Dr Satwant K Pasricha, a NIMHANS Professor of Clinical Psychology is a leading national authority on reincarnations, employing rigorous scientific methods to investigate reincarnation claims since 1974. Here are excerpts from an interview with Neha Tara Mehta:
It is important to first understand what we mean by ‘reincarnation’. For the purpose of our research, we use the term to refer to the concept that human beings consist of two components: a physical body and a non-physical component, some call it ‘psyche’, others may refer to it as ‘mind’, ‘personality’, or ‘soul’. At death, the physical body perishes but the non-physical component survives and after an interval, becomes associated with a new physical body. On the basis of meager data that we have, we can’t make generalisations about whether or not everyone reincarnates. But what I can tell is that every one does not remember a previous life.
I have investigated nearly 500 reincarnation claims in India. Seventy-seven per cent of them were authentic. Children who talk about previous lives usually do so between the ages of 2 and 5 and stop talking about their previous life between 5 and 8; rarely do they continue beyond 10 years of age. They display corresponding behaviour that is unusual for their present circumstances but is appropriate for the behavior of the deceased person whose life they claim to remember. Some children have facial features, gait or mannerisms corresponding to their claimed previous personalities; some even have birthmarks or birth defects attributed to the previous lives.