13 November 2008
The Buddha Reincarnated?
This is a story I have been following for a while. I have not written about it in the past and there is not any reason as to why I have not. I studied a little bit about Buddhism when I was younger and first exploring the idea of my own personal spirituality and what I believe in. I have always believed in an idea that we as people can reach an enlightened state of being and that things become much clearer to us and for us.
For some this is a belief in God and for others this might just be a simple belief that there is something greater than ourselves out there. This post is not getting into a debate on the pros and cons of religion per se and arguments that if one does not accept a belief in God then they are a poster child for the devil.
This is a post about a kid who has meditated for months without food and water. There are some that even go so far as to say that this meditation and no (or reduced) food and water intake has been ongoing since 2005.
The kid, Ram Bahadur Bamjan, was first sighted in the jungles of Nepal. He was by all accounts easy enough to spot, as he was sitting cross-legged in deep meditation under a tree with his eyes closed and no movement.
This ability brought the masses out in order to witness this spectacle. The crowds became so large and so frequent that Ram did a runner. He disappeared deeper into the jungle and was not to be seen again. Well, not until he re-emerged this week at Ratanpur.
Ram looks pretty healthy for an 18-year-old that has been in deep meditation and without food and water for an extended period (photo courtesy of AP).
However, the kid is not without his detractors and skeptics. The skeptics cite the fact that the original Buddha is the enlightened one and that becoming enlightened is the end of the journey and not just another stage on the reincarnation trail.
Simply, the rationale is that being born a Buddha is the last birth, you have attained enlightenment. Now, the problem here is that Buddhists believe in reincarnation. However, I am accepting enough that I can accept that ultimately those few that do manage to reach enlightenment are rewarded with not having to go back to square one and start all over again.
Other scholars seem quick to point out that just being able to meditate and go without food is hardly proof positive of the boy being the reincarnation of Buddha.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of devotees who remain undeterred and unswayed by the skeptics. These devotees are convinced that Ram is the real deal and line up for hours to receive his blessing, which is a touch of one's head.