This post is about “buried treasure” in reincarnation cases. A member of my Signs of Reincarnation Facebook group gave me the idea when she wrote in a comment in another thread: “A solid case for me would be someone remembering a past life, then telling of information that would be impossible for the child or anyone the child knows to know, then that information be verified after the child told it, such as remembering being a pirate long ago that buried a treasure, then the kid says where he hid it in his past life, then we find it, and it is an ancient treasure.”
There are many child reincarnation cases that meet the first of these requirements. The children say things about deceased people that their parents have never heard of, and these things are subsequently verified. Documenting these cases by talking to firsthand witnesses is the first stage in reincarnation research. In some cases, the children’s memories were written down before the verifications were made.
There are also cases that meet the last requirement, that the children talk about having hidden valuables in their previous life, then show where these can be found, and they are discovered where the children said they are. The earliest example of this that I know about is a Chinese case from the third century CE. A child asked his nanny for a gold ring he used to play with. The nanny replied that he had never had one, whereupon he went to a mulberry tree near a neighbor’s wall and pulled out a gold ring. The neighbor was very surprised, and said that the ring was lost by her deceased child.
A Syrian Druze case from the 1800s is the first to mention literally buried treasure. A boy in a mountain village claimed that he had been a rich man in Damascus. He got his family to take him to that city, and he led the way to a certain house, where he recognized a woman he said was his widow, along with other people. He asked the widow if she had found the money he had buried in the basement. When she said she had not, he led the way there, dug it up, and it was found to be exactly the amount and in the same denominations he said.
In India in the 1920s, K. K. N. Sahay published seven cases he had investigated. One of them was that of Vishwa Nath, whose case had not been solved before he learned about it, and he was able to write down the boy’s statements about the previous life before trying to verify them. He took him back to the town he said he had lived in, and they met his previous family. Many of the things he said turned out to be correct. Ian Stevenson later reinvestigated the case and wrote about it under the name Bishen Chand Kapoor. He learned that the previous person’s father had shown his son where he had hidden a great quantity of gold coins before he died, but the son (Viashwa Nath or Bishen Chand in the previous life) had not passed on this information before his own death. Bishen Chand led his past-life mother to the room in which the coins were later found.
Shanti Devi is another Indian child who recalled where valuables had been buried. Her memories had been verified but she had not gone back to visit the previous family until she was taken there by an official group of investigators in 1936. At the house, she said she had buried some money in a certain room. The floor was dug up at the place she pointed out, and a cavity discovered there, but it was empty. Later, it was learned that the previous person’s widower had found the money and removed it after his wife’s death. Savitri Devi Pathak, whose case Stevenson investigated in 1970s, had a similar experience. She remembered that she had buried money near a drain in her former house. When she went there, she correctly pointed out the place where the money had been hidden, although it had been discovered and dug up after the previous person’s death.
A very interesting case of buried treasure was observed by an Indian writer named Krishnanand. He witnessed a ten-year-old boy without a history of seizures convulse and fall to the ground following a lecture on the virtues of right living. While in trance, the boy led the way to what he said was his home, recognized the woman who came to the door as his wife, and answered questions sufficient to convince her of his identity. He indicated the place where the previous person had secreted some money (later found to be correct). When the woman left to get refreshments for her visitors, the boy emerged from his trance without any awareness of what he had said and done.
In Reincarnation and Biology Stevenson describes a case in which a Burmese boy said that during the intermission between lives he had communicated to his widow in a dream where he had left a money wrapped in a white handkerchief. It turned out that the woman remembered having a dream like that, and she followed it and found the handkerchief with the money wrapped in it.
These are only a few of the examples of buried treasure that have been recorded in reincarnation cases in Asian countries. Why are there so many cases like this? All except the Chinese and Syrian cases developed in the twentieth century, but in the rural areas where these cases developed, banks were not available or not trusted, and so valuables are often buried to hide them. That is one reason, but it may also be that the fact of the buried treasure, whose location was not passed on to other persons before death, may be a factor here, too. The desire to tell widows or others where valuables are hidden is a type of “unfinished business,” something we see in many cases. Importantly also, this motivation shows that the psychology of the previous person is key to understanding why past-life memories force themselves into the conscious awareness of a case subject, contrary to the idea advanced by some critics that the motive for past-life memory lies entirely on the side of the case subject.
These buried treasure cases are important because they are especially difficult to explain away. The only person who knew these valuables were hidden was the previous person of the case (ostensibly the child itself in a previous life), so he or she could not have gotten the information from another mind or another source. Some parapsychologists might say that they could have learned the information clairvoyantly, but then, they must explain why they and no other people have learned of it in that way. They must also explain all the other features of the cases, including any behavioral or physical signs that are part of it.
Skeptics of reincarnation cases often allege that parents shape their children’s behavior, but that argument is untenable when neither the parents nor anyone else living know where the treasure the children talk about is buried. The only fallback then is that they are all made-up stories, but when you find this phenomenon in cases with written records, such as Bishen Chand Kapoor, or under observation by investigators, as with Shanti Devi, this explanation also becomes strained. Indeed, then, these cases provide one of the strongest types of evidence of past-life memory, and therefore reincarnation.