The Boy With Divine Powers — Discovery Channel Documentary
November 17, 2008
Nepal, the birthplace of Buddhism,
a magical and mysterious land in which legends
such as the fabled Shangri-La and the elusive Yeti
have dominated cultures for generations.
But a new story has emerged,
one that is being seen as a modern miracle,
something only possible through the spiritual power of Buddhism.
It's a phenomena that people draw great pride and inspiration from here. (Keithe D. Lesile, Writer)
Ram Bomjan, a fifteen year old boy
has been meditating in the dense jungle
without food or water for ten months.
He hasn't eaten anything.
Not even water?
Many suggest he is a physiological and cognitive freak
with such immense power of mind over matter
it could change the way we look at modern science
and medicine forever.
If he has truly gone without food and water,
it is difficult to explain on a purely scientific basis
and you would have to bring in spirituality here. (Dr. Prativa Pandey, Travel Medical Centre, Kathmandu)
As millions of pilgrims flock to the site, we will explore the truth.
To see that in the middle of Nepal, in the middle of all, with crowds around,
that's very very special and very questioning of course. (Jerome Edou, Writer and Buddhist Scholar)
Is he the second coming, Buddha reincarnate
or is this something far more sinister?
An elaborate hoax in which a young boy is being
starved to death before our very eyes for profit?
Many people fast for religious or health reasons for short periods of time
but they never reject all sustenance.
The longest a person can go without food
has been documented as being around 2 1/2 months
before you die of starvation.
In an open environment breathing normally
with warm air surrounding you without any fluid at all,
you would last four, perhaps five, days. (Catherine Collins, Dietician)
Ram Bomjan has not eaten and, more importantly, not drunk anything for ten months.
By filming him continuously over the next four days,
we will investigate this phenomenon
and discover whether a human being can live without food and water.
It would be impossible to meditate for that long without food and water.
I studied similar cases in the past and this is possible. (Dr. Sudhir V. Shah, Director of Neurosciences)
Through his deep meditation
he has gone into an hibernating state
and he is living on spiritual energy. (Lucy-Ann Prideaux, Nutritionist)
I can't accept that,
it goes against what I know about how the body works, about the nutrition that you need.
He is getting food and he is getting fluid from somewhere.
Ram has never been scientifically tested.
He sits undisturbed, as millions watch his every move.
If he did the same thing in Birmingham or in Baltimore,
I am not sure that society would perceive him in the same way.
Why isn't he in school, why isn't he getting a job,
he should be doing something.
Nepal is a country relatively untouched by the global market,
where 90% are devout Hindus and 10% Buddhists.
I think it is a great story for Nepal,
I mean, I think it comes at a right time.
Nepal is in a state of political turmoil,
so I think it's very interesting that, all of a sudden, there is this
birth of a myth in front of our eyes, you know, just starting.
Nepal faces a stark desolate reality without its religious beliefs.
I don't know if the story of Ram Bahadur Bomjan
appeals to a certain consciousness now
looking for some saint, some figure,
someone who can perform miracles
at a time when life seems so torturing and broken and uncertain.
As science progresses, it pushes God further and further out.
And where science hasn't yet encroached, you will find God. (Dr. John Leach, Psychology Lecturer, Lancaster University)
Ram began meditating in May 2005.
By November the remarkable story heads the press worldwide.
Newspapers claim fake,
government officials say that the boy's local supporters
have received around 4000 pounds in donations.
Up until now no film crew has been allowed to get close.
We will attempt to be the first to obtain proof of the claims of the Buddha boy.
With fierce loyalty, his followers hide him at certain times of the day.
This has drawn suspicion.
But who are these followers and what are their motives?
What has happened is that, because of the people who started coming in,
it has turned into a kind of a circus. (Kunda Dixit, Editor Nepali Times)
Soon roads become nothing but dirt tracks.
After travelling more that twelve hours from Kathmandu,
the last forty kilometers through dense jungle,
suddenly a gate manned by sentries bars the way any further.
And we are diverted into a bustling temporary city of hawkers,
fast food sellers and a bus park in the middle of nowhere.
Previously we used to farm only but now there are jobs available,
there is good income.
Amazingly ten months ago, there was nothing here but jungle.
ever since the boy began his meditation.
There is a kind of economic desperation which
perhaps a phenomenon like this will attract people.
I used to run a restaurant in the city, but this one makes much more money.
After walking five kilometers from the temporary city with the throngs of devotees,
we are confronted by crowds twenty deep
and the boy surrounded by a series of barbed wire fences.
We have to fight our way through just to get a glimpse from the fifty meter fence.
People have come from far and wide.
Many have walked for days.
Some give offerings, others pray or give donations.
We need to get closer than the fence is allowing us
and soon realize Ram's eldest brother is running the site.
Ganga Jeet Bomjan leads the committee;
an eighteen strong self-appointed group
set up to protect the boy's welfare
and it will be his decision if we are allowed to film.
Today I am busy, maybe tomorrow is a good day.
Finally he lets us to film inside the fifty meter boundary.
Unfortunately just as we reached a second fence
at a distance of twenty five meter from the boy,
we are stopped from going any further.
So it is here we start recording.
By the end of our first day Ram has not moved a muscle
since we began filming eight hours previously.
If you wanted to prove that he really wasn't taking any fluid at all,
you would have to film continuously for at least four to five days.
At 10 pm we are moved back to the fifty meter fence,
too far away for our infrared cameras to pick out the boy.
Without water even under reasonably good conditions
you're talking about lasting no more than about four days.
He is trapped behind the gate padlocked by the brother.
He has the only key; it is the only access in or out.
By staying at the site and continually filming
we hope to find some clues
to Buddha boy's remarkable claim.
In Nepal, Ram Bomjan, a fifteen year old boy has been meditating
in the hollow of a tree for ten months.
He plans to continue for six years.
I do know the case of a medical student (James Scott, Survivor),
he did survive without food for something like forty three days but
he was able to survive on snow.
So far his supporters claim he has not eaten or drunk anything.
I get the feeling this is going to be slightly different than some of the other
Hindu scams that have happened,
some of these are not genuine holy men,
they have long beards and then they smear themselves in ashes
and then they would be in cohorts with the local villagers.
This one, I think, will carry on a bit.
We are into our second day 27 hours into filming;
still not enough to prove that this is a miracle or a scam.
To find out the truth we're staying on site day and night
to film continuously for another 69 hours,
as this is the time it takes for an average human being to die
without any water.
And seventy percent of the body is water,
without it, it would affect every physical functioning of the body.
By day two you start to cannibalize
the stores of protein that you have.
I will say, from day two your skin is going to get rough,
cracks appearing at the corner of the lips,
and skin will lose its color and the brightness and the elasticity.
So far we have not seen any of these physical changes
in the boy's appearance.
He is surviving on nourishment.
The question is what kind of nourishment?
We can't, as westerners, tap into
using spiritual force, spiritual energy for nourishment.
That's the key here.
Every morning an army of hawkers move in selling Buddha boy's merchandise
including brochures, photo albums and DVDs.
We started selling these CDs a month ago when we were allowed to do so.
Many of the sellers and pilgrims think he is the reincarnation of Buddha.
His dream has been to gain the Buddha's knowledge and spread the light of peace.
The similarities are uncanny.
Siddhartha the Buddha was born a mere hundred and fifty miles away
to a mother with the same name, Maya Devi.
Both chose to meditate for six years under the same type of tree
and follow a life of abstinence [note 1].
Buddha eventually found enlightenment through meditation
and that is what Ram is trying to achieve.
You can see a light coming from the top of his head
and sometimes from his forehead.
Many of the stories circulating at the site are probably just gossip,
but they all feed the myth and the growing aura of the boy.
One story that started the legend was a poisonous snake biting on two separate occasions.
I saw him after the snake bite and he looked very pale.
Cobras and vipers are common to the area and their bite is fatal.
Incredibly Ram required no medical attention from the bites.
Because of his meditation
his fluid eliminated the poison. (Bhikkhu Maitri, Founder, International Buddhist Society)
I heard about it. Some saw the blood but no one saw the snake.
He was sweating there and with the sweating his poison was gone.
The boy himself does seem to have some spiritual powers.
If we were bitten by a snake, we would already be gone.
Just because of his meditation, pure meditation, he is alive.
You know you could question if you don't believe in these things
but the people seem to, his family seems to have faith in it
so we have to sort of recognize that.
True or not it is apparent that Ram Bomjan is putting himself in danger
not only by refusing sustenance
but also by sitting exposed to the elements and wild life.
This fatalistic attitude to death is very common in Asia.
At this time you know he lacks calories, he lacks proteins, he lacks vitamins,
and he lacks water so he would be susceptible to illnesses.
He's got no ability to maintain any immune response or to support any immune response
and it does increase his risk of dying from an acute infection.
This lack of fear in dying is reflected in the way Nepalese conduct their funeral rituals.
In the west they are private sad affairs, but there is openness here.
An acceptance that sees death as part of the cycle of life.
Many put their bodies through extremes as they think it's their mission in life.
There are many stories about these Rishi Munis
and these great sages in the past.
Some of them could live without food and water
for many years, not many months. (Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology)
In modern literature "Geripala" the non- eating saint survived without food and water for sixty six years,
the longest time on record.
Today there are many that claim extreme fasting
from Pilot Baba, who survived under water for five days without breathing,
to Yogi Mata who buried herself alive for seventy two hours.
Even in Buddhist philosophy, there are people like that.
Five hours into the second day of watching Ram
detained at the twenty five meter fence,
a chance arises to try to find some answers to this extreme fasting phenomenon.
Lama Lekshey, grand master from India runs several monasteries around the world.
It was at one of these that Ram was taught meditation.
The lama has come to check on his pupil
and allows us to follow him into the inner sanctum.
The boy belongs to Kegyu Buddhist
which is in India in Himanchhal Pradesh and that monastery belongs
to the Shakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. (Lama Jamyang Lekshey, Shakya Tibetan Monastery)
Very little is known of Shakya, one of the four Buddhist traditions.
Its leaders keep their teachings a closely guarded secret.
Buddha's teaching or our practice is not for your fame,
not for your reputation, not to collect so many disciples.
We usually don't expose much.
We have another meditator; he has been doing this for the last thirty years.
Today his hairs are so long that he can't stretch down so he put them to
small bag hanged up behind and then put all the hairs into that.
To endure solitary existence in extreme conditions,
obviously, if he is genuine,
he has to use some yogic techniques
like feeding on the air, feeding on the breath.
There are other techniques where you use stone,
a little stone that you put in your mouth
and you feed on the stone.
There are all those stories,
they are documented in the literature, Buddhist literature.
To understand what type of yogic techniques Ram is practicing from Shakya tradition of teaching,
the Lama sits and stares at the boy.
I am amazed by the immense intensity of his determination.
He told his mother that he was going to sit there for six years and reach Buddhahood
which is very rare, I mean nobody says that.
They sit facing each other for more than an hour
and what seems to turn into a meditation duel,
sweat starts to fall from Ram's face despite a lack of movement
and an air temperature of only fifteen degree centigrade [59 °F].
To suddenly start pouring sweat from the face is a very strange phenomenon,
he is managing to control his body's physiological process
which no one has demonstrated before.
It is not something you ever see in western society
and how that's been controlled is beyond my level of knowledge.
When he was sitting down,
I was doing my meditation;
actually I was competing
and you know that the sweat came down.
Why did he sweat?
Oh, no it's a secret thing, I don't want to tell you right now.
In ancient Buddhist texts it is written there is yogic technique called "Tummo"
which increases the body temperature under intensive meditation,
sweating is a side effect.
The question is a young boy like that, you know, how he has mastered these kinds of techniques.
Obviously he has not practiced a long time in caves,
or in solitude, or in a monastery, so he is very rare.
Especially nowadays to hear somebody is doing it
in front of everybody like that, I mean totally live.
To understand how Ram learned the practice of Tummo
and continue to survive without food and water,
we must look into his past and his first visit to Lumbini,
the birth place of Buddha.
These places are the power point,
if you are staying here with faith, devotion and with the mindfulness
definitely that energy will do something
for your brain and to your physical body.
Definitely a boy like that, you know, who is so much devoted
and sitting for almost seven or eight months
and meditating in a jungle, you know,
definitely I believe that he was very much inspired
maybe got some power, that's possible. (Basanta Bidari, archaeologist and writer)
After Lumbini, Ram chose to study at the secret Tibetan monastery
near Dehradun, India.
Ten thousand feet up in the Himalayan Mountains and cut off from civilization.
There are many examples of monks practicing
Tummo intensive meditation in the hills nearby.
Ram sort of gravitated towards this monastery and at that moment,
I think it was 2002 or 2003 that he came;
he sort of like his own recognition. (Seren Tan, Sponsor, Kyegu Monastery)
Well he is too different.
Why is he too different?
It's like something different to the other monks.
Tummo is a particular form of Tibetan meditation
where the exponents are capable of withstanding
extremely harsh conditions with very little food,
very little water and very little clothing.
Some Lamas are doing meditation in the icy Himalayas,
from their body they bring the heat
so same way maybe he has done that.
American scientists tested the theory in 1982.
Monks were soaked in sheets of cold water,
forty five minutes later steam began rising through the cloth.
Some of the studies I have been doing, show that
even novices using Tibetan chanting
can increase their tolerance to cold press of pain
by a hundred percent or more.
But imagine he can do this for hours and hours and days on end,
extremely special skill.
But he learnt extra also.
Extra, you mean he learnt extra hours in the classroom?
Not classroom, in his room like homework.
He is doing what they call an absorption kind of meditation,
you train your mind to switch off.
The idea of meditation is to concentrate on your mind,
to observe your mind in perfect equanimity,
even though I am sure he is aware of what is going on at the same time
he keeps his concentration on his meditation,
that's why he is so strong, that's why he is so impressive.
So I truly believe he is a Buddha from the past life
and coming to this life time at a young age.
Well you know research has confirmed that with meditation
you lower your heart rate, you lower your cardiac output
and you also slow down breathing
so you really lower your metabolism to a level that
much less food can really sustain you
but starving for seven to eight months that has not really been looked at.
Scientists will think if you don't drink and eat
it is something but it is not for the Buddhist,
it is nothing to surprise.
Buddhists always think that you can change anything
if you can control your mind.
On returning from the monastery in India,
Ram spent an unhappy five months at home
before leaving to meditate in the jungle.
His meditation was disturbed many times
before fences were setup to protect him.
Suddenly our filming is short cut again
as the brother catches us within the inner fence;
he fears we got too close.
His followers escort us from the area.
It is only now we noticed the full scale of the operation that protects the boy.
Dozens of disciples pace the perimeter,
others are hard at work building new fences,
sweeping and moving on the throngs of devotees,
there must be forty on duty at any one time.
Ram's brother has created a fortress around the boy.
He lives in constant fear that someone will one day break the meditation.
Despite his hostility the brother unexpectedly offers
to take us to the village where Ram once lived,
allowing a camera to be left at the site to continue filming
to prove Ram doesn't move.
This is my house.
There are nine children altogether living in the modest family home.
This is kitchen rooms.
Looking around, it appears life hasn't changed a great deal
since Ram began meditating.
Reports have said that donation money from the site
is going into the pockets of brother and his followers.
But there is little evidence to suggest
that the family are benefiting.
We don't use this money for domestic expenses
but deposit it into a bank account.
Obviously, once we deducted the running cost of the site,
like food and other such requirements
for the volunteers and the committee...
Obviously I feel some pain;
he has spent a long time in the jungle alone.
It rained for two months at first,
I feared he might die. (Maya Devi Bomjan, Ram's mother)
I asked him to join a monastery
and was even going to spend two hundred or three hundred rupees on it;
he refused, saying it was impossible for the teachers
to give him that level of education he needs.
He wanted God Himself to be his guru.
Just ten months ago, Ganga Jeet Bomjan was a farmer
working in the land in the village like generations before him.
Now he has a big responsibility
running a flourishing business looking after Nepal's biggest tourist attraction,
one that is growing every day.
Thousands have even flocked to see him and in the three hours
we've been at the house three hundred and fifty monks turned up to pay homage.
Ordinary fifteen year old boys are not wise like he is.
He is special, he is a god himself.
All souls have god within them but he is a real god. (Guru Ganshagar)
The brother seems to enjoy the power
holding calls, giving press interviews, and speaking to visitors.
Scam or not, what Ganga Jeet Bomjan has done is pretty remarkable,
turning around what was an impoverished part of the country and uniting its local people,
but how long can his authority remain unchallenged?
The committee seems to be growing by the day,
people getting fired, people coming in,
They all want the slice of the pie.
Ram Bomjan has been sitting under a tree
in the jungle of southern Nepal.
His supporters claim without food or water for ten months.
Forty eight hours ago we started filming continuously day and night.
Just what should his body being going through?
By day three you stop producing urine,
the person's blood pressure will fall
because there is not enough fluid in the system to maintain the circulation.
His cheeks would really start to get hollow;
your skin is going to get rough and it would crack more easily,
it would bleed more easily
especially if someone is sitting in the environment
and not really protected from the elements
you know the rain, the sun and the cold weather.
Ram still looks exactly the same
We haven't witnessed him move, eat or drink anything since our arrival.
But strangely we have seen him sweating profusely,
an indication he is practicing Tummo,
an ancient form of meditation.
Could this yogic technique explain how he is managing
to survive and stay so healthy?
Through the power of his mind
he has been successful in physically lowering
his whole metabolic state, so therefore his requirements
are also going to drop-drop-drop
to two to three hundred calories, in energy terms, a day.
He would have been taking some nutrition from somewhere.
Perhaps it was tree sap,
he would be getting sugars from that and that would modify fast,
that would protect some of his protein stores.
I think he is practicing a type of ancient yogic exercises
where you can feed on one breath,
or feed on the element in the air.
The bark of the Pipal tree that Ram sits under
can have a powerful healing effect on skin complaints
such as a physical signs of dehydration.
However its sap is poisonous
and its berries, while edible,
only appear for two months of the year.
He must be surviving on something else.
So far, we have not seen anything to suggest
he is being fed or allowed to leave the site;
there is only one way out and that is where we observe from.
We are not the only one doing the investigation.
Ram Bhakta Gurung and his science team
have been doing independent research for the government
and have been observing Buddha boy for six days.
Even there is from morning to evening
like this meditation, it is not normal.
Overnight the temperature reaches a low of three degrees centigrade [37.4 ?F],
the coldest night yet, since our arrival.
The investigators and security shiver under blankets
but Ram is wearing just a thin cloth.
What you should see on a cold evening is if he is physically shivering.
So, if he isn't shivering,
he is managing to suppress the natural urge
to maintain his body temperature
at thirty six point eight degree centigrade.
This is more evidence to suggest Ram is doing
the yogic technique of intense Tummo meditation,
generating his own body heat
and preventing the onset of hypothermia.
At six in the morning we rush into the enclosure,
someone claims there is a blue light coming from his head,
we cannot see it.
How is Ram surviving without moving?
There are theories about surviving of the environment
but everything is just conjecture, nothing is fact...
A scientific break through claiming evidence to
suggest that extreme fasting may indeed be possible
has just reached us from another part of the world.
A doctor in Ahmedabad, India
contacted us, after witnessing the boy on television.
He says that his team has made a discovery
that can finally solve so many questions.
I was really fascinated to see the boy
who is fasting for six to eight months
and that is not at all really so exciting to me
because I studied similar cases in the past
and I can understand that this is possible.
Dr. Shah's most famous case is Prahlad Jaani
a holy man who claims he hasn't eaten or drunk anything
since he was twelve.
I haven't eaten anything not even now
even though I am eighty years old.
That made me really quite excited because
I knew that this is something
going to change the feeling of medical world.
Although I walk hundred, two hundred kilometers in the jungle,
I never sweat nor feet tired or sleepy.
I can meditate for three, eight or twelve hours or even months.
Prahlad Jaani recently spent ten days in observation,
watched and filmed twenty four hours a day.
Minute to minute, second to second
and he was kept in a cabin which was sealed from outside,
the bathroom was sealed.
One of my assistants would remain with him
all throughout twenty four hours with changing duty.
Doctors would come throughout the day
at different times, which were not be told to him
and we made sure that nothing could go wrong
in the sense medical world should know
that was not a single report.
They took blood samples from me three times a day,
morning, afternoon and evening.
They checked my kidney, brain and put machines all over my body.
They were trying to find out which factors made my body work.
They put machines inside my body also.
He wasn't given any food or water
and even when he was allowed to take a bath
the quantity of water was measured before and after
to make sure nothing was lost.
As I said after ten days the parameters were all normal,
we studied his hematology
and whatever studies we could think of, we could do it.
I will live up to approximately one thousand to five thousand
may be even ten thousand years with this kind of body.
That there was no food or water given to this man,
that he did not pass urine or stool.
He did not even dribble urine.
After few hours the urine would appear,
some fluid would appear in the bladder and again it would disappear.
It is possible to modify fluid intakes
so you produce a very small amout of urine each day.
And if he is covered with a cloth the chances are that he could urinate
and it would evaporate from the ground or soak into the ground
without anyone noticing.
Modern medicine tells us that an average human
can only survive for four days without water.
While confined, Prahlad Jaani incredibly lasted 10 days under observation.
Dr. Shah has a theory on how he is managing to survive without food or fluid.
He feels the holy man is feeding off of the sun.
He used to do solar gazing,
he says that you have to go to a flat ground
and barefooted and just look at the sun.
Its impossible for us to generate
heat or light energy from looking at the sun,
almost like in the act of photosynthesis
which is the process by which plants generate their energy supply
and this is absolutely impossible for a human being to do.
On the first day, you will look for five seconds
but without blinking your eyes.
Every few days you will increase few seconds
and maybe after a month you come to a minute or so.
In fact, staring at the sun would damage the retina of the eye.
A scientist from America also examined him several times
opthalmic system and he found nothing abnormal.
The sun transmits energy through a hole in the holy man's throat
producing a sticky solid lump that he can redigest.
The rest he claims refills the chakra power points in his body.
It is not a miracle, it is supernatural.
Could these results provide the answers
to how the boy is surviving without food and water?
Unfortunately we cannot take Ram to a lab.
For us to have any chance of replicating doctor’s findings,
we must head back to Nepal
and set up once again from the beginning
for four days and four nights of continuous recording and observation.
However when we get back to the site,
we are met with a very different scenario.
While we were away fifty nine people witnessed
Ram spontaneously burst into flames
as fire erupted from his chest.
On the fifth of January, Wednesday [Thursday]
around eight o' clock we saw a fire coming from him.
He stood and threw the cloth in front of him
and was naked in the middle of burning fire.
And then after some time, in a very soft voice
he called for his brother.
He asked for a red robe to be thrown over him.
He wrapped the cloth over his body and he said,
let him concentrate on his meditation
and do not disturb him.
Over the past three hundred years
there have been more than two hundred reports
of spontaneous combustion [note 2];
the burning of a body without an identifiable ignition source.
Its cause is an unsolved mystery.
However looking at previous evidence of Ram's sweating
and assuming he can control and increase
his body temperature through Tumo meditation,
maybe this is an extreme demonstration of his power
or just an increasingly elaborate hoax to gain more publicity.
After just a week away security has tightened
and the brother seems a deflated figure.
When he starts making about twenty thousand rupees a day from this
and there is money involved,
this is Nepal. There are going to be fights,
it would be unnatural if the committee had not
started bickering about it yet.
The committee seems to have evolved and doubled in size,
and it is not clear who is in charge.
There are many voices, all challenging for superiority.
The family probably would feel left out about this
and probably feel like their son's original purpose
has been defeated by all this money making
and that it's very unbuddha like
There seems to be a split within the committee
as to whether or not we are to be allowed to continue.
In fact the government response has been interesting,
you know, originally they said, well, we're gonna test the boy,
the Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology
is gonna go and take blood samples and do a DNA test
and I don't know why DNA. But they haven't done it yet.
The government of Nepal requested us
to visit that site and observe what was happening.
We went very close by and we observed very minutely.
His body almost dead, you know,
only the head part is alive.
We are concerned about the way of meditation without having
any food and drinks and next to that the propaganda. (Dr. Naresh Man Bajrachary, Kathmandu University)
Face colour was red like blood colour.
It is important to test on the boy,
if we want to know the truth.
The reports sent to the government states
to complete his meditation
and not to be tested scientifically.
Whatever he is doing there, it is his personal right.
There's not even been an effort to try to regulate the income
or see who is getting what and try to see if it is not being scamed
and people are not being cheated.
There's no official oversite over this whole thing.
So, its happening in this sort of, you know,
Wild West kind of jungle setting.
Another film crew has also arrived.
They have even more difficulty than us
and fail to get close to the boy.
If you are making documentary, people are never knowing
if you are acting also on the political parts
sometimes it also can be very difficult,
very dangerous also to shoot here with a camera. (Jurgen Schunk, Journalist)
Nepal is in the grip of a long raging civil war;
eleven thousand people have died in the last nine years.
The ruling royals are holding elections in the next few days
but violence has escalated
as the Maoist people's movement tries to take over
and some believe the Maoist guerillas have been seen in the area.
The Maoists are more acting in the villages
whereas for the army it's more difficult to reach
and more difficult to fight against them.
Everybody is speaking in Nepal you know
the Maoists are speaking, the political parties are speaking
and this guy just sits there like a silent prophet.
Eventually we are allowed to film
but under close inspection from the committee.
We reset our cameras to record the next four days and nights
the length of time it takes for a human to die without fluid.
This is the only way we can prove if he is genuine or not.
After forty eight hours of continuous observation
Ram still hasn't moved.
What is almost unbelievable is the fact that this child
manages to stay in the same position
during waking hours and sleeping hours.
Try sitting for thirty minutes or an hour, three hours
not moving just concentrating.
And within twenty four to thirty six hours where the skin surface
reaches the contact point of where you're sitting,
you will get damaged in that skin area.
And formation of what we know in the western world
as called a pressure sore.
It is the most challenging thing he is dealing with,
A few hours later he begins fidgeting and jerking.
What you would probably notice if you scrutinize
your footage very carefully,
it's that there are very small changes,
with that he is shifting balance, maybe,
from one buttock to another
to relief pressure points and allow the blood
to flow back to that tissue.
As the sun sets, sixty hours into filming,
and the committee takes a tighter strangle hold.
We find ourselves back with the family
whose devotion for Ram remains undiminished.
There are many that have devoted their life to be in his presence.
Some have never been home since arriving.
Please stay here a couple of days and feel for yourself,
We have lived here eating only once a day for many months.
I will stay here till my death.
The relaxed environment suddenly changes
when words goes through the camp,
there is a tiger loose in the site.
Is it for real or rather the committee
creating more hype around the boy?
The jackal was just over there,
the tiger was a little further away.
Chaos reigns as many fear for the safety of Ram.
I understand the Nepali sense of the miracle of him,
not having taken food not drinking,
but for me those are not the important issues.
You know whether he eats or drinks,
I hope he stays healthy.
After a thorough search tiger prints are discovered.
We realized how vulnerable the boy really is.
We wonder if Ram is the innocent victim in this spectacle.
After fifty eight hours, life continues as normal
donation boxes are filled, and the crowds start to arrive.
Ram appears to show no classic signs of degeneration through fluid loss.
But a closer look at our footage might help us understand
his physical and mental health.
He looks unwell, if you saw this individual sat
against a wall in London, you would be very concerned about how he looks.
As life passes him by,
Ram just sits calmly meditating.
There is a swelling in his neck, but whether that represents a goitre
or an underactive thyroid, it's very difficult to say.
Having a severely under active thyroid
would mean that your metabolic state is incredibly low
which means that you can survive for a very long time
without food and fluid.
It almost looks like you can see the ribs showing through
and that would represent quite advanced starvation
and you start to waste away the muscles
between the lungs, between the rib cages.
Probably sat in that position well away from individuals
is the safest thing for him in order to prevent
an infection that would ultimately kill him.
Is Ram now a victim of his own success
being slowly starved to death for profit?
Only time will tell.
This could turn out to be a very sad story.
We have been observing Ram Bomjan continuously
in the jungle of Nepal for eighty six hours.
In that time we have not seen him take any food or fluid
or show any signs of dehydration...
An average human should be just a few hours from death.
With a prolonged deficiency of food and water,
your brain is going to lack the glucose,
you are not going to have enough fluid in your system.
As he progresses without those fluids he becomes delirious.
On day four, that confusion will get worse, you start fidgeting,
your body is going into kidney failure,
and ultimately the person dies of dehydration.
To rule out foul play within the secure inner enclosure,
we defy the committee and enlist Prem Lama,
Ram's oldest friend and caretaker, to take a closer look.
In the beginning, he used to walk around this tree
in the morning chanting mantras.
After that he meditated for three months
before going into the deep trance that he is in today.
After a thorough search inside the tree
and the ground area surrounding Ram,
there is nothing suspicious,
no food pipes buried or supplies hidden.
Are people there creating a scam for us to believe in.
I hope not it would be an elaborate scam to do that.
Surely if it was a scam someone within the committee
would have let on, told the papers,
weakened for the money.
The people in this area, they don't tell lies.
They tell truth, that is also the proof. (Deepak Limbu, local science teacher)
After ninety six hours of filming
Ram has defied modern science
by continuing his meditation and remaining alive.
Many of the pilgrims at the site are from a scientific background
and they are torn by what they see.
Is he a miracle or a myth?
We must prove this. Science has to be re-written. Modern medicine does not work here.
We cannot say that science is a failure…
But whatever science has invented so far is not sufficient.
We have all religions built around miracles,
Jesus rose from the grave. Millions of people believe that.
That's the centre and core of their religion.
Are we saying in another culture it's not possible?
Everything is possible.
It is unknown how he is meditating. Modern medicine says that within 72 hours…
if you do not drink water, your kidney fails…
but medical science is still not fully knowledgeable about this.
Prolonged fasting is not as simple as we understand.
We all should explore the benefits of this kind of fasting.
The debate of science and spirituality will always continue
and so too the tug of war between those who have Ram's best interest
at heart and those who want to make a quick buck.
It's very difficult when you have that belief
in an individual that has transcended
on the normal biological needs of food and fluid.
It's very hard to reject that if you truly believe it.
Maybe the brother knows the answer.
He has the key to the inner sanctum.
He is the only one allowed to speak to Ram.
He will continue to empty the donation boxes,
reaping the rewards while the truth remains unresolved.
The media people should not create confusion.
He will show the truth himself.
Despite the isolation, he has created a commodity,
a celebrity icon for the whole of Nepal.
Surely everyone is a winner in this situation.
After six years he will bring the proof to the world.
He will tell the truth by himself.
I am this, I will do this and I want to get this
I have appealed to all the people in the world
not to talk and say bad things about him.
No one really knows what Ram is thinking,
how he is surviving or if he is Buddha,
and so it turned out.
March the 13, 2006, events took a turn no one could have anticipated,
Ram disappeared [March 11, 2006].
Some reports suggest he has gone deeper into the jungle
to continue his meditation in peace,
Other reports are more sinister,
claiming that he has been kidnapped.
Perhaps Ram has decided against being a scientific miracle
The once thriving bazaar and bus park is deserted,
the fences broken.
And the only trace of Ram is a red robe
lying discarded in the hollow of a tree.
He has not been seen since.
 Information on the Buddha is not completely accurate here.
 The presented picture of the monk self-immolating is not a picture of spontaneous combustion
June 29, 2007
Kathmandu, Nepal - Ram Bahadur Bomjon "Buddha Boy" is a 15-year old Nepalese boy who was hailed by many to be Buddha incarnate - 11 months without any...