Once, one of my villagers, a young man of 22, became mentally unsound. In his deranged state, he started reciting what looked like a long verse in Hindi. What surprised us was that the half literate man knew only one language – Tamil. We live in the extreme south of India where Hindi is unknown. That too for a half literate man. A purohit ( priest in a Hindu temple) suggested the language was not Hindi, but Sanskrit, the mother language of many north Indian languages. That language is no longer in current except in temple ceremonies and among the Sanskrit scholars ( Like Latin in Europe ). He was also amazed by the accuracy of the pronunciation and the flawless flow of the language. One of the illiterate villagers suggested black-magic as the only remedy as the man seemed to have been possessed by the ghost of a dead priest. Without waiting for the words of the near ones of the sick man, a black-magician was sent for. The magician could have already collected information from the man sent to fetch him. Upon arrival, he “examined” the patient and declared that the young man was possessed by the evil spirit of a dead priest. What is the remedy? He came out with a list of materials to be offered to propitiate the gods. Not taken in by his words the young man’s relatives chased the magician away.
A few years later, I asked my psychology professor for a rational explanation for the unusual event. He said, “As a boy, he could have been asleep while a ceremony was in progress in his house. The Sanskrit hymns chanted by the priest could have been faithfully recorded by the boy’s subconscious. When he was mentally afflicted and the conscious mind had lost its control, the subconscious burst out with its recorded version. That is the only plausible interpretation”