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Is Reincarnation Possible ? The Story of Munna And Shankar

Reincarnation

In India, reincarnation is considered an indisputable fact and without a shadow of a doubt possible. However, even Buddhists are surprised that some can keep the memory of their "previous lives". Several cases have been recorded and studied by scientists; one of the most disturbing is that of Shankar.

A mysterious birthmark

On January 19, 1951, Munna, a 6-year-old boy, played outside his father's hairdresser shop in Kannauj, a city in northern India. Two strangers appear. Without being noticed, they kidnap the child. When his father, Sri Jageshwar Prasad, notices Munna's absence, he worries and has his child searched. A few hours later, the little corpse is found throat slit by the edge of a river. Two men are quickly arrested. One of them confesses to the murder and then retracts. No formal proof of their guilt can be established. The police must release them. Munna's family is distraught, her mother suffers from serious nervous disorders.

Six months after Munna's death, a little boy named Shankar, son of Sri Babu Ram Cupta, was born in another area of ​​Kannauj. From the first words, the child exhibits strange behavior. At 2 years old, he talks about his “other house”, in which he would like to return. He wants to see his "other parents" and keeps asking for toys, which he describes very precisely, and which he never had. Sometimes Shankar is seized with great fears. He tells how in his "other life" two men had his throat cut. Since his birth, the boy has under his chin, crossing the entire width of the neck, a mysterious mark that looks like a long scar.

Disturbing details

In 1954, Shankar’s story toured the city. On several occasions, he recounts "his" murder and gives details which have never been known to the public, but which correspond to the confession of the accused, who then withdrew. Jageshwar wants to meet Shankar, but his father, Babu Ram, opposes it. The story begins to worry him, he fears that his son will be taken from him. Jageshwar insists. On July 30, 1955, he managed to meet Shankar and his mother. The child, who has just turned four, recognizes Jageshwar and throws himself in his arms.

As early as 1956, Professor Atreva, from Benares, became interested in the case of Shankar, which provided details on the life of Munna that only his family could know, and his accounts of the murder never varied. Babu Ram, unhappy with all the noise, beat his son and forbade him to talk about his “old life”. Jageshwar, who no longer doubts that Shankar and Munna are one, is trying to reopen the trial of the alleged murderers. Indian justice refuses this strange “testimony of the victim”.

A rigged case ?

From 1956 to 1965, the case was studied not only by Professor Atreva, but also by Dr. Jamuna Prasad and the American researcher Ian Stevenson. They are trying to determine if manipulation is possible.

First hypothesis, families are accomplices. For which motive ? Neither of them derives any financial profit from the affair. Would Jageshwar see this as a way to convict the murderers of his son, by instilling false memories in Shankar? Unlikely. It is, moreover, almost impossible to teach a child of this age so perfectly a lesson: over the years, Shankar never contradicts himself in his stories. Finally, Babu Ram is constantly hostile to his son's statements.

Second hypothesis, Shankar is a mythomaniac child. But in this case, it is simply impossible that he could have known so many details about Munna's life.

No “logical and rational” hypothesis

The hypothesis of cryptomnesia, “hidden memory”, can be considered. This theory calls upon psychoanalysis. From a very young age, the child could have unconsciously recorded conversations of his parents relating to the murder of Munna, he would have identified himself with the boy and, naturally, would have told “his story” while growing up. But, once again, the same objection returns: how could he in this case have brought up details that even his parents were unaware of? And how do you explain a birthmark so close to Munna's scar? It must therefore be admitted that no “logical and rational” hypothesis can be applied to the Munna-Shankar case.

For some, the key to the enigma is found in telepathy: Shankar, for reasons that are unknown, has unconsciously been in contact with Munna's mother, a person with disturbed mental balance. Without realizing it, he was the victim of this projection. But, for a majority of Indians, the real solution is both more disturbing and more banal: Shankar is quite simply the reincarnation of Munna.