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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Young "Buddha" Returns to Nepalese Jungle

The young man many believe to be Buddha-reincarnated blesses a Tibetan monk Friday shortly before returning the the jungle to continue meditating.


Ram Bahadur Bamjan, a Nepalese teenager revered by many as a reincarnation of Buddha, yesterday returned to the jungle to meditate after emerging less than two weeks ago.

Bamjan, 18, reappeared November 10 after several months of meditation. His followers say Bamjan has been meditating beneath a tree without food and water ~ sitting for months on end without moving, with his eyes closed ~ since he was first spotted in the jungles of southern Nepal in 2005.

Thousands Turn Out to be Blessed

Bamjan made an appearance yesterday when thousands of followers lined up near the jungle of Ratanpur, about 100 miles south of Katmandu, to be blessed by Bamjan. He tapped the believers on their foreheads but did not speak to them individually.

He then returned to the jungle to meditate. It was not clear when he would return again.

Several Buddhist scholars have been skeptical of the claims that Bamjan is a reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in southwestern Nepal roughly 2,500 years ago and became revered as the Buddha, or Enlightened One. Some say that being Buddha indicates the final birth and the highest level that can be achieved and that there can be no reincarnation of Buddha.

Click here for the Associated Press article.


3 comments:

ludmil said...

There is a lot of controversy regarding Benjam.French TV filmimg documentry about him caught him on tape eating fruit,and napping too.Nevetheless in his adress to the crowd he said this:"Materialisum has brought forth fear ,worry and disputes and has created war in this country.One should follow religion and philosophy for inner happines"I personally think that is a great statement coming from such young man.On the other side of the spectrum here is what the Buddhist schollar said"He may achieved great heights in meditation ,but that alone does not make him a Buddha.A Buddha needs a life experience,a young man who has not seen the world at all cannot be a Buddha.This is a country where people worship idol and stones,and everyone educated or not believes in the supernatural" Manishwor Raj Bajracharya/president of the Nepal Buddhist Council/. Curently Nepal has 11% Buddhist and 80% Hindu population.After bloody civil war now has a Maoist comunist regime who is experimenting with governing this former peasefull kingdom.

Gregory LeFever said...

Yes, Ludmil, it is an interesting situation. Thank you for the additional insights. It's ironic that the Buddhist scholar you quoted talks about a Buddha needing life experience. The whole point of Guatama Siddartha's life was that he had been shielded from life, and when he finally ran away from the palace to witness actual, everyday life, he was so shocked that he meditated until he found enlightenment. In other words, his enlightenment was most linked to his meditation, not to any extensive real-world experiences. Meditation seems to be the road young Banjam is pursuing.

zendorphin said...

And, after all, isn't buddha-hood attainable by anyone? I believe that was the original message. It may be the essence rather than the personality of Gautama that has been 'reincarnated' in Banjam. This, of itself, is of significant importance.