Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi has been reincarnated as Van Jones, the celebrated American civil rights and environmental activist who was named Time magazine's "environmental hero" in the US in 2008?
"Objective evidence that forms the basis of past life studies prove that Jones is the reincarnation of Gandhi," world's leading past life researcher and best-selling author from the US Walter Semkiw told IANS in an interview.
Jones' facial bone structure and features are the same as that of Gandhi's, Semkiw said.
"His manners and body language are also similar to that of the Indian freedom fighter and he does the same things Gandhi did in Africa during the 1930s - campaign for civil rights. Like Gandhi, who was named Time magazine man of the year in 1930, Jones figured in Time's list of most influential men in 2008 and in several other magazines," the researcher said.
Semkiw, the San Francisco-based author, reincarnation specialist and medical practitioner, who stormed the best-sellers' list in India with his book Born Again in 2006 that shed light on the past lives of Indian celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and former president APJ Abdul Kalam is back with his second book, Origin of the Soul: And the Purpose of Reincarnation.
The book was released by the writer at the Landmark, a retail store, in Delhi's suburb Gurgaon.
"It takes a deeper look into the theory of reincarnation and answers some long-standing questions like where do you come from? Why are we living this physical existence? And where are we going? It's about the evidence of our past lives in our brains," Semkiw said.
The writer, who practises medicine in San Francisco, graduated in medicine from the University of Illinois in Chicago and trained in psychiatry at the University of Colorado in Denver.
He has been researching the topic of past lives since 1996.
"I pursue past lives as a scientist based on objective evidence like common personality traits between reincarnations, memories, similarities in facial features, events, patterns in life and writing styles that most people carry over lifetimes. They rarely change down the births," Semkiw said.
Most of Semkiw's findings are based on independent research involving extensive library work and interviews with celebrities whose pasts Semkiw likes to probe. Semkiw says he also has sessions with a famous spirit medium, Kevin Ryerson who guides him to a master spirit called Athun Re, an Egyptian high priest, who, according to the doctor, has not been "reincarnated for the past 3,000 years".
The "master priest" usually makes the "past lives matches instructing Semkiw where to look for possible reincarnations".
The sessions are followed by research and the matching of physical evidence, the doctor said.
"Some of my famous case studies include those of the prodigy and holocaust victim Anne Frank (of the Diary of Anne Frank fame), who has been reincarnated as Barbro Karlen, a Swedish Christian, US President Barack Husain Obama, who was Lyman Trumbull, a Senator in Abraham Lincoln's government," Semkiw said.
Semkiw has interesting revelations about Indian celebrities as well.
Amitabh Bachchan, revealed the doctor, is the reincarnation of famous American actor Edward Booth and "displays all his characteristics", while former president APJ Abdul Kalam is the present-day avatar of Tipu Sultan, the first Indian ruler to have used rockets in battles.
"Shah Rukh Khan is the reincarnation of yester year Hindu actress-singer and dancer Sadhana Bose. Social worker Annie Besant has been born as Maneka Gandhi...."
"My interest in investigating past life is academic," said the researcher.
The writer, who claims to be the reincarnation of American president John Adams, started researching past life as a "spirit told him when he was studying medicine that he had a past life".
"Initially, I did not believe it. But after 12 years, I started researching," Semkiw said.