COMMENT ON “A HINDU STORY OF REINCARNATION”
[The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 8, May, 1881, p. 177]
[According to this story, told by a Kshatriya lady, Tej Râm, son of a Brâhmana, was bitten by a snake and died. Near the home of the Brâhmana was a pipal tree which became shortly after the death of the young man the scene of the death of two birds; first a crow that was shot, and second a cock sparrow which struck with its bill the forehead of a woman of low caste, and immediately thereafter fell dead. Nine months later the woman gave birth to a son who upon reaching the age of four years, declared himself to be a Brâhmana and not a man of low caste. One day, upon seeing his former home, he said he was Tej Râm and related the story of his death and that of the two birds.
The writer asks, in closing, whether “the above case is an example of the transmigration of soul—a case in which it has retained its individuality.”]
We have the above pretty tale from a gentleman of character and credibility who certainly tells it in good faith. Upon reflection he will no doubt see, however, that he could not seriously expect us to answer his concluding question, as the narrative comes to us fourth-hand and facts of this kind ever lose by circulation. For one thing, it does not seem to have occurred to the respected Kshatriya lady to enquire how it was that Tej Râm reincarnate had not proved his identity, even with the money-findings, the circumstantial accounts of his death and transmigrations, and the snake-bite scar—that had accompanied him through the episodes of his crow and cock sparrow lives—so clearly as to induce his Brahman castemen to recognize and adopt him. Was a screw loose somewhere, after all?