'Buddha Boy' Emerges from the Jungles of Nepal
The claim that this young man is the reincarnation of the Buddha has been a cause of disagreement within the community of Buddhist authorities.
18 year old Ram Bahadur Bamjan, re-emerged from the jungle this past week near Nijgadh, about 100 miles south of the capital of Nepal, Katmandu. The growing crowds of devotees and the curious are coming from as far away as India. The young man is “instructing” the people and bestowing “blessings” upon them. He says he will do so for a week and then return to the jungle to meditate.
Looking the part dressed in a white cloth with flowing long hair, the 18 year old named Bamjan has delighted some in the crowds with his teachings on ending discrimination and bringing about world peace. However, not all are pleased, or convinced.
One of those interviewed by the local Press was Sangeeta Lama, a woman who met Bamjan for the first time this past week. She told the reporter 'It was an amazing experience to hear and see him. I have no doubt now he is the reincarnation of Buddha'.
However, the Buddhist priests and authorities are not so quick to extol the boy. There has been no formal declaration that this teenager is a “reincarnation” of Siddhartha Gautama, the “Buddha”. The original Buddha was born in 500 BC in Nepal. He was given the title “Buddha” which means the enlightened one.
Those who follow the Buddhist philosophy believe in reincarnation, a doctrine which asserts the preexistence of souls and their reappearance in multiple bodies. The claim that this young man is the reincarnation of the Buddha has been a cause of disagreement within the community of Buddhist authorities who evaluate such matters.
However, the “faithful” have been enamored with the young man since he was first seen in 2005 meditating in the jungles of Nepal.
One Buddhist authority, Min Bahadur Shakya of the Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods in Katmandu, noted his skepticism of the claim in these words 'Meditating without food does not prove that he is reincarnation of Buddha. There is much study needed to be done.'
Buddhism has approximately 325 million adherents.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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