The claims about Shanti Devi (from http://beforeitsnews.com/beyond-science/2012/02/reincarnation-fact-the-amazing-case-of-shanti-devi-from-india-1791397.html):
- Shanti Devi was born on December 11, 1926
- When she was 4 years old, she said: "This is not my real home! I have a husband and a son in Mathura! I must return to them!"
- Shanti said that her husband was in Mathura where he owned a cloth shop and they had a son.
- Shanti said, "In my house in Mathura, I ate different kinds of sweets."
- Shanti talked about what type of dresses she used to wear.
- Shanti described her husband as fair, having a big wart on his left cheek, and wearing reading glasses.
- Shanti said that her husband's shop was located in front of Dwarkadhish temple.
- Shanti even gave a detailed account of her dying following childbirth in her previous life.
- One of her teachers told Shanti that if she told him her husband's name, he would take her to Mathura; she said his name was "Kedarnath Chaube."
- The teacher wrote a letter to Kedarnath Chaube, detailing all that Shanti had said, and invited him to visit Delhi.
- Kedarnath said that his young wife, Lugdi, had recently passed away and that all the details Shanti had described about her old house and members of her previous family were all true.
- Upon arriving at Mathura, Shanti lead a small crowd to her previous home.
- She had correctly described what it had looked like years earlier — before its recent refurbishing.
- As a test, Kedarnath was falsely introduced as being an elder brother of Kedarath's. Shanti said, "No, he is not my husband's brother. He is my husband himself. Didn't I tell you that he is fair and he has a wart on the left side cheek near his ear?"
- Shanti then said several things that Kedarnath said could only have been known by his previous wife.
Reincarnation is not the only explanation for this story.
We need to be skeptical about testimony, especially testimony that has passed through many sources before arriving in its current form. In its current form, this is all hearsay. We have no proof that any of this happened as described.
There are several things that could explain the existence of this story (http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/12714/):
- Shanti may have had a very active imagination as a child
- Shanti could have guessed the name of a person that lived in Mathura, or her teacher could have just found the closest sounding name in a directory
- Her parents could have been lying or exaggerating about the accuracy with which Shanti predicted the appearance of Mathura or Kedarnath, or the details of her previous life (they were getting publicity)
- Kedarnath could have lied about Shanti being correct in the details that she provided as proof (this was a young girl that was claiming to be his wife... why not say she's correct?)