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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Buddha-Boy: A Conjecture that the Famous Ram Bahadur Bomjon, Rumored to Be a Nepalese Child-Saint, Is Not a Charlatan and Just Wants to Be Left the Fuck Alone

posted by on December 27 at 11:28 AM

Here he is, the Buddha Boy:


Also known as Ram Bahadur Bomjon, the 16-year-old BB is a spiritual celebrity who disappeared into the jungles of Nepal in March and reappeared on Christmas day. (Notably, carrying a sword—on Christmas. “I came not to bring peace but a sword,” said Christ in Matthew 10.) The news is all over this kid.

Anyway, his followers believe BB is the reincarnation of Guatama Buddha, with the usual wild claims that congeal around child saints: that as a young boy he would never fight or kill an animal, he refused to eat anything but scraps, that he has been meditating for nearly a year eating nothing but herbs and water.

See him beneath the tree in his sacred grove?


That tree is a pipal tree, aka a bo tree, aka the kind of tree Gautama Buddha was sitting under when he got enlightened.

Skeptics think the BB is full of BS, that the whole scheme (the bo tree, the disappearances, the childhood mythology) is a way to fleece ignorant villagers out of money. I would agree but for one thing: BB’s mudras, or sacred hand gestures. Look at the top picture again. See his hands? If BB was putting on a piece of spiritual theater, his mudras would be grand, the gesture of transmitting wisdom:


or knowledge:


or something else to broadcast his high spiritual attainment. Instead his hands are in the humble shuni mudra:


Shuni is the mudra of give-me-patience. It’s a small gesture, one that allegedly helps you keep your cool (that’s just what I hear—I’m no goddamned hippie). The shuni mudra also looks like the opposite of flipping the bird, like “fuck me, not you.” It’s as if he’s exasperated by the photographer and the attention and just wants to be left the fuck alone.

That is the attitude of a true saint.

Carry on, Buddha Boy!

RSS icon Comments


Shouldn't a 16 year old be in school or something and not sitting under a tree for the last year living on herb and water?

Posted by The Peanut Gallery | December 27, 2006 12:25 PM

haha, peanut gallery, that is only in the good ol' US of A.

Posted by roots | December 27, 2006 12:41 PM

reply to @2

True enough, but I subscribe to the UNESCO belief of free and COMPLUSORY basic education for all people. In our global world, a 16 year old in Iowa and a 16 year old in India should both be in school getting an education, not spending the days sitting under a tree, living on herb and water, looking for the universe to simply spill out its secrets. Holy Boy or Teenage Burn-Out, school needs to be a way of life at 16.

Life is long, teenagers the-world-over often have a holier-then-you & me attitude, but a life spent pinching pennies or rupees due to the impetuousness of youth is no way to live a life.

Posted by The Peanut Gallery | December 27, 2006 1:18 PM

Dear G-d, let that mudra work. I'm having the shittiest birthday in nearly a decade.

Posted by Gitai | December 27, 2006 1:35 PM

The fact that he denies that he is the Buddha is further evidence that he might not be a huckster.

Regarding those who think he should be going to some crappy school, I would consider sincere meditation to be something of an alternative education, and possibly more valuable than. The Buddha among others came to talk about what real education is.

Posted by Jude Fawley | December 27, 2006 2:15 PM

He looks a little fleshy to liviing on herbs and water.

Posted by Misty Brown | December 27, 2006 2:45 PM

why is Hugh Foskett beneath that pipal tree? (He's sooo hot!)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | December 27, 2006 3:50 PM

He's not a fraud because of his hands... uh, right.

You don't think that maybe, I don't know, he got tired of holding them up as per the examples you gave?

@5: Of course, it could also just be a double bluff -- hmm, what can I do to make me seem more genuine? I know, deny it!

Posted by Tahn | December 27, 2006 6:06 PM

Studies have shown that teenagers actually need 14 to 18 hours of sleep per day, and so this is part of the normal, healthy development of a 16 year old. Nagging them about their need for rest only increases their alienation.

He probably just wants a Pepsi. But his mom wouldn't give him one. All he wanted was Pepsi and he didn't want to talk about it but she wouldn't give him one. He goes no mom I'm not on drugs okay I was just thinking you know. And she goes no you're on drugs! He's not crazy! You're the one that's crazy!

Posted by elenchos | December 27, 2006 6:49 PM

Most of you commentors are making me lose my shuni mudra. You (again, one of you seemed intelligent and lacking in the argument gene that denotes social retardation) represent the innate ability of Americans (possibly Westerners in general) to totally miss the point and become entrenched in minutia. You sir are an idiot perfectly embodying the tenets of the modern education system. What our system teaches is how to be a mental/economic slave and do what the white coats tell you.

Shut up and read (pretend I'm wearing one of those lab-jackets)

(woah, I just lost a ton of karma points)

Posted by Rev.Raikes | December 27, 2006 7:26 PM

no, you shut up! take a good look at that picture. your so called saint is no different than any other 16 year old boy. He is obviously masturbating under a tree with his eyes closed.

Posted by big shirtless Billy Bob | December 27, 2006 9:58 PM

wow, I should move over there. In America if you sit under a tree and beat off you get arrested, in asia you are proclaimed to be the next coming of god himself

Posted by burping cletus | December 27, 2006 10:02 PM

Back to the Chiller Room with him!

Posted by Mirror | December 28, 2006 10:56 AM

Dear big brainless Billy Bob, do you see anywhere in my post where I pledge allegiance to the boy wonder? No...the writing was tongue-in-cheek.

Look, I'm sorry you were molested as a child, but that's no reason to foist your circle-jerk fantasies on the Stranger's gentle reading community.

And, please read before you flame. I do enjoy a good burn.

Posted by Rev.Raikes | January 1, 2007 5:17 AM

I have nothing against him nor any bias for him. But the true question should be: "Aren't we ourselves frauds? How many times do we, ourselves, deceive?" Start with these questions. Start with your own self and you will start your journey towards enlightenment...

Posted by Dushan BOODHENA | January 2, 2007 6:39 PM

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