On the 4th of October, 1925 an Indian woman named Lugdi Devi passed away due to birth complications that arose few days after bringing her son into the world.
About a year later, on the 11th of December 1926, Shanti Devi was born in the city of Delhi, India. She was quite a normal child until she turned four and could speak clearly enough. She started making disturbing claims about her past life which were dismissed by her parents as figment of her imagination. She told them that her name was Lugdi and she was from a town called Mathura which was about 75 miles away. She would often bring up memories of things she loved to eat, dresses she used to wear, and places she had visited. She also mentioned her having a husband and son but refused to divulge their names although she gave a detailed description of her husband’s physique and facial features.
By the time Devi turned six, she became obsessed with returning to her former home. While at school, she was a cause of concern to the teachers as she kept on rattling about her previous life. She was then interrogated by the teachers and headmaster. They discovered she could speak the Mathuran native dialect fluently, even though she wasn’t supposed to be able to speak the language. She described her experiences with the maternity ward with so much details that it was impossible for one who had not gone through such to come up with, especially a six year old child. She eventually revealed that her husband’s name was Pandit Kendarnatt Chaube a.k.a Kedar Nath, a merchant from Mathura. Her parents were still not convinced and continually dismissed her claims. She kept on persisting and so a relative decided to investigate the authenticity of her claims. He located a merchant named Kedar Nath from Mathura who had similarly lost his wife seven years ago during childbirth. Kedar Nath confirmed all the details Devi had given in a letter, but to ensure that it wasn’t some Form of hoax, he decided to travel to Delhi with his cousin and son. His cousin first went into the house claiming to be Kedar Nath, but Devi recognized him and stated that he was her husband’s cousin. Kedar Nath then entered with his son and she recognized him and broke down in tears. Nath and Devi then conversed privately and after asking her a few questions he confirmed that it was actually Lugdi. “It was as if I was talking to my dead wife” he later told reporters. Nath stayed in Delhi for a few days before returning to Mathura. After his departure, Devi pleaded with her parents to allow her to visit Mathura but they were reluctant. At that time, the case had gathered much media attention. The Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi set up a commission to investigate the strange phenomenon. This development left Devi’s parents with little choice but to concede and allow her visit Mathura. Devi, her parents and a throng of reporters and parliamentarians boarded a train to Mathura. After the three hour ride, it was decided that Devi alone should give the directions to her home without influence from any external source. The driver of the bus which was hired was told to follow Devi’s instructions without diverging from the route which she gives him. As the journey proceeded, Devi recalled the names of streets, buildings and land marks which were there all of which was confirmed by the driver. She also pointed at buildings which didn’t exist towards the time of her death. They soon arrived at her home. On getting there, she was asked to show where she had hidden the box of money which she claimed to have buried prior to her death. She then went to a room in the top floor and removed one of the floor boards. The box was there but there was no money in it. Her husband then revealed that shortly after her death, he took the money from the box. Later that day, she took the entourage to her former parents’ home. Here she easily identified her aged parents and hugged them amidst tears. The incident confirmed the 100% authenticity of her claims.
Aside from memories of her past life, she also remembered what transpired In the afterlife. She claimed that at the time of her death she felt dizzy and engulfed in darkness. She then saw some men in yellow underwear and was taken to Krishna, hindu deity. She saw souls like flames of a lamp on a golden staircase and a river as smooth, pure and clean as milk.
Devi decided to live a quiet spiritual life and never got married. She retold her story twice. On the 27th of december, 1987, Devi passed away, aged 61 years. Her story was published in a book by Sture Lonnerstrand, a Swedish author in 1994. Hers was one of the most profoundly undisputable cases of reincarnation.
*Attribution* The featured image in this post was gotten from WikiMedia Commons.