In 2005 the world was amazed by reports from Nepal that a 15-year-old Buddhist monk, Ram Bahadur Bomjon, had been meditating without food or water for over seven months.
Reporters and pilgrims from all around the world flocked to the remote forest grove in Bara district, near the border with India, to see the teenage ascetic deep in meditation beneath a pipal tree.
Although many suspected a scam – with some going so far as to claim that the proceeds from pilgrims were being used to fund anti-government Maoist insurgent groups – some of Ram Bahadur Bomjon’s followers became convinced that the youth may even be Maitreya, the final emanation of the Buddha whose appearance will coincide with the end of the world.
First Disappearance Of Buddha Boy Ram Bahadur Bomjon
But in March 2006, at the height of his fame, the so-called Buddha boy mysteriously vanished. Several months later he emerged from the forest carrying a sword, and preached to crowds in the remote Baghjhori Bhataghari Jungle.
When asked why he needed a sword, Ram Bahadur Bomjon claimed it was for his own protection.
But a disturbing incident from 2007 casts the Buddha Boy’s decision to arm himself in rather a different light.
Sword Attack By Living Buddha Ram Bahadur Bomjon?
In July 2007 a Nepali-language publication claimed that the then 17-year-old Ram Bahadur Bomjon attacked 22-year-old shepherd and one-time friend, Anil Khatri with a sword, badly injuring Khatri’s shoulder.
Ram Bahadur Bomjon is alleged to have fled after the attack, emerging from the jungle later that summer to preach to a large audience in the Halkhoriya Jungle, some 100 miles south of Kathmandu.
Buddha Boy Beats Up Poor Farmers
While most mainstream Buddhists in Nepal and around the world rejected the idea that Buddha Boy Ram Bahadur Bomjon was in fact a Buddha at all, others weren’t so sure.
He attracted a small but devoted following in the decade after first gaining fame as the Buddha Boy in 2005, but as early as 2010 there were indications that all was not well with Ram Bahadur Bomjon’s sect.
In 2010 police were called after the now 19-year-old brutally beat a group of subsistence farmers with the wooden handle of an axe, in an attack which allegedly went on for three hours.
When police questioned Ram Bahadur Bomjon about the incident, he did not deny he had struck the men, but claimed he only used his hands and that it was in accordance with ‘divine law’ after the farmers had mocked the former Buddha Boy by imitating him during meditation.
But the farmers deny they deliberately disturbed the volatile young spiritual leader, telling police that they were looking for wild vegetables when they accidentally came upon Ram Bahadur Bomjon’s chosen meditation spot.
2012 Kidnapping By Buddha Boy Followers
The farmers’ case against Bomjon floundered when the arrogant would-be Buddha refused to attend court claiming it would interrupt his meditative practices.
But just two years later in 2012, an even more serious series of allegations would emerge against the young guru when two women, a Nepalese citizen and a Slovakian national, had to be rescued from Ram Bahadur Bamjan’s followers, after allegedly being held hostage by the group for two months.
The 35-year-old Slovakian woman, Zsuzsanna Takacs, who goes by the spiritual name Marici, suffered a broken arm and was said to be ‘very fearful’ when Nepalese police arrived at the Buddha Boy’s forest commune, following a campaign by friends of Takacs to free the two women.
She had since written about her ordeal at length on the blog she maintains about the controversial guru and his alleged crimes.
Unfortunately there have been numerous allegations of kidnapping against the group since the 2012 incident. In September 2014 over 100 local people are reported to have swarmed the group’s compound, in order to rescue two men who had allegedly been kidnapped by Ram Bahadur Bamjan’s followers several days earlier.
Intimidation, Torture and Witchcraft Trials
There are allegations that since 2012 journalists working for the Himalayan Times – Nepal’s biggest English-language newspaper – have faced intimidation after attempting to publish stories that portray Ram Bahadur Bamjan or his followers in a negative light.
Even more worryingly unconfirmed accounts claim that the Ram Bahadur Bamjan continues to subject his followers to acts of physical torture and sexual violence.
The former translator for the Buddha Boy and 2012 kidnapping victim, Marici, has claimed that Ram Bahadur Bomjon preaches a virulently misogynist doctrine, forcing female followers to perform heavy labor for pampered male monks and promoting female foeticide.
Along with other ex-followers, she has also claimed that Ram Bahadur Bomjon commonly accuses his dissenters using witchcraft against him. Belief in witchcraft is common in remote regions of Nepal, and alleged witches are often shackled and beaten. Several eye-witnesses have alleged that a number of so-called ‘witches’ in and around Ram Bahadur Bomjon’s compound were bound and brutally beaten on the ex Buddha Boy’s orders including a Spanish female follower, who had traveled to Nepal to receive Bomjon’s teachings.
Buddha Boy’s Family Claim Incest And Murder
Even the Buddha Boy’s family have reportedly suffered at the hands of Bomjon and his followers. In 2012 the Nepalese media reported on allegations made by Ram Bahadur Bomjon’s own mother, that her famous son was incestuously abusing one of his underage sisters who was resident at the compound. Although Bomjon’s mother, Mayadevi, reported her suspicions to the police at the time, the case against her son was dropped, allegedly after a bribe was paid to authorities not the proceed with the investigation against the powerful guru.
In 2016 Manu, the older sister of Ram Bahadur Bomjon and one of his earliest followers, died at the his compound in mysterious circumstances, allegedly as a result of complications following a brain injury she sustained in a beating ordered by her brother the previous year.