I thought it would be a good idea to explain y not’s following question:
“so in the case of the brahmin and his wife, are you saying that they TRIED TO RECALL the Buddha having been their son ? !!”
The answer is those are sanna (initial recognition), comes from the INSIDE. The sight of someone can bring back “familiarity” from the deep past. Only after that initial “feeling” or “sanna”, that they would have tried to recall that memory.
It would be better to look at an analogy. Sometimes when we meet someone new, we get a “feeling” that we may have seen or associated with that person in the past. And THEN we TRY TO RECALL if such an encounter happened in the past. It could be a friend that one has not seen for many years.
– What happened to the brahmin and his wife when they saw the Buddha was like that. They had a “feeling of familiarity” or sanna arising in the mind first. THEN, when they TRY TO RECALL, they may have “seen” a glimpse of memories from the past.
– As I remember, the Buddha explained that he was their son in many births (and possibly not in the too distant past.)
– However, such “recalling memories from past lives” does not happen often for older people. It does happen for children: “Evidence for Rebirth”
What I said was that it will take more posts to explain how those memories are recalled (the actual mechanism that takes place), when one tries to recall them.