Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ram Bomjon is just meditating

Some news services have picked up a story from the UK Daily Telegraph Pilgrims flock to see 'Buddha boy' said to have fasted six months by Thomas Bell in Bara District, Nepal (filed 21 November 2005).

The story is about a 15-year-old boy called Ram Bomjon, in southern Nepal, who has been meditating under a pipal tree for the past six month, not having eaten or drunk anything since then, nor relieving himself (I don't mean scratching but, oh you know what I mean).

Bell wrote that thousands of pilgrims are going to see Bomjon in order to worship him.

There are even claims that light has been emanating from the boy's forehead.

Prince Siddhartha Gautama who became the historical Buddha over 2,500 years ago achieved enlightenment when he meditated under a pipal tree for 49 days. He also taught followers about the path to enlightenment through his teachings. As I mentioned before about Buddha, he was a teacher and never claimed to be a god. What Bomjon is doing is very similar.

Anyway, Bell further wrote that last week, a snake was said to have bitten Bomjon and a curtain drawn around him. After five days he told people not to call him Buddha and that he was only at the level of rinpoche (like a lama).

Unfortunately, an industry has sprung up around the young boy with profiteering by people setting up market stalls to cater to the increasing crowds of pilgrims.

Now for my scathing attack!

Wire service United Press International has re-reported a shortened version of the story which has been picked up by some American media outlets. And in a not so surprising move, the photo which they published with the story is of the Big Buddha statue on Lantau Island in Hong Kong (from Getty Images).

What was the point? What did a big statue in Hong Kong have to do with the story set in Nepal? Did they think their stupid American readers needed a photo of a big Buddha statue to show what a statue looks like? It gave the impression that the pilgrims were visiting this large statue in an environment that looks totally nothing like Nepal's. Perhaps those news outlets were just totally clueless as usual. Ignorance driving further ignorance. No wonder other people think Americans are stupid. Not only that, why was the story filed under 'wierd news'? The possibility that someone may achieve enlightenment is a serious matter.

See for yourself:
- KGET TV 17 (NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, California)
- WWTI (ABC affiliate in Adams/Newark/Syracuse part of NY)
- 13 WHAM TV (Rochester, NY)

As for that reporter from UK Daily Telegraph, he wasn't any better. For instance, he didn't answer questions like who was the boy? What was the boy like as a child? Was the boy religious? Was the whole thing a set up and a big joke?

Appalling news reporting makes me so angry!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


The weather was a bit cooler today. I was hoping for rain but it didn't. I was back on to my chicken wing for dinner tonight.


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