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Nepal's Buddha back after 9 months

Nepal's Buddha back after 9 months

A mysterious teenaged boy believed by some to be a reincarnation of Lord Buddha has reappeared in eastern Nepal.

Kathmandu: A mysterious teenaged boy believed by some to be a reincarnation of Lord Buddha has reappeared in eastern Nepal after vanishing for nine months, a witness and a television channel said today.

Sixteen-year-old Ram Bahadur Bamjon was spotted on Sunday by villagers in the remote and dense forests near Piluwa village in Bara district, 150 kilometre east of Kathmandu.

Bamjon disappeared in March from the forests in nearby Ratanpuri village where he had reportedly been meditating without food or water for almost 10 months.

''I have been wandering in the forests since then,'' Bamjon said. ''I am engaged in devotion which will continue for six years,'' he added.

Hundreds of curious onlookers, including many Buddhists, thronged the site to see the boy, sitting in a meditating position.

A local television station showed people pressing their palms together and lowering their heads in devotion in front of him.

''I don't think he is a Buddha. But he has some sort of extra strength to meditate. He eats herbs,'' said a local journalist.

Before his disappearance, an estimated 100,000 people from Hindu-majority Nepal and neighbouring India flocked to see him meditate. They were not allowed to get closer than 50 metre.

The boy reportedly had shoulder-length hair and sat cross-legged under a small tree.

Buddha was born a prince in Lumbini, a dusty village in Nepal's rice-growing plains about 350 km west of the capital Kathmandu more than 2,600 years ago.

He is believed to have attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, which borders Nepal.

first published:December 25, 2006, 22:39 IST