For the past nine months, the 15-year-old has sat, meditating at the base of a peepal tree in Nepal’s Bara District, without food, water, sleep or the need to use the toilet. If that was not remarkable enough, on January 19, he spontaneously combusted, burning off the clothes he has worn for nine months but leaving no scars. Lest there be doubters, his followers caught that combustion on video and plan to present the footage, seen by The Age, at a news conference in Kathmandu, soon.
A boyhood friend of Ram Bahadur Bomjan, Prem Lama gets to communicate with the Buddha boy ocationally.
Prem is the only one who goes within five metres of the tapaswi and whom he very occasionally communicates through. “Whenever we talk, it’s a one-way conversation. He doesn’t ask questions,” said Prem.
There are believers as well as doubters.
Outside his own village, many are doubters. However, Upendra Lamichhane, a local reporter for the leading Nepalese paper Kantipur who has visited the site 10 times, believes the villagers are “too innocent” to pull off such a hoax.
I hope the new photo of fire erupting from his chest and video of his burning clothes will be available for us soon. I personally don’t see a 15 year old boy giving up everything worldly just to fool people. But it would be very unfortunate if his supporters start creating some staged miracles.