Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Legend Of The Buddha Boy From Nepal

His legend continues to grow with tales of his clothes spontaneously combusting and his body being impervious to poisonous snakebites.

His followers say that can he live without food or water for days while in deep meditation under a banyan tree.

This mysterious teen aged boy gained international fame in 2005 by sitting cross-legged under a tree in a dense forest for nearly ten months, reportedly without food and water.

The story of Ram Bahadur Bamjan nicknamed the "Buddha Boy" has gained popularity because it closely resembled a Buddhist legend about Gautama Buddha's enlightenment. In fact, some devotees have claimed Ram is the reincarnation of the Buddha.

Buddhists strongly believe in reincarnation, the doctrine that every soul reappears after death in another bodily form. Still, Buddhist priests have been divided on whether this boy is truly the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in southwestern Nepal around 500 B.C. and later became revered as the Buddha, which means Enlightened One.

However, Sanal Edamaruku, President of the Indian Rationalist Association (IRA) doesn't see much of the Buddha in this boy. Sanal has been quoted as follows; "This is a typical case of fraud. The boy must be simply eating and drinking at night. The claim that he was fasting for six months cannot be taken seriously, unless a fraud-proof blood test confirms that there is no glucose in his blood".

Recently, three physicians visited the area on behalf of the IRA and approached the boy's guardians asking for permission to take a blood sample from him. They were denied access to him. The physicians were threatened with dire consequences if they did not leave the area immediately.

The meditation place has been cordoned off, and nobody except Bamjan's supporters are allowed to come closer than 50 meters to him. His supporters claim that the Buddha Boy's meditation is holy and he cannot be disturbed at any cost.

In fact, no outsider has had an opportunity to talk to the boy. Even police officers, who had tried to interrogate all parties in order to find out what is going on, have had to leave without achieving their goal.

So, the legend of the Buddha Boy continues to grow but skeptics abound and enlightenment is slow.

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