Ram Bahadur Bomjon
Ram Bahadur Bomjon
राम बहादुर बामजान
|Other names||Palden Dorje|
|Known for||Buddha Boy|
Ram Bahadur Bomjon (Sanskrit: राम बहादुर बम्जन) born c. 9 April 1990, sometimes spelled Bomjan, Banjan, or Bamjan), previously known as Palden Dorje (his monastic name) is a controversial ascetic from Ratanapuri, Bara district, Nepal who gained widespread attention and media-popularity because of perceived semblances to Gautama Buddha, leading to allegations that he is a reincarnation of Gautama Buddha. Bomjon has also been accused of violent attacks, sexual assault and false imprisonment by victims and witnesses. He is currently under investigation for rape, and separately for the disappearance of four of his ashram members.
Bomjan's followers believe he is an incarnation of the historical Buddha, Guatama. Bomjon has rejected any such comparisons, saying "Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don't have the Buddha's energy currently. I am at the level of a rinpoche." Mahiswor Raj Bajracharya, the president of the Nepal Buddhist Council, has stated likewise: "We do not believe he is Buddha. He does not have Buddha's qualities".
He went missing on March 11, 2006. On March 19, 2006 Bed Bahadur Lama of the Om Namo Buddha Tapaswi Sewa Samiti (ONBTSS) told reporters that they had seen him in Bara District and that they had spoken to him for half-an-hour, during which Bomjon reportedly assured of returning in six years.
In 2010, Bomjon was investigated for attacking a group of 17 villagers. Bomjon claimed that they were intentionally disturbing and imitating his meditation, though the villagers said they were just looking for vegetables. Bomjon claimed to have taken "minor action" against them with just his hands after they had "tried to manhandle" him, and to have stopped as soon as they apologized. However the victims claim that for three hours he struck them on their head and back with an axe handle, resulting in serious injury to one of the victims. Bomjon refused to attend any potential trial, saying, "Do you think a meditating sage will go to the court to hear a case? I took action against them as per the divine law".
In 2012 Nepal Police announced that they had rescued a Slovak woman from Bomjon's followers, but other reports claimed that she had been voluntarily released after media coverage of the kidnapping. News week reported she had been taken from a hotel by two of Bomjon's men riding on a motorcycle and kept tied to a tree for three months and accused of practicing witchcraft in order to disturb the Boy’s meditation. However another report claimed she had been taken from a monastery. When she was released she had a broken arm. A week after her release, Bomjon's siblings accused him of holding his brothers captive overnight, and for beating one of his brothers and his sister. Soon after, followers of Bomjon assaulted five journalists and destroyed their cameras after they had recorded one of Bomjon's sermons.
In September 2018, Bomjan was accused of raping an 18 year old nun repeatedly for nearly 2 years. During a press conference organized by women's rights groups, the nun also accused his wife of trying to keep the abuse hidden so as not to "attract attacks" on their religion. Supporters of Bomjon claim that the nun was in fact involved in theft, and had been ejected from the monastery.
An investigation was opened in early 2019 after complaints from family members that four devotees had gone missing from several of Bomjon's ashrams.
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