Thursday, July 1, 2010

Buddha Boys (video)

Discovery -- a scientific team investigates pure fasting and nonstop meditation claims.

There is, of course, only one Buddha Boy. His name is Ram Bahadur Bomjon, now Palden Dorje, a teen sitting and fasting in the jungles of Nepal. But others also loosely get called by the same thing. Novices (samaneras, "little ascetics") are Buddhist-monks-in-training who keep Ten Precepts as a means of earning great merit for themselves and their families.

They usually ordain temporarily and may sometimes be seen engaged in childish mischief. Since they are not monks but only trainees, such behavior is common and within the bounds of monastic discipline. They are being raised to be responsible members of society not the monastery. Very few go on to become recluses (samanas). Nevertheless, because they meditate and dress like miniature monks, they are sometimes called "Buddha Boys."

Thousands of years ago, the historical Buddha's son Rahula (depicted above on a Laotian monastery wall) became the first novice at the age of 7, making him the youngest person to be ordained, a custom that continues to this day in countries like Thailand, Tibet, and elsewhere throughout Asia.

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