw his arms around him weeping, calling him "older brother" and saying, "I am Parmanand." (It is common for Indians to call a cousin "brother" if the relationship is a close one, as was the case for Parmanand and Karam.) Parmod then proceeded to find his way to the "Mohan Brothers" shop on his own, giving instructions to the driver of the carriage which brought them from the station. Entering the shop, he complained that "his" special seat had been changed. (It is customary in India for the owner of a business to have an enclosed seat--a gaddi--located near the front of the store where he can greet customers and direct business.) The location of Parmanand's gaddi had in fact been changed some time after his death. Once inside Parmod asked, "Who is looking after the bakery and soda water factory?" This had been Parmanand's responsibility. The complicated machine which manufactured the soda water had been secretly disabled in order to test Parmod. When shown it, however, Parmod knew exactly how it worked. Without any assistance, he located the disconnected hose and gave instructions in its repair.

Later at Parmanand's home, Parmod recognized the room where Parmanand had slept and commented on a room screen that he correctly observed had not been there in Parmanand's day. He also identified a particular cupboard that Parmanand had kept his things in as well as a special low table which had also been his. "This is the one I used to use for my meals," he said. When Parmanand's mother entered the room, he immediately recognized her and addressed her as "Mother" before anyone else present was able to say anything. He also correctly identified Parmanand's wife, acting somewhat embarrassed in front of her. She was, after all, a full grown woman and he was only five, though apparently possessing at least some of the feelings of an adult husband. When they were alone he said to her, "I have come but you have not fixed bindi," referring to the red dot worn on the forehead by Hindu wives. He also reproached her for wearing a white sari, the appropriate dress for a Hindu widow, instead of the colored sari worn by wives.

Parmod correctly recognized Parmanand's daughter and the one son who was at the house when he had arrived. When Parmanand's youngest son who had been at school showed up later, Parmod correctly identified him as well, using his familiar name, Gordhan. In their conversation Parmod would not allow the older Gordhan to address him by his first name but insisted that he call him "father." "I have only become small," he said. During this visit Parmod also correctly identified one of Parmanand's brothers and a nephew.

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