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Ram Bomjon and Temptation

I have been tracking the story of Ram Bahadur Bomjan (or Ram Bomjon) for a couple of months now. Ram Bomjon is a teenage boy in Nepal who, his supporters claim, has been meditating without eating or moving for about eight months now, sitting under a pipal tree, just as Buddha did.

The comparison to the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, has been central to this story, as it has been claimed that Ram Bomjon is the new Buddha. Bomjon’s supporters have actually petitioned the government in Nepal to register the organization that surrounds and supports the meditating boy under the name Noma Buddha – new Buddha.

There are important differences, however. Gautama did not receive pilgrims, or have people promoting his meditation. He just sat and meditated, without protection or guidance. Furthermore, Gautama did not sit for eight months. He took under 50 days to reach enlightenment. Gautama’s teachings include the idea that ascetic practices that are too extreme lead to failure, and are misguided.

Ram Bomjon’s supporters don’t seem to see things the same way as Gautama did. They have formed a committee to protect and conceal Ram Bomjon, leading to strong suspicions that the meditating boy is eating and moving about at night. The committee says that Ram Bomjon needs to be guarded from the wild animals that roam the area at night, including tigers. They also say that Bomjon needs to be protected from distractions, such as noise, or being touched. One recent, comprehensive article on the subject quotes a member of Bomjon’s inner circle as explaining,

““Miscreants tried to disturb him by creating noise in the area, and pinching him with sticks,” Thing says, “That is why it was necessary to manage the place in an organized way.”

Such excuses seem credible at first glance. After all, who could meditate while being looked at, talked to, and prodded?

On consideration, I remain skeptical. Who could meditate while being looked at, talked to, and prodded? Well, according the stories, Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha could.

Siddhartha Gautama tempted by MaraThe legends of Gautama’s enlightenment say that, while he was meditating, Mara, the magical lord of desire and attachment, came to tempt him. Mara talked to him, to persuade Gautama to return to his wife and child. Mara shouted at Gautama, made distracting presentations of fear and lust in front of him, and even hurled lightning bolts at him. Still, the Buddha did not budge, and remained steadfast to his purpose of gaining enlightenment.

Now, if Siddhartha could withstand temptations of lust, of family loyalty, and of the most intense terror possible, are we really to believe that the New Buddha cannot keep his concentration if viewers are allowed within 15 feet, if people make noises, or poke at him gently with a stick? Of course, an ordinary teenager could not withstand such temptations and distractions, but a Buddha could.

There’s something very suspicious about a group of people who claim that they have a new Buddha, but are unwilling to hold their Buddha to the same standards that Buddhism has had for Buddhahood for centuries. If you’re going to call Ram Bomjon the Buddha, and say that he hasn’t moved or eaten for two-thirds of a year then allow him to be examined by physicians to verify the truth of the matter. If Siddhartha Gautama could withstand lightning bolts hurled at him from the spirit of temptation incarnate, then surely the new Buddha can keep his meditation intact while physicians take a blood sample. Surely, as Buddha did not need to be covered and protected at night, Ram Bomjon does not…

… unless Ram Bomjon is not a new Buddha. Unless Ram Bomjon is a fake.

28 comments to Ram Bomjon and Temptation

  • Scott

    Really? No comments? This has been online for hours.
    I know that many people have commented on this issue in other threads, but we may well be witness to the birth of a significant new branch of religion. I think this is well worth discussing.
    You and I may one day be telling our grandkids about back in the day when we were watching these events unfold on tv and on the ‘net. (“TV and the ‘net? What are those grampa?”)
    Honestly, I hope it doesn’t happen. As jclifford has pointed out here and before, there is something fishy going on here.
    I think that the advice of David Hume is apt in this case. Hume would say of this case:
    - there are two options
    (i) a miracle is happening–laws of nature are being broken
    (ii) people are either manipulating the facts or are simply mistaken
    - rationality dictates that we should believe whichever is less miraculous
    - to do otherwise requires an act of will to believe beyond what the facts warrant; a the conscious choice to believe the irrational

  • Derrick

    Are the Nepali doctors and the scientices crazy ? Eats Gundruk dreams and talk like NASA. We Nepali are
    religious and let everyone go in our own way. Why not scientices keep a Camara to observe 24
    hours a day and lets not disturbe anyone.

  • AWESOME article. As a rising Eastern scholar, I wholeheartedly agree that there is still too much left untried and unproven about Bomjan. There is just too much left to chance. His followers have to GUARD him??? WHAT THE HELL??? Siddhartha Gautama had none of that! He was actually tested and proven! So, when doctors or followers want to come up close, why stop them? If Bomjan truly is the New Buddha then he should be able to resist all external influences so…. it just doesn’t make any sense that Bomjan’s family protects him so. Unless, of course, he really is just an elaborate hoax.

    ~Sam (www.myspace.com/raptor273)

  • Anti Clifford

    these world we are facing right now is mellenuim the high tech and digital world if we lie or we cheat, the people of the world or the high tech investigators or the mass media will get mad of you and you will go to jail instantly just for a few days. for eight months of sitting under the root of the tree open to the public more than ten thousands people including the presss and investigators wittnessing these phenomena the cheaters or what ever they call it hoax or false claiming that he doesnt eat or drink water? this is young boy gonna get busted easy.

    So watched out you people the boomerang shot of your fabricating words will hit you soon.
    jelousy will drive you to hell. jesus say love your enemy can you do that! no way man that is hard you should give up your worldly desire and stop putting toxin inside your system jesus say your body is the temple of god to attained the saying of jesus you must practiced it and follow his footstep.

  • kieran

    Such a distrubing story in this day of scientific dominance. I am a scientist. I have practised in surgery and internal medicine and now have a career in psychiatry. I abide by, and participate in the method of scientific evidence every day of my life. The paradox, however, is that as my skill increases in my scientific method I am more able to reflect on the extraordinary possibilities that ‘life’ holds – including the possibility that an individual might bring himself to the point of violating the natural law. We saw Newtonian physics as the complete answer only a century ago, until a few extraordinary minds asked some impossible questions – we are now blessed with quantum theory. Perhaps this boy offers us another impossible question, one who’s answer will enlighten us further. Faith can inspire us to find fact. Only the open mind, however, can ask the right questions. Whatever the truth (relative as it may be!) only by allowing ouselves to contemplate the possibility can we safely arrive at the right answer.

  • Deybid Bleyn

    Ram bomjon is a bodhisatwa the one who practice sacrifice when his nation is in doomed and that what he is he comes on the perfect timing, Nepal is the peace zone of the world after the great king Birendra and his family was masacred on june 12 2001 their nation is facing a lot of trouble til these present time. so no need to entertained our mind negative or positive doubt he is the far eastern boy spiritualy born bhudist.Closed minded people doesnt understand so that’s the problem.

  • Anti Clifford

    It was written in the Bible that God gave us free will to choose weather we do good or bad but there is a law of nature in the bible jesus said what you reep is what you sow there is no such thing violating the nature here in these matter, because we have a free will to choose , ram bomjon has his own free will to choose his own path, if you are something called scientist or psychiatries or what ever you desire to become that is your own free will, your not violating nature here in these matter.perhaps ram bomjon is doing his meditation it is spiritual not a scientific facts. are you guys botherd with his silenced or just being jelous, you better know your self where you stands for. are you sure your scientist? dont get me wrong cause i doubt it.

  • Plz tell me how this story is going on now?

  • mackers

    if you ar interested and curious you have to research your own.

  • rogerwalker

    I am sure there are those out there who have dedicated their life to disproving what Ram Bonjom is doing and have filmed all of the eight months in order to prove that he is cheating by eating and drinking.
    Does anybody actually know what enlightenment really is? Is “being in the moment” the same thing? Well let me put it this way: Them moment is made of energy. Every experience is in the moment. And if your thinking your not in the moment. And that what is not in the moment is not made of energy, perhaps the void or some refer to it as imaginary space but I like to refer to it as thinking. So by thinking you are depleting yourself of energy.

  • Ram Bomjovi

    The list of people who can not contribute in a rigorous intellectual field and so have decided instead that their mental experiences are indeed shared by many and/or indicate some Truth which extends outside themselves includes:

    Religious fanatics, new agers, prostelizers, the small minded, conspiracy addicts, the egotistical, the pseudo-intellectuals, racists, and those who believe in “spiritual facts”.

    As individuals, I’m happy to say we get to pick and choose our own Truth. So I don’t loose sleep at night knowing the above list of people (which includes many of the repliers to this topic) exist.

  • Ram Bomjovi

    Lucky for me, bad spellers are NOT on that list.

  • plamena

    of course,we are people,and we are always suspicious.But I think the fact ,that we use only a very small part of our brains can prove us,that we have a lot more bigger potential.So we could be able to do unbelivable things,such as Ram does.at least I hope nepal people do not speculate with such clear mainsprings.I’m wondering why is everyone trying to prove this as fasle,and impossible.I’m not scientifist neither psychiatrist,I’m 18 years old and u may say u’re too young to have an oppinion to this topic,or too unenlightened,to take part in this discussion ,and u may be right.Anyway I belive in peoples abilities and I truly think ,that we could do things ,that we think are impossible.So I belive in Ram Bonjor and hope he’ll succeed and will prove to all the others who do not belive in the strenght ot will,and the power ot thinking,that some things just do not have explanation,and just happen,no matter if u belive in them or not!

  • plamena

    and one more thing – why do u have to compare Ram with Siddhatra Guathama?I mean it is not written that Buddha has to medditate exactly 45 days to become ones.This is fiddling criticism..And the world is changing,so doeas the religion,maybe for long time ago this act ot Ram would be thoungt for speculation,but now in our great “peaceful” world,where “only love exists”,I thing it’s pretty understanding to protect the One u think will become the Next Buddha(no matter if he will or not).the world is just to dirty place,and too much people would harm Ram.That happend to Jesus…Anyway what I wanted to say is that sometimes to belive doesn’t mean not to see the whole truth.it means to belive with every cell of your body.The faith in your own abilities can make u move mountains,this is what I belive in,so you will belive too.

  • Jim

    plamena, rogerwalker et al.:

    I don’t think anybody is saying that you cannot choose to believe that Ram Bomjon is the next Buddha.

    I think people are pointing out that there really isn’t enough solid evidence to decide to believe in Bomjon’s Buddhahood based on evidence.

    So, believe what you will, but you’ll have to excuse those of us in the empiricist community for remaining highly skeptical — especially as money changes hands.

  • plamena

    yes,I have to.Anyway I think I’ve always chosen the optipistic side ot things,the way I do it now.But I can say that I really only know the basic of buddhism,so I share just an oppinion.Sometimes I myself doub what I belive in,because I’m too optimistic.My gradma told me once that if I manage to resist against the evil in the world ,I may(only than I may)understand what really faith and will and love mean.I’m too confused and ,have still much to learn.I think I belive in this boy,not because I’m convinsed that he’s right,but because I want this to be truth,I want it with all my being.But I’m maybe too childish.

  • Layla

    As a Christian I am thinking about the part in the Bible where Jesus said, “by their fruit you will know them,” meaning if you want to see if you have an orange tree, you look for oranges. The fruit of this Ram Bomjon is not ‘faith and will and love’ for the people of the village and their visitors, but money for Marxists. Marxists don’t support religion.

    I think we will always feel doubt and confusion becasue we are human. I don’t think the Buddha is Ram Bomjon. I think it is in the part of your heart that wants it to be the truth, that is where the buddha lives.

  • Anti Clifford

    Plamena I know i do understand what you feel dont get confused watch your breath, observed just always be in present enjoy what ever you have think possitive look over your future and it will comes mathematically.

    What you do first thing in the morning SMILE with all your heart,
    Peace be with you,

  • Mauricio

    Layla, if you think this way, I can guarantee you that if your Jesus was here today, you wouldn’t even give them a chance to prove he was the one. You are an skeptic but are religious. This is a complete oxymoron. Understand who you are and why you are who you are before judging others.

  • prabesh

    leave lord namo buddha alone
    you anti buddhist people. you all trying to to prove him wrong.
    pray the lord namo buddha
    lord ram bomjom.

  • Namaste. I can totally understand this, for a period of 4 years I meditated for 5 to 6 hours a day, now that is not a 24 hour day, but I can tell you, when you meditate alot, you TOTALLY LOSE INTEREST in this world, and in fact, if feels like you are drugged with the infusion of life force….. during this time for me, many master teachers visited me, I was taking darshan as I was meditating with LIGHT BEINGS….. I was taken to other worlds….. why would this be so strange for him not to have any interest in this world?

    When you go deeper and deeper into meditation, you clearly know and see the illusion of this world. Meditation becomes a DRUG for you, it is the highest high, not even to mention getting to visit the Valley of the immortals without moving your human body is great. You begin to truly realize, where your thought is, you truly are.

    Most can not sit in meditation for too long becuase the outer world of personalities override the innter worlds…. during my deep meditation times, I did not have the DISTRACTION of family, friends or things in this world calling me. This is wonderful to hear.

    Namaste

  • Roy

    His followers have to GUARD him??? WHAT THE HELL???
    His followers are probably afraid something will happen to him. Ram represents hope to them, the most precious gift of all. They are so adamant about protecting him because they are afraid of losing hope.

    Too bad he ran off with his friend…

  • mackers

    Hey Roy wake up thats only your negative imagination,

  • frames

    Mauricio I agree with Layla, and am sorry to say that she is not skeptic, she’s simply pointing out the obvious. Keep your narrow minded views to yourself. He’s not Buddha, there is no proof…

  • I don’t know if he is the next buddha or not but going from what I have read he did state that he is not buddha because he does not have the energy that the org. buddha had. I do think that he is just following what he believes is his path. I hope that at the end of his path everything works out for the better. Now I am not a buddhist but I do believe that something special is happening here. Hopefully at the end of all this we will all learn something from this and be better people. Peace be with you all

  • thedevil

    buddha incarnations and reincarnations are a joke. buddha strove for enlightenment so that he would not return again so that he would not be reborn again. at his final death bed, he asked the monks whether they had any last doubts before he left them to enter nirvana. even after all this, to say that this boy is the “reincarnation” of buddha is a complete and utter farce. having said this i believe this boy to be extraordinary being in himself. if nothing else he has shown great commitment, determination and will power.

  • Dap

    Most people here have spoken a whole load of trash. I never leave comments but i had to today. Judgement without knowing what is going on is foolish.

    Anyone with an ounce of wisdom would know that the boy is special. The fact that everyones mind immediately jumps to doubt tells a lot about yourselves. Have a little faith in the kid, what are you so scared and sceptical of?
    So what if he does eat a little and drink a little – he meditates hours upon end. Isn’t that great enough? He is flipping 16, what difference does it make whether at night he gets some food. He has to survive! As for being the reincarnation of Buddha – he is what he is, buddha or no buddha. The boy said so himself that he isn’t a reincarnation. Does it even flippin matter? Why even compare him to Siddhartha?

    “If Siddhartha Gautama could withstand lightning bolts hurled at him from the spirit of temptation incarnate, then surely the new Buddha can keep his meditation intact while physicians take a blood sample” – Stop limiting the kid and let him be who he is. The story about the buddha avoiding lighting bolts was most probably intended metaphorically anyway. The fact that this is misunderstood shows how stupidly written this article is. Why even need to take a flippin blood sample? To see if he is hoaxing? Hoaxing about what! The money being given to him is by us – the people around him. He’s not asking for money, he’s not asking for anything! People writing such negative articles are the ones who are creating the negativity surrounding him. The only people who influence this magnificent story is the people. You, me, the people around him. The boy isn’t faking or hoaxing or creating anything. He isn’t stepping up to cameras and telling his story. He is simply meditating, minding his own business. It is you me and everyone else who is making his business ours, so do so with respect. It is you me and everyone else who is speculating and moving ideas and stories around like fire. My point? The fact that any information which anyone discusses upon relating to this story is ours – not the boys’. So our judgements are upon each other, not on the boy. Disrespect the boy and you have only yourselves to blame.

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