- Ram Bahadur Bomjon
Ram Bahadur Bomjon (born c.
April 9, 1990, sometimes "Bomjan" or "Banjan"), also known as Palden Dorje (his official Buddhist name), is from Ratanapuri village, Bara district, Nepaland drew thousands of visitors and media attention for spending months in meditation. Nicknamed the "Buddha Boy", he began his meditation on May 16, 2005, disappeared from his hometown on March 11, 2006, and reappeared elsewhere in Nepal on December 26, 2006only to leave again on March 8, 2007. On March 26, 2007, inspectors from the Area Police Post Nijgadh in Ratanpuri found Bomjon meditating inside a bunker-like square ditch of seven feet.
According to his family and neighbors, Bomjon often acted differently from his childhood friends, frequently observing other people in worship and praying himself. He has been described as being born with a peaceful nature, and would never get into a fight or kill an animalFact|date=June 2007. Beginning at the age of five he only took leftovers for food, and went hungry if there was nothing.He was accepted into the monkhood by Sombahadur Lama of Suhdha, Ward 8 of Chitwan Village Development Committee. He hesitated to shave his head as is typical for a Buddhist monk; photos show him with a full head of hair. At the end of his training his class went to
Lumbini, birthplace of Gautama Buddha, but instead of returning directly home with the rest of his class he continued on to Dehradunto receive additional teaching.
Returning home from Dehradun, he became ill for some time, and when he recovered he walked with a limp. On
May 16 2005, he admonished his family not to kill animals or drink alcohol, then left home while they slept. A search was conducted and he was found meditating under a nearby pipal tree. He told his family to go home and not worry. When his mother continued to despair, he plucked six leaves from the tree and gave them to her, saying, "Take these leaves home and keep them in a safe condition. If you lose these leaves, you will not be able to find me. If you keep them safe, I will remain with you forever."
July 24, 2005, he opened his eyes to tell his brother to call him "Om Namo Buddha Gyani" ("salute to the wise Buddha". The phrase "Buddha Gyani" might not mean wise Buddha as much "one who has knowledge (gyan) of Buddha").
Wandering to Bara district
After about ten months of meditation, Bomjon went missing on
March 11, 2006. Due to his lack of explanation, some believed he was abducted. His followers theorized that he went deeper into the woods to look for a more quiet place to meditate. [cite news|publisher= BBC|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4797064.stm|title=Nepal's 'Buddha' boy goes missing|date= 11 March 2006|author=Bhagirath Yogi] Police abandoned a search for him after the possibility of foul play was eliminated. Suspecting money laundering, the authorities froze the bank account of the local committee managing the crowds, which had gathered more than Rs. 600,000, but they failed to find evidence. [cite news|publisher= [http://www.newkerala.com newkerala.com] |date= 14 March 2006|url=http://www.newkerala.com/news2.php?action=fullnews&id=25558|title= Nepal freezes missing 'Buddha Boy' committee bank account]
On March 19, a group of Bomjon's followers met with him about 2 miles (3 kilometers) southwest of his meditation site. They say they spoke to him for thirty minutes, during which Bomjan said "there is no peace here" and that he would return in six years, or roughly
2011or 2012. He left a message for his parents telling them not to worry. [cite news|publisher= BBC|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4824530.stm|title=Nepalese Buddha Boy 'reappears'|date= 20 March 2006] [cite news|publisher= [http://www.upi.com/ United Press International] |date= 20 March 2006|url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061225/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_nepal_boy|title='Buddha Boy' emerges, then vanishes again|author=UPIN]
On December 25, 2006, villagers in
Bara districtspotted Bomjon meditating. He was carrying a sword which he had used to protect himself in the jungle, reminding reporters that "Even Gautama Buddha had to protect himself," and claimed to have eaten nothing but herbs in the interim. [" [Daily Telegraph", [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/27/wbuddha27.xml Buddha Boy found after retreating into jungle] . 27 December 2006] He reiterated his commitment to Buddhist devotion for six years and said he would allow people to come observe him as long as they kept away some distance and didn't bother him. When a reporter pointed out that pilgrims to his meditation site would be making donations in his name, he asked for the donations to not be abused or used for commercial purposes. ["eKantipur.com". [http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?nid=95563 'Buddha Boy' Bomjon found in Bara jungle] . 25 December 2006.] A new wave of visitors came to see him and pray at his new meditation spot. [cite news|publisher=Reuters|url=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061225/wl_nm/nepal_boy_dc_1|title=Nepal's mystery "Buddha boy" reappears|author=Gopal Sharma] [cite news|publisher= BBC|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6209613.stm|title=Nepal Buddha Boy 'sighted again'|date= 26 December 2006] On 8 March 2007he left Bara district to find a more quiet place to meditate again. [ [http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/03/10/070310215440.qf2lfu32.html Nepal's 'Buddha Boy' does second vanishing act] . 8 March 2007]
Meditating in pit
March 26, 2007Inspector Rameshwor Yadav of the Area Police Post Nijgadh found Bomjon inside a bunker-like square ditch of seven feet. A police team, under the command of Yadav, had gone to the place after word of Bomjon being on underground meditation spread in the area. "His face was clean and hair was combed well," Yadav said. According to him, "the bunker" has been cemented from all sides with roof of tiles. Indra Lama, a local, who has been deployed as caretaker for him since he began meditation, said the "bunker" was prepared as per Bomjon's order. "After granting audience a week ago, he expressed his desire to meditate inside the ground; so we built it," he said. [ [http://www.blog.com.np/united-we-blog/2007/03/28/buddha-boy-update-ram-bahadur-bomjon-now-meditating-in-pit/ Buddha Boy Update: Ram Bahadur Bomjon Now Meditating in Pit] . 28 March 2007]
Preaching in Hallori jungle
August 2, 2007Bomjon addressed a large crowd in Hallori jungle in Bara district of southern Nepal. The Namo Buddha Tapoban Committee, a committee that looks after the "modern Buddha", assembled the meeting. The notice about the first ever preaching by the boy was broadcast in a local FM radio station and the committee also invited people by phone. Around three thousand people gathered to listen to Ram Bahadur Bomjom. A video [http://www.paldendorje.com/vdo.html] has also surfaced of the event. According to Upendra Lamichhane, a blogger who wrote an article and took pictures of the meeting, Bomjon's message was "The only way we can save this nation is through spirituality". [ [http://www.blog.com.np/united-we-blog/2007/08/03/ram-bahadur-bomjom-the-buddha-boy-starts-preaching-arrival-of-a-meditation-guru-or-a-religious-zealot/ Ram Bahadur Bomjom, the Buddha Boy, Starts Preaching: Arrival of a Meditation Guru or a Religious Zealot?] . 3 August 2007] His speech is as follows:
Murder, violence, greed, anger and temptation has made the human world a desperate place. A terrible storm has descended upon the human world, and this is carrying the world towards destruction. There is only one way to save the world and that is through '
dharma" (spiritual practice.) When one doesn't walk the righteous path of spiritual practice, this desperate world will surely be destroyed. Therefore, follow the path of spirituality and spread this message to your fellows. Never put obstacles, anger and disbelief in the way of my meditation's mission. I am only showing you the way; you must seek it on your own. What I will be, what I will do, the coming days will reveal. Human salvation, the salvationof all living beings, and peace in the world are my goal and my path. "Namo Buddha sangaya, Namo Buddha sangaya, namo sangaya." I am contemplating on the release of this chaotic world from the ocean of emotion, on our detachment from anger and temptation, without straying from the path for even a moment, I am renouncing my own attachment to my life and my home forever, I am working to save all living beings. But in this undisciplined world, my life's practice is reduced to mere entertainment.
The practice and devotion of many Buddhas is directed at the world's betterment and happiness. It is essential but very difficult to understand that practice and devotion. But though it is easy to lead this ignorant existence, human beings don't understand that one day we must leave this uncertain world and go with the Lord of Death. Our long attachments with friends and family will dissolve into
nothingness. We have to leave behind the wealth and property we have accumulated. What's the use of my happiness, when those who have loved me from the beginning, my mother, father, brothers, relatives are all unhappy. Therefore, to rescue all sentient beings, I have to be Buddha-mind, and emerge from my underground cave to do " vajra" meditation. To do this I have to realize the right path and knowledge, so do not disturb my practice. My practice detaches me from my body, my soul and this existence. In this situation there will be 72 goddess Kalis. Different gods will be present, along with the sounds of thunder and of "tangur ," and all the celestial gods and goddesses will be doing " puja" (worship.) So until I have sent a message, do not come here, and please explain this to others. Spread spiritual knowledge and spiritual messages throughout the world. Spread the message of world peace to all. Seek a righteous path and wisdom will be yours. [ [http://www.paldendorje.com/pvdo.php official site of Ram Bahadur Bomjan ] ]
Bomjon's story gained popularity because it resembled a
Buddhist legendfrom the " Jataka Nidanakatha" about Gautama Buddha's enlightenment, so much so that some devotees claimed Ram was the reincarnation of a Buddha. However, on November 8 2005Dorje arose and said to the public, "Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don't have the Buddha's energy. I am at the level of a rinpoche." A rinpoche is the level of a teacher, which indicates he believes he has achieved a significant amount. He said that he will need six more years of meditation before he may become a Buddha.
According to his followers, Bomjon may have reached the stage of a
bodhisattvaFact|date=June 2008, a person on the path to attaining full enlightenment of buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. According to the historical Buddha, Gautama Buddha, there were innumberable Buddhas before him and infinite Buddhas to come in future. Proponents also claim that Bomjon might also be the emanation of MaitreyaBodhisattva, the predicted successor to the historical Buddha.
It is reported that his mother fainted when she found out that her son meditated for an undefined period of time. His mother's name is Maya Devi Tamang, the same first name as Buddha's mother.
Feats of Inedia
An average human being who stops drinking will die of dehydration in three to four days. According to the Guinness Book of Records the longest time a human has survived without water is 18 days. Bomjon, on the other hand, does not appear to break his meditation to eat or drink.
Bomjon was observed not to leave the tree at least during the daytime, but nobody was allowed to approach him too closely. Between 5:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. nobody was allowed to see him, and a screen was erected for that purpose. Many people speculated that he ate and drank water during that time.
Some supporters believe that discussions of
inediaare irrelevant, and that the ability to sit nearly motionless in the same position day after day, with no regard for extremes of weather including a cold winter and a monsoon season, is notable. For example, American writer George Saundersvisited Bomjon and observed him for a single night, but was impressed by Bomjon's perfectly still stature even during an eveningclimate that seemed unbearably cold to the much more fully clothed journalist. [ [http://men.style.com/gq/features/landing?id=content_4401 THE INCREDIBLE BUDDHA BOY: GQ Features on men.style.com ] ]
In December 2005, a nine-member government committee led by Gunjaman Lama watched Bomjon carefully for 48 hours and observed him not to take any food or water during that time. A video recording was also made of this test. However, they were unable to approach closer than 3 meters or take readings of his vital signs. [Nepalnews.com. [http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2006/others/feature/mar/news_feature04.php The “Little Buddha” goes missing] .
12 March 2006.] . A group of physicians tried to conduct an independent study but were prevented from doing so by the screen erected at night.Fact|date=December 2007 The Nepalese government planned a more careful scientific study but this plan was later scrapped.
In 2007, the
Discovery Channelproduced a documentary titled "The Boy With Divine Powers" [cite web |url=http://www.discoverychannel.com.au/ontv/boy_with_divine_powers/index.shtml |title=The boy with Divine Powers |publisher=Discovery Channel |publisherurl=http://www.discoverychannel.com.au] . The documentary was unable to do away with the theories that Ram was being fed at night. The film crew was required to stay outside the guarded barbed wire fence and their camera's night vision could not pick up a signal where Ram sat at the base of a tree during their non stop recording over four days.
List of Buddha claimants
* [http://www.paldendorje.com/ Official Site of Palden Dorje]
* [http://www.buddhadharma.com/Palden.html Palden Dorje Bio]
* [http://groups.google.com/group/buddhaboy Google Group for sharing information about Ram Bomjon]
* [http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-11-23-nepal-boy_x.htm Boy in Nepal draws crowds; some say he's Buddha reincarnate] (
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/21/wbuddha21.xml Pilgrims flock to see 'Buddha boy' said to have fasted six months] (
* [http://www.shechen.org/sub_teachings.html Buddhist Teachings]
* [http://www.hknepal.com/blog/?p=27 Nepalese blog linking to video] (in Nepali, with some English comments)
* [http://www.tamangs.com/tapaswi.htm Tamang website with details] (in Nepali, with some English comments)
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolavconsole/shared/player/player.stm?title=Pilgrims%20flock%20to%20see%20'Buddha%20reincarnated'&clipurl=http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/avdb/news_web/video/9012da68002bc10/nb/09012da68002bfa4_16x9_nb!asx&cs=news BBC News video segment - 1:02 long] - better view of tree top and fenced area for pilgrims
* [http://www.kantipuronline.com/feature.php?nid=63824 Description of medical team in November 2005 and other details]
* [http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/buddha-boy-has-nation-guessing-holy-or-hoax/2006/02/10/1139542406197.html Buddha Boy has nation guessing] - (Article published on February 11, 2006) Australian news site (TheAge.com.au), claiming "fire erupted from his chest" on January 19, 2006.
* [http://nirlog.com/2006/01/17/buddha-boy-of-nepal/ Buddha Boy of Nepal] (Blog with 25 min. video and summarized translation in English)
* [http://www.poetrybytroy.com/2006/03/ram-bahadur-bomjon.html Ram Bahadur Bomjon Poem]
* [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=373702006 Good compilation of previous info] Late picture, with hair down to nostrils
* [http://samandlaura.blogspot.com/2005/12/buddha-boy-from-nepal-part-1.html Blog account of a visit to the site]
* [http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/messagepost.cfm?postaction=reply&catid=16&threadid=957851&messid=8173743&STARTPAGE=1&parentid=0&from=1 Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum discussion Ram Bahadur Bomjan]
* [http://www.helium.com/tm/426080/article-written-september-buddhist An Unofficial Summary of Discovery's Channel "The Boy With Divine Powers"]
Articles on his disappearance
* [http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullstory.asp?filename=6a8Wa8ta.9amal&folder=aHaoamW&Name=Home&dtSiteDate=20061225 Missing 'Teen Buddha' Comes Back Armed] - ( [http://www.thehimalayantimes.com The Himalayan Times] ) Monday, December 25, 2006
* [http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=67938 "Buddha Boy" disappears]
* [http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/03/11/nepal.missing.ap/index.html Jungle search for teenage 'Buddha'] (
CNN/ Associated Press) Saturday, March 11, 2006; Posted: 11:31 p.m. EST (04:31 GMT)
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/13/wbomjon13.xml&sSheet=/portal/2006/03/13/ixportal.html Nepal's pilgrims pray for return of 'Buddha boy'] report of 'sighting'; 'Guru Mother's prediction
* [http://www.metimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20060314-071326-8817r Prayers for Nepal's missing 'Buddha Boy'] Nothing new but well-written
* [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061225/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_nepal_boy] Boy returns
* [http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=76941&version=1&template_id=44&parent_id=24 Same as previous story but with new picture of troops in the compound]
* [http://www.dailyindia.com/show/9624.php/Devotees_claim_Nepals_missing_Buddha_Boy_found Devotees claim Nepal's missing Buddha Boy found]
* [http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2006/mar/mar20/news02.php A few more details of his rediscovery]
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5435806 NPR interview with GQ writer] The writer went to observe Bomjon and was deeply affected
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