A 15 year old Nepalese boy, Ram Bahadur Bamjan, is being hailed as the reincarnation of Guatama Siddharta (the historical Buddha). The boy has been seated under a pipal tree for the last six months, reputedly without food or water.
The popularity of the phenomenon is due to the resemblance to an episode in the life of the historical Buddha, who was born 160 miles away around 543 BC. The Buddha achieved enlightenment when he meditated beneath a sacred pipal tree for 49 days.
Although the boy is reported to have been sitting in the lotus position since 17th May this year, the local police doubt the veracity of the story and a team is investigating the possibility that someone could survive for such a long time with no food and water. Local doctors failed to reach a final conclusion, although they were allowed no closer than five yards from the boy mystic, declaring that they could confirm no more than that he was alive.