I'm looking for a single word, which describes a person who can remember his/her past lives or incarnations. According to Buddhist (and Hindu) mythology, this is possible. And there's a word for such a person : "jatiswar" or "jatismar" (in Sanskrit script : जातिस्मर). Here "jati" can be interpreted as birth and "smar" comes from the verb "smaran", which means to remember. So literally the word means "remembering birth".

As for use in (relatively) modern culture, there is a film (and book) called "Sonar Kella" by Satyajit Ray. The plot revolves around a kid, who could remember his past life. Also the main plot device in the video game series Assassin's Creed is about certain people who can live their past lives using "genetic memory".

Now is there any English word for this? The closest that I got is past life regression. But I'm looking for a word describing a person, who is able to do such a thing.

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    Words for concepts like this are not common in western culture, and usually the transliteration of the original word becomes a loanword. Another example woulld be bodhisattva. BTW, Your edit about literature or film is off-topic here. – Cascabel Jun 23 '17 at 18:20
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    In British English, 'Nutter' comes to mind, but I'm only posting this as a comment because I don't have documentation. – David Jun 23 '17 at 18:55
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    @Cascabel — Correct. We don't do past lives in Britain, so we apply such terms to people who do. – David Jun 23 '17 at 19:10
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    @David I think "nutter" means a crazy person. Personally, I don't believe that "remembering past life" is possible and is complete nonsense. But I'm just looking for a word describing the person and not trying to say that the person is crazy for claiming such a thing! – ChesterX Jun 23 '17 at 19:11
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    @ChesterX — I think that this question illustrates the futility of asking for a word in one language to describe a concept that does not exist in the culture of speakers of that language. Words arise to describe concepts that people need to articulate — where there is no need there is no word. – David Jun 23 '17 at 19:18

Retrocognition noun ret·ro·cognition \¦re‧trō+, sometimes ¦rē‧trō+\

  1. Direct or extrasensory perception of past events

Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary.com


Precognizant -- ODO

(adj.) Having previous cognizance; having prior knowledge or understanding (of something).

Actually, there may not be a perfect word for what you are asking. The concept of reincarnation is not that popular in the West.

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    Strange, I understood precognition as foreknowledge (knowledge of the future) – PV22 Jun 23 '17 at 20:38
  • @PV22 Yeah, I thought so too (and it is not wrong). But there is not enough words to answer OP's context. – NVZ Jun 23 '17 at 20:40
  • As @PV22 says, "precognition" is often used as a fancy word for "intuition", and implies knowledge of something that has not yet occurred. – Hot Licks Jun 23 '17 at 20:40
  • @HotLicks I'm aware. :) – NVZ Jun 23 '17 at 20:40
  • In Scotland a precognition is a written witness statement of evidence likely to be given by an individual at court or public inquiry. – Spagirl Jun 24 '17 at 6:25

Clairvoyance [klair-voi-uh ns] noun

  1. the supernatural power of seeing objects or actions removed in space or time from natural viewing.

Source: Dictionary.com

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    Not entirely sure who gave you a down vote or why, but I up voted you back to neutral. These seem like good potential answers. – Brett Allen Jun 23 '17 at 18:21
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    It is definitely not clairvoyant. If "retrocognizant" is a valid word, that might come close to what I mean! – ChesterX Jun 23 '17 at 18:22
  • @ChesterX - Though most often used to refer to knowledge of the future, when you consider the definition provided encompasses both past and future as well as location. If you know something of the past that you have not had any direct exposure to in the present, it would still be considered clairvoyant. – PV22 Jun 23 '17 at 18:26
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    @PV22 As noted by user Cascabel, this concept may not have an exact English word, since it's not present in the western culture. Funnily enough, I cannot think of any single-word description for clairvoyance in Bengali or Sanskrit! – ChesterX Jun 23 '17 at 18:39
  • I'd recommend separating the two terms into two different answers so that users can vote for them separately. – NVZ Jun 23 '17 at 20:27

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