One of the philosophies that believes in past lives reincarnation and other births for the soul is the Hindu philosophy.
The Hindu philosophy also believes in athma (soul) and karma (deeds).
The Hindu religion states that reincarnation happens because of the soul or athma, and because of karma, or the deeds one does during one’s life.
Hindu scriptures state that the soul doesn’t die, and only can change from one form to the next; this is similar, for example, to the way one might simply shed old clothes for new.
This is a very different philosophy from that of Christian theory of reincarnation, which focuses on the resurrection of Christ.
It is believed that the soul can take any form, whether man, woman, or animal. The deeds or karma of the human being in the present life are what determines the kind of life that person will have in the next life.
Several scriptures and the Hindu religion talk about past lives reincarnation extensively. Notably, a major one of these is the Bhrigu Sanhit, which apparently had an accounting of the future and past lives for all living souls. This scripture has been lost over the centuries, however.
In regard to modern-day reincarnation theory, Dr. Ian Stevenson has collected some compelling data. Even though modern science scoffs at the idea of past lives reincarnation, Dr. Stevenson believed in it. Therefore, although it can’t be said that his data is the most respected scientific data on the theory, it’s very famous and his cases are very well documented because Dr. Stevenson held a degree in medicine and was a psychiatrist.
Dr. Stevenson didn’t put patients under trances or into hypnotic states, however, as many modern day past life regression therapists do. Instead, he simply interviewed children who spontaneously recalled things they had experienced in past lives.
Most noted and perplexing among these cases was that of a small child, a boy, six years old, from a small village in Punjab. This child claimed that he had been a man named Satnam Singh.
He could even minutely described the man’s village of of Chakkchela; that was true even though the child had never been there.
The family tried to discourage the boy from saying these things, but he nonetheless continued to say that his name was Satnam. He even told others what the man’s father’s name had been. Further, the boy said that he had been killed in a motorcycle accident as he was heading home from school.
The boy’s claims were investigated and were indeed found to be true, insofar that a man by that name had indeed been killed in a motorcycle accident on the way home from school.
The boy was also able to give intimate family details, and these, too, proved to be accurate. What was most notable, though, was that when the man’s and the boy’s handwriting samples were compared, they were found to be identical.
Another notable account of past lives reincarnation from the Stevenson collection was that of Swarnalata, a girl of 3 years who recalled her past life as that of a woman named Biya Pathak.
She described the house she had lived in, and in fact took her father there one day when they were traveling. The child even said that she’d lived there, and that they could get a better cup of tea in that house than they could have if they’d got it on the road.
The turning point in the case came when the child recognized Biya’s brother and addressed him by his pet name from a group of 9 people.
Stephenson’s files contain dozens of these types of cases. He further states that when an injury is caused in one life, it can often manifest in the next life in the form of a birthmark, in the same location.
For example, a man from Thailand thought himself his own uncle, who had passed away and was now himself, reincarnated. A scar on his head matched a knife wound that his maternal uncle had died from in that very area.
Another young boy claimed to remember a past life as a man named MahaRam. This man had been killed by close contact gunfire to the chest, and the boy had several birthmarks on his chest that looked like gunshot wound scars.
Even though there has been a huge amount of documented cases it is not enough for the scientific community at large to accept.
There are a few noble exceptions however such as Dr Brian Weiss who is considered to be the father of past life regression.
However, it may also be worthwhile to state here that many people have experienced a sudden disappearance of life long fears and phobias after a few sessions of past life regression therapy.