Nepal Buddha Boy 'sighted again'


Dec 26, 2006

A missing Nepalese teenager popularly known as Buddha Boy has reappeared after nine months, eyewitnesses say.

Thousands of people are thronging a jungle in southern Nepal to catch a glimpse of Ram Bahadur Bomjan, 17.

The boy's meditation and apparent 10-month fast attracted global attention before he vanished in March.

Bomjan's followers say he is an incarnation of Lord Buddha who was born in Lumbini, in present-day Nepal, more than 2,500 years ago.

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of people had reached the jungle in Bara district to get a glimpse of him.

The boy attracted international attention earlier this year when he was reported to have meditated for months without food.

But there has been no information about his whereabouts over the last nine months.

Eyewitnesses said that he had become thinner. The boy told the local reporters that he lived on herbs, but did not take other food.

He also carried a sword. Newspapers quoted him as saying that he kept the weapon for self-defence: "Even Buddha was forced to arrange for his security himself," he was quoted as saying.

His followers say he has been meditating without food or water and is immune to fire and snake bites.

These claims have not been independently verified. Scientists were unable to examine the boy as his followers said it would disturb his meditation.