I was driving to Dover on M25 when my phone rang, it was my wife, she told me that our passports have just arrived. God… I was so relieved, as if a ton weight was put down from my shoulder. Our passports were stuck in the UK Home Office for last one year, for reasons I fail to comprehend. Backlog, was their explanation. I think this horror experience with Home Office deserves a separate post.
I quickly sorted out my holiday at work and bought the tickets to Nepal. I haven’t been back home for last 4 years. We were excited about meeting our parents and relatives. After few days of marathon shopping and packing we were ready to fly. I had made up my mind a long time ago to visit Ram Bomjan (Buddha Boy) during my next trip to Nepal. My friend LTJ from Buddha Boy Google group helped me to get in touch with right people in Nepal who would finally take me to the tapasvi.
When we arrived in Nepal, the first thing I noticed was the chaotic traffic in Kathmandu, god… nobody follows the rule. After staying in Kathmandu for 2 days with my in-laws we drove to Pokhara, my home town, along the dangerous hilly highway, with breathtaking views. I missed these mountains, green fields and rivers so much.
From Pokhara, I called Uman Waiba, who’s also a Buddha Boy google group member. He assured me that he’ll let the committee members and Jas Waiba (Waiba Uncle) know about my desire to visit Ram. He asked me to enjoy my trip, visit my relatives and give him a call when I arrive back in Kathmandu. I requested him to come with me if he had time and he agreed. I can’t thank Uman enough for his help and kindness.
I was planning to go alone because I was warned by Uman that accommodation, food, etc… won’t be perfect, after all it was a village. I told him not to worry, and that I was ready to accept things as they were. Basically I was planning to go there without any expectations, I just wanted to be there in Ram’s presence, and no special treatment was necessary for me. But they really treated me well and I felt very much welcomed. When my 9 year old son knew that I was going to meet Buddha Boy, he wanted to go with me too. He promised me that he won’t complain about long bumpy drive, hot weather, uncomfortable bed to sleep or maybe not his favorite food to eat, etc… etc… I’ve to admit, I’ve never seen my son so well behaved in my entire life. This was sort of a miracle for me
Before setting out for the journey, I decided to take a driver instead of taking the wheel myself, which turned out to be a very wise decision. The road was very rough and dangerous. One simple mistake could kill you, literally. Half of the road was mountainous, single lane used for two-way traffic, we had to reverse our car in several places to give way because two vehicles simply would’t fit. It was extremely dangerous!
Rough road to Hetauda via Dakshinkali
First Meditation Site
We arrived at Bara in the afternoon, Waiba uncle had already set out for the jungle in the morning with other committee members. Uman told me that there was an important meeting going on between Guruji and committee members about the future role of the committee and Dharma hall project. We set our plan to visit Ram’s first meditation site in Ratnapuri jungle and his village today, then go Halkhoria jungle next day to see him.
After leaving the main highway, we entered the jungle, it was a rough path, graveled and still to be leveled by the dozer. We could see few people on foot, bicycle and motorcycles. The jungle was quite dense. We finally arrived at the first meditation site, where Ram meditated non-stop for 10 months. That’s when he attracted curious onlookers, skeptics, worshipers and the international media. That’s when discovery channel made the documentary, The boy with divine powers, and concluded:
“After 96 hours of filming, Ram has defied modern science by continuing his meditation and remaining alive.”
We walked pass the external wired fence and came to another gated fence surrounding the pipal tree. Committee members believe that he’s gained a lot of siddhis (magical powers) under this tree and is of great significance. It was hot and humid, I could hear the insects, birds and more closely mosquitoes flying around me, but I stood there sweating, in silence, and looked at the tree, the place where he sat for 10 months. I closed my eyes for few minutes, when I opened, I saw my son standing still beside me with his hands together. It felt very peaceful.
First meditation spot in Ratnapuri jungle.
From the first meditation tree it was around 20 minutes walk to the Dharma hall site, where foundation was already laid. Uman explained the difficulties with funding, and other challenges in building the dharma hall. He told me that it was Guruji’s wish to start his teaching from this place. I looked around, it’s in the middle of nowhere, but everything felt right and it seemed like a perfect place to leave the world behind and start anew.
Dharma hall foundation.
Meeting Ram’s mother
After driving through the jungle and crossing a very difficult river we came to a village, but we were lost. We stopped and asked several villagers way to Ram’s house, later it became apparent that the car won’t go to his village. It was getting late, so we decided to return. On our way back, we met the committee members. Had a chat with them and took some photos. As we were proceeding, we saw Ram’s elder brother, Gangajeet coming towards us on a motorbike, with two kids sitting behind. We stopped, Uman introduced us and told him that we lost our way while trying to go to his house. “It’s just 10 minutes away, come on follow me”, he said. I thought, wow… we’re very lucky. We followed his bike for 5 minutes, but after crossing a river our car couldn’t go any further. Gangajeet offered to give us a lift on his bike from there. He took me and my son to his house while everyone else waited in the car.
We were lost, a lady showing us the way to Ram’s village.
We met committee members on the way.
Following Gangajeet to his house.
As soon as I saw his house I recognized it, I’d seen it in photos and documentaries. Gangajeet took us upstairs, it was a dark room with a sofa and few photos. His mum was not at home, so he asked his kids to go and find her. In the meantime he showed me the room where Ram was born. They’ve turned it into a shrine, it felt like being inside a temple. I had a long chat with Gangajeet, he told me about Ram’s childhood and how he entered the jungle to meditate. I asked him how he finds being an elder brother of Ram. He replied:
“For Guruji, there’s no family or relatives, I don’t get any special treatments for being his brother. He doesn’t discriminate anyone based on caste, gender or religion. Everyone is equal for him.”
As we were chatting, Ram’s mother entered. I introduced myself and my son to her, told her that I’ve come a long way to meet him. She was a very hospitable, offered to make a tea, I thanked her and said my friends were waiting on the other side of the river, so will have to leave in few minutes. I asked if she’s ever talked with Ram after he entered the jungle. She said:
“No, whenever I’m there loads of other people are there too, so I just look at him and bow. I don’t know what to say.”
But she’s certain that her son is there in the jungle to liberate the whole world and she’s already come to terms that Ram is more than just her son.
Ram’s birth house.
Maya Devi, Ram’s mother.
Gangajeet, Ram’s older brother with his mother.
On our way back, we meet Raju Shah, committee secretary, his bike ran out of petrol, so we gave him a lift. He told us that committee was dissolved yesterday and a new one will be formed within one week. He said:
“I’ve been volunteering at the committee because I know Guruji is not fake, otherwise who would want to waste five years?”
I asked Raju if Guruji eats anything at all. He replied:
“In last five years I’ve not seen Guruji eat or request for food with anyone.”
He told us about his many encounters with Guruji. In one occasion when he asked “Guruji what should we do to provide you more security?”. Ram replied, “Nothing can touch me, you don’t need to worry about my security, you take care of your own well-being that should be enough!”
When I asked if he’s witnessed any miracles from Ram. He said “There’re many people who’ve witnessed countless miracles, but I’ve personally seen Guruji’s body in fire, he was in fire for around 1 hour, 7 minutes and we’ve the full video of it”. A short video of Ram in fire is available online .
We didn’t realize how 20 minutes passed. Raju Shah gave us the first hand account of Ram as he knows and why he’s been following him. After dropping Raju on the way we went to Waiba uncle’s house. I found Waiba uncle very friendly, we talked about Ram, new committee, dharma hall and many other things. We struck chord easily, like me he loves technology, gadgets and he’s a spiritual man too He arranged a hotel for us in a nearby town called Simra, we agreed to meet the next day at 8 in the morning, and go to the jungle.
It was raining heavily outside when we woke up, we decided to wait for a while until the rain settled down. We were going in a tractor, the concern was that the river might be too big during the rain for the tractor to cross. Finally the rain slowed and we set out for the jungle at around 10. I was told that 10 am was a good time because you might encounter wild elephant herds at 8 to 9 am. It was a very bumpy ride along the river and into the jungle.
On our way to Halkhoria to meet Ram.
Outer fence, 13km in radius.
The meditation site is fenced in three layers. The outer layer is of around 13 km in radius, second one of around 3 km and a final one of around 300 m. After entering the second fence we got off the tractor, I could see one cemented structure and two small huts, one of which was a kitchen. I was introduced to three ladies, one of them was Ram’s elder sister, they were very nice and welcoming. We were told that after meeting Guruji we’ll be served with special Nepali dhido and wild niuro. After chatting with them for a while we entered deep into the jungle and came across the last fence, we took our shoes off and walked bare foot then on. I looked at my son, to my amazement he wasn’t complaining. We kept on walking and could see the huge pipal tree and the chorten (built on top of the bunker where Ram did his underground meditation for 3 months), we went from the left side, I could see Ram from the side, sitting and meditating under the tree. It felt so surreal. Slowly we walked around and came in front. I could see him wrapped on a white cloth, sitting in lotus posture with his eyes closed. Waiba uncle approached him, that’s when he opened his eyes and put his hands on Waiba uncle’s head to bless him. Waiba uncle told him that I was there for his darshan. He looked towards us, our eyes met and I sort of told him yes, it’s me, with a namaste and nod.
Dhido and wild niuro, it’s was delicious.
Inner fence, we walked bare foot from there.
That’s how he’s been sitting for last five years.
I approached him after Waiba uncle came back, bowed at him, he touched my head, then I raised and introduced myself. I told him that I’ve been following him since he started his meditation in 2005. I’d always wanted to meet him and being there, in his presence was such an honour. He looked at me and nodded knowingly but didn’t say anything. Then I called my son forward, I told him that my son fought the bumpy road, heat, jungle and mosquitoes to see him. At this point Ram gave a huge smile and I could see all of his teeth. We got back after this and everyone else received his blessing one-by-one. After everyone was done, I asked Waiba uncle if I could ask few questions to Guruji. “You’ll have to get the permission directly from him, go and ask”, he said.
I approached towards Ram again, this time with an intention to ask some questions. I asked if it was ok for me to ask him few questions. He looked at me, nodded approvingly and said “Huncha”, which means OK. This is how our conversation went.
Me: You’ve left the worldly life, and you’ve been meditating in the jungle for so long. Why are you doing this? What is it that you want to achieve?
Ram: I want to liberate the whole world by spreading dharma and insight I’ve gained through my meditation.
Me: Are you already enlightened?
Ram: Yes, I am. I’m already enlightened.
Me: So, you’ve already become a Buddha?
Ram: That I can’t tell you now. Time will reveal, you’ll come to know about this later.
Me: When will you start to give your teachings?
Ram: Very soon, the time is coming close.
Me: What is your core teaching?
Ram: I can’t tell you now but this will be revealed very soon at the right time.
Me: Is your teaching based on Buddhism or any other religions like Hinduism?
Ram: The religion is actually called Bodhis dharma, but it includes all religions, no one is excluded. I’ll be moving forward by including all existing religions of the world.
Me: Do you plan to keep your teachings within Nepal or spread it around the world?
Ram: The teachings will start from here but time will show how far it spreads.
Me: Do you know about your well wishers who live abroad but cannot come to meet you?
Ram: It’s up to them to come or not but there is no problem for my well wishers to come and visit me with pure heart. They’re always welcome.
I had many things in mind earlier but being there in front of him brought a strange kind of stillness in me, I forgot all the questions that I’d initially planned to ask. Everything I just asked came to my mouth as if someone put it in there for me, none of them were planned. While I stood in front of him, I had to constantly waive the mosquitoes away but I didn’t see any of them trying to land on him, he was there calmly sitting and talking to me, no sign of mosquito bites. I was told that the mosquitoes and the wild animals don’t do anything to him. It felt strange and nice to be around him, I had goose bumps, and felt like some sort of energy was pulling everything towards the tree.
Answering my question on religion, I thought by saying “Bodhis dharma” he meant Buddhism, but Uncle Waiba explained later:
“It’s not Buddhism what he meant, but a new religion altogether and it’s not practiced anywhere, as of yet. Guruji will explain his teachings and meditation techniques to the khenpo who’ll come to the jungle next week, which will then become a book.”
Ram is also directing a painter on-site to paint different gods and gurus from whom he received the teachings during his five years of meditation.
“These are gods which nobody in this world has seen before. Guruji will be known by a new name soon”, Waiba uncle went on, “His parents named him Ram, then his guru named him Palden Dorje, and now the gods from whom he received teachings have named him Dharma Sangha. He’ll be known as Dharma Sangha from now on.”
I returned back to Kathmandu, then to London and have been telling my family and friends about this amazing journey. I thought now I’ll share with everyone I’m still trying to digest all I’ve seen, heard and felt, but one thing is for sure, Ram is one of the greatest tapasvis this world has seen and I’ve a feeling that he might be more than a tapasvi. I think we’re living in a very interesting time. He’s already given few speeches, but the good news is that his core teaching should be out soon, but you have to remember what he says:
“I am only showing you the way; you must seek it on your own.”