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Nov 13, 2008 at 01:56pm IST

Mystery "Buddha" boy speaks to devotees

Kathmandu: 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 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 10 months, reportedly without food and water. Hundreds of devotees, including many from neighbouring India are trekking the five-km site to see him on Tuesday, Sen said.

REINCARNATION: Ram Bahadur Bamjon meditates in the village of Bara, 150 km southeast of the capital Kathmandu in 2005.

"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 added.

Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born a prince in Lumbini, a sleepy town in Nepal's rice-growing plains about 350 km southwest of Kathmandu more than 2,600 years ago. He is believed to have attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, which borders Nepal.

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