Buddha boy mysteriously reappears in Nepal

A missing teenage boy who many believe is the reincarnation of Buddha has reappeared in the jungles of southern Nepal months after he went missing, an official said Tuesday.

Ram Bahadur Banjan, 15, was last seen on March 11 in a forest where he had meditated for 10 months, allegedly without food and water. Thousands of Hindus and Buddhists flocked to see him every day.

Banjan disappeared from his meditating spot among the roots of a tree in Bara, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of the capital Katmandu, where he had sat cross-legged and motionless with his eyes closed.

The boy was spotted by cattle herders in the jungle on Sunday and a team of police and officials was sent to investigate on Monday, said Harihar Dahal, an administrative official in the area.

Many followers believe Banjan is a reincarnation of Gautama Siddhartha, who was born not far away in southwestern Nepal around 500 B.C. and later became revered as the Buddha, reports AP.

However, Buddhist priests who visited him said the boy was not the incarnation of Buddha, but added they believed he had been meditating for months.

Buddhism teaches that right thinking and self-control can enable people to achieve nirvana a divine state of peace and release from desire. Buddhism has about 325 million followers, mostly in Asia.

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