Thousands flock to see Nepal's mystery "Buddha" boy

Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:59pm EST
 
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KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Thousands of people flocked to a remote jungle in southeast Nepal to see a boy, some believe is a reincarnation of Lord Buddha, who reappeared after missing for more than a year, police said on Tuesday.

Seventeen-year-old Ram Bahadur Bamjon spoke to devotees from nearby villages on Monday in the remote forest in Ratanpuri, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Kathmandu, Prakash Sen, a police constable said.

Bamjon made international headlines in 2005 when tens of thousands of people turned up to see him sitting cross-legged under a tree in a dense forest for nearly ten months. reportedly without food and water.

Hundreds of devotees, including many from neighboring India are trekking the five-km (mile) site to see him on Tuesday, Sen said.

"He spoke to the devotees standing near a temple in the forest," Prakash Sen said after a visit to the site.

"He had shoulder-length hair and had his body wrapped in a white cloth."

"Since many people are walking to see him, I think he has some of the qualities Lord Buddha had," he said.

Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born a prince in Lumbini, a sleepy town in Nepal's rice-growing plains about 350 km (220 miles) southwest of 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.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Bappa Majumdar and Sanjeev Miglani)