Lust, Chico:37, 6006 YD
The mystery surrounding a teenaged village boy, hailed as a reincarnation of the Buddha by devotees in Nepal and abroad, thickened with his reappearance in a forest almost nine months after he vanished from his meditation site in southern Nepal.
Ram Bahadur Bomjan, a 17-year-old from Ratanpuri village in Bara district, became an international celebrity and a myth after the local media reported the boy wonder to be praying for enlightenment like the Buddha under a tree without taking any food or water for nearly 10 months.
Devotees and the curious began thronging the jungle for a sight of the skeletal boy sitting cross-legged under a peepul tree, with his eyes tightly shut.
Though there were efforts by scientists to subject him to tests to see if he had really not taken any food or water, as his followers claimed, the attempts were blocked by an organised group of disciples.
Bomjan, who had reportedly told his family he was not the Buddha but the reincarnation of a lesser Buddhist monk and needed to pray for six years to attain ultimate knowledge and salvation, created an even greater mystery when he vanished from the spot in March, leaving his white robes behind.
Some of the villagers in the area claimed they had seen him walking away, saying his meditation was disturbed by the din made by people coming to see him.
‘I am going in search of peace and will return after six years,’ the boy reportedly said.
Though security forces and villagers combed the village in the days after the teen’s disappearance, he could not be found.
Almost nine months later, the missing prodigy was now discovered by herdsmen on Christmas Day in Baghjhori Bhataghari forest in Piluwa village, about 150 km east of Kathmandu.
Photographs in the local papers Tuesday showed the teen, wrapped in white clothes sitting on the ground in the forest, surrounded by onlookers.
In the ensuing months, his hair has grown very long, reaching his shoulders and his nails looked long and unkept, media reports said.
The teen also looked plump and well-fed. However, he was quoted by the media as saying that in these nine months, he had been roaming in the forest, living on herbs.
But the most startling change in his appearance was the sword he now carries with him. Bomjan did not say how he came by it, simply saying that he was carrying it for his protection.
‘Even the Buddha looked after his own security,’ he told the media.
The boy also said he was driven away from his earlier meditation site by the din made by drunkards.
After his disappearance, for some time there was speculation that he could have been abducted by the Maoist guerrillas, who do not believe in any religion.