Buddha Boy?

A young man in Nepal, whom many claim to be the reincarnation of the Lord Buddha, emerged from a yearlong meditation in the jungles of Nepal to give blessings and then returned to the forest where he has been in meditation for three years. This year marks the third of this six-year practice that the boy has vowed to undertake. With each passing day, more local Buddhist followers are convinced of the divine nature of this young man.

Ram Bahadur Bamjon, now 18 years old, set off into the jungles of Nepal at age 16 with a vow to mediate for six years. He has reappeared randomly over the course of the last three years, and with each reappearance, those that believe the boy is truly the incarnation of the Buddha has grown. During this most recent reappearance, Bamjon offered blessings to the crowds that gathered to see him and spoke on at least two occasions.

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According to the community website for Palden Dorje, the spiritual name of Bamjon, at a young age, his parents noticed a spiritual affinity in the young Nepalese boy and sent him to study with the local holy man, or lama. His teachers report that he excelled in his studies. In May 2005, after Buddhist initiation, a month of meditation in a cave, and a visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, Bamjon began his epic journey of meditation.

He disappeared from his family home on May 16, 2005, and when his family discovered him in the jungle he informed them of his intention to meditate for six years. In the beginning, he drew crowds of people and was on the move continuously searching for a place for peaceful meditation. At one point, his followers even built him an underground meditation space so Bamjon could meditate without disturbance.

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Since the beginning of his epic journey, Bamjon has reappeared to his followers periodically. Now in his third year of meditation, he reemerged from the jungle in the Bara District in Nepal and offered blessings to his followers. He also spoke on at least two occasions before returning to the forest to continue his quest.

This eighteen-year-old boy has drawn international media attention and the devotion of Buddhists from all over the world. Is it possible that Bamjon could be the reincarnation of the Lord Buddha? There is a wide variety of opinions on the subject. Buddhist have not recognized this youth as an incarnation of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, but the hoards of believers are multiplying with each of Bamjon’s reappearances. What do you think? Has the Lord Buddha returned in the form of this boy?

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