Ram Bahadur Bomjon (Sanskrit: राम बहादुर बामजान) (born c. 9 April 1990, sometimes spelt Bomjan, Banjan, or Bamjan), also known asPalden Dorje (his monastic name) and now Dharma Sangha, is from Ratanapuri village, Bara district, Nepal. Some of his supporters have claimed that he is a reincarnation of the Buddha, but Ram himself has denied this, and many practitioners of Buddhism agree that theBuddha has entered nirvana and cannot be reborn.
He drew thousands of visitors and media attention by spending months in meditation. Nicknamed the Buddha Boy, he began his meditation on 16 May 2005. He reportedly disappeared from the hollow tree where he had been meditating for months on 16 March 2006, but was found by some followers a week later. He told them he had left his meditation place, where large crowds had been watching him, "because there is no peace". He then went his own way and reappeared elsewhere in Nepal on 26 December 2006, but left again on 8 March 2007. On 26 March 2007, inspectors from the Area Police Post Nijgadh in Ratanapuri found Bomjon meditating inside a bunker-like ditch seven feet square.
On 10 November 2008, Bomjon reappeared in Ratanapuri and spoke to a group of devotees in the remote jungle.
Bomjon is a member of the Tamang community, of which a majority practices Vajrayana Buddhism.
Bomjon's story gained popularity because it resembled a legend from the Jataka Nidanakatha about Gautama Buddha's enlightenment, so much so that some devotees claimed Ram was the reincarnation of a Buddha. However, on 8 November 2005 Dorje arose and said, "Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don't have the Buddha's energy. I am at the level of arimpoche." Rimpoche ("precious jewel") is an honorific used in Tibetan Buddhism for a teacher and adept. He said that he will need six more years of meditation before he can become a "Buddha".
According to his followers, Bomjon may have been or may be a bodhisattva, a person on the path to attaining full enlightenment or Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. According to the historical Buddha, Gautama Buddha, there were innumerable Buddhas before him and infinite Buddhas to come. Proponents also claim that Bomjon might also be Maitreya Bodhisattva, the predicted successor to the historical Buddha. Scholars doubt the claims of his supporters. Mahiswor Raj Bajracharya, president of the Nepal Buddhist Council, has said, "We do not believe he is Buddha. He does not have Buddha's qualities".
His mother's name is Maya Devi Tamang, the same first name as Buddha's mother. It is reported that his mother fainted when she found out that her son intended to meditate for an indefinite period.
The claim, made by some, that he is "the reincarnation of Buddha" has been criticized. Gautama Buddha taught that after parinirvana there is no more rebirth, making it impossible to be a "reincarnation of Buddha"; but it is possible to be another Buddha, another who has attained, or will attain, enlightenment.
Wandering to Bara district
After about ten months of meditation, Bomjon went missing on 11 March 2006. He gave no explanation, and some believed he had been abducted. His followers theorized that he went deeper into the woods to look for a quieter place to meditate. Police abandoned a search for him after the likelihood of foul play was eliminated. Suspecting money laundering, the authorities froze the bank account of the local committee managing the crowds, which had gathered more than Rs. 600,000, but they found no evidence.
On 19 March, a group of Bomjon's followers met with him about 2 miles (3 kilometers) southwest of his meditation site. They say they spoke to him for thirty minutes, during which Bomjon said, "There is no peace here," and that he would return in six years, which would be in 2011 or 2012. He left a message for his parents telling them not to...