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By Keith A. Fournier

11/14/2008 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The claim that this young man is the reincarnation of the Buddha has been a cause of disagreement within the community of Buddhist authorities.

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/14/2008 (5 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific


LONDON, U.K. (Catholic Online) - Reports out of London indicate that a teenager whom some people maintain is a reincarnation of the “Buddha” has emerged from his self imposed year of meditation in the jungle where he claimed to be preparing for his mission. The young man, popularly called “the Buddha Boy” is causing quite a stir by drawing thousands of devotees and increasing crowds of the curious.

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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