KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Authorities in
Nepal urged religious groups and scientists on Sunday to help solve the
mystery of a meditating teenaged boy who some believe is an incarnation
At least 100,000 devotees from Nepal and neighbouring India have flocked
in recent weeks to a dense forest in southeastern Nepal to see 15-year-old
Ram Bahadur Bamjon, who, his associates say, has been meditating without
food or water for six months.
Shanta Raj Subedi, district administrator of Bara, 150 km (95 miles) southeast
of Kathmandu and where the boy is meditating, said he had requested the
Lumbini Development Trust, a Buddhist panel, and the Royal Nepal Academy
of Science and Technology to get to the bottom of the mystery.
"We want to investigate claims that the boy has survived for so long
without food or drink," Subedi said.
Bamjon sits cross-legged beneath a "pipal" tree, which is sacred
to Hindus, with his eyes closed in meditation. He does not speak and followers
are only allowed to see him from a distance of 50 metres (165 feet).
The young mystic is hidden from public view at night behind a curtain drawn
by his followers. Doctors observing from a distance have said the boy is
breathing normally but is weak.
Local journalist Govinda Devkota, who has visited the site, said the boy
sits with a shawl across his chest from armpit to shoulder, in the same
posture as Buddha is shown in pictures.
The number of visitors had reached up to 10,000 a day but fewer people
are going to the retreat now, he said.
"He sits motionless from dawn to dusk when visitors are allowed to
see him. This demands something," said Devkota. "But whether
he is an incarnation of Buddha, I have doubts because we don’t know what
at night. This must be investigated."
His mother, Maya Devi — the same name as that of Buddha’s mother — said
Bamjon, the third of her seven children, is a quiet boy who kept aloof
Seems rather rude of his Ma to keep hanging the family wash from the old Pipal tree….