Ram Bomjon started his public meditation performance in 2005. I remember that around 2006 we were getting near to each other with my partner, and watched the short news shot in a TV set in our friends’ chalet. A big group of people was with us, because it was Christmas holiday, yet everyone dismissed the “Buddha Boy” as a clear hoax. I was the only one who got excited seeing the Nepali “Little Buddha” sitting in lotus position under the Pipal tree, profusely sweating in the cold winter, with eyes quickly moving behind the closed eyelids in an apparent religious meditative trance.
“Wow” I was thinking, “This boy knows what I also knew!” He seemed to go through the inner activation of Nadis which I knew so intimately from my own meditation practice during my teenager years! He is real! I tried to convince the others in the room, but everyone just made jokes of the boy. It was also told in the news that people started to donate big money to him, but I did not care.
Then I forgot about the Buddha Boy, who was somewhere far in Nepal, because of my sweepingly quick love affair with my partner, an unplanned pregnancy and the preparations for our new family life together. I cannot claim that my relationship was ideal. But I wanted to stick to it, I wished for stability, a home, a partner and a child, as this is the normal thing in society. I had enough of “alternative lifestyles” that I was forced to follow before because of my poverty.
I also got a well-paid job and we had rented a cute but modern flat with a beautiful view at the Prague Zoo. Nepal was thus not the first place where I went to sleep with the magnificent cries of peacocks, roars of tigers and yelling of monkeys… I loved my new life. But deep inside there was a growing decision to fly to the Himalayan country once, and meet that Yogi boy meditating alone in the deep jungle.
I was staying at home due to my risky pregnancy, and missing some spiritual connection I remembered that Buddha Boy of Nepal I saw in the news once again in 2007. I did not need to search much, the Internet was already quite overwhelmed by information about him, photos, YouTube videos, blogs… Wikipedia and Google had been drawing an entirely positive picture of the Buddha Boy, what encouraged me even more. I became soon the member of the Buddha Boy Google Groups dedicated to him, led by “Mu” that time, and quite soon, as a very active member who was always online, I was requested to become one of its four managers. A task I was more than happy to accept!
Sitting with my growing belly many hours at the computer, I was delighted to be connected to like-minded spiritual people in the Google Groups, and utilize all my rich experiences in Yoga and meditation for the support and propagation of Ram Bomjon. He became my “protégée”, that “innocent and young meditating boy” in that faraway jungle, as we all in the Google Group had perceived him. I was watching the videos about him again and again, and getting deeper and deeper, back to my own former Yoga practice and meditative states.
All could have been nice, if only my baby did not suddenly decide to leave his small body inside my womb. It was in the fifth month of pregnancy, on one cruel September day of 2007. Obviously, I broke down totally. It was just too much for me, after such a difficult life, permanent struggle. I was down physically and emotionally so much that the doctor allowed me to stay at home for nearly a year. I was around 40, an age when the departure of the first child can be also the last chance lost. Anywhere I went, often rivers of tears ran down my face…
That time I first started to think about giving up my worldly lifestyle forever, and returning to mere Yoga and meditations. This tragic experience reminded me again of death, and the unsure fruit of worldly efforts. Although I went back to my US office work, I was actually never totally recovered from the disillusion with worldly life, and continued to see the phenomenon of Buddha Boy in Nepal as a solution and healing for my tragic life story. An inspiration for holding on to spirituality, no matter what as the only thing which seemed to have any sense to me.
I continued to be active in the Google Group, and got very near to Andrea Good, online, sharing with her my most private problems. It was her idea that I could eventually join her in Nepal and both of us serve Buddha Boy personally, as his disciples, translators of his teachings and simply protectors of him, as we both believed he was surrounded by rather brute and rough rogues, as the videos and photos showed us. Andrea and I had the same reverence towards Bomjon, similar age and similarly wishing to sacrifice the rest of our lives for spirituality.
Andrea, after she “got the bug” of devotion to Bomjon, refused to have physical relationship with her Japanese husband, as she wanted to be in celibacy, as – we believed – Ram Bomjon was, too (it turned out only much later that he had been fooling us all – already in 2011 he had an established relationship with his girlfriend Dipshika, whom he regularly visited in India’s Darjeeling). Inspired by her decisiveness, but also the death of my child, I also asked my partner to move out and not to keep even our physical relationship. Obviously, this meant that suddenly I had to cover the full rent of the apartment which we used to share, as well as food and other basics. I started to struggle financially once again. I even pressured my partner to accept Bomjon as I have accepted him, convincing him that he is a real enlightened Yogi. He was unsure, but to make me happy, he became member of the Google Group too, and we arranged a Pay Pal and bank account to centrally collect the European donations so as to be sent to Nepal easier.
But finally something totally unexpected happened, what actually gave me no more options, no more choice. Just four months after I returned to work after the death of my unborn child, suddenly more than three quarters of my salary had been cut off. I have found out that this was an execution which started in my orphan student years by a few penalties for not having tram tickets… After more than twenty years the lawyers had been waiting for their opportunity, and when I finally got out of my whole-life misfortune and got a prestigious job, they struck down!
In a matter of a month or two I suddenly could not pay any rent, not speaking about other basic needs. A few months after the tragic events, I could not go on anymore with this world. Yes, this was exactly that point when formerly reasonable, critical and independent people cling to cults and fake gurus. I was just totally hopeless! My partner, whom I had just pushed away of myself, was not able to help me stand up anymore. I had nothing, apart from a high debt which I could not pay back even in ten human lives, and no one to save me. Until I lived as a beggar, a social case, or was retired from illnesses, the lawyers could not get on me. But as soon as I had a chance for a career and climb up from my poverty, my sad past had hit…
I had to quit my job and leave my flat. I had literarily nowhere to go. I got temporary shelter in a village of my friends, traveling many hours to Prague. It was a freezing winter in 2010, and I remember waiting for the bus in minus 20 degrees with nearly paralyzed fingers, ears and nose, imagining my “escape” from this heartless bureaucratized society to the “enlightened Buddha Boy” to the warm jungle of Nepal: no more chance, I have no more place to go, only there!
The cult’s calling
I was always critical against cults and fake gurus, and especially their riches, but somehow did not apply the same standard towards Bomjon and his cult members. He was “different”, I thought. He did not ask for money, we, his followers, believed, though money was needed for spreading his teachings, paying volunteers, building this or that: simply it looked innocent, taking into account the poor country of Nepal. He did not speak and seemed not to care about fame and name (what was later proved to be a mistaken perception, too).
Andrea arrived to Nepal’s Halkhoriya the first time in 2008, and reported to Google Group with regular photos, stories and videos. We were all very delighted to get so much direct information about the “reincarnation of Buddha” as people believed then.
In 2009 he decided to go and preach against animal sacrifice in the Hindu Temple of Gadhi Mai, where tens of thousands of buffaloes and goats had been slaughtered every twelve years during a special religious ritual. But I was so hysterical about fearing for Buddha Boy’s life that I organized a prayer chain online, with all Google Group members, to protect him from danger of being attacked. I myself prayed even so that he does not go to Gadhi Mai, what a crazy idea. Hindu followers had been described to us, foreigners, by the Nepali GG members as blood-thirsty wild hooligans, who would not mind to even kill Bomjon if he wanted to stop them from sacrificing animals… Of course now I know that it was an exaggeration from the side of Bomjon’s Tamang Buddhist followers, with a strong anti-Hindu agenda.
Bomjon finally did not go to Gadhi Mai. But he also disappeared quite a lot of time, giving us a feeling he did not feel supported and secure, surrounded by those Nepali Maoists, as videos described his immediate environment often. This made me wish to protect him, go there and explain the Yoga-wise illiterate people what states he was going through, so that they should not disturb his meditation…
We, in GG, believed that his meditation was very important for the whole world. This is what his followers continue to claim. But in between he had been proved to organize kidnappings, tortures and brutal attacks of many people! Come on, how long can one believe that the two things can exist together?
But the magic of this whole phenomena is in that when you are inside this bitter-sweet cloud of accepting the so called “crazy wisdom”, the phenomena of violent and sexist gurus, from inside you do not see clearly what is right and what is wrong, and many times do not believe the victims and witnesses. You justify the “guru” with a power which belongs actually to God only – of having right to do just anything he wants!
We did discuss slightly the affair of the attacked 17 Madeshi men on GG, but we ridiculed the victims making jokes about them. Barry Ryder wrote how bizarre it was that they claimed they were searching for wild vegetables near the meditation podium of Buddha Boy… Yet, Barry and also I and others simply had not been given truthful descriptions of the attacks. Until now, 7 years later, Bomjon’s followers re-create the fake story according to which the 17 men had been locked up and beaten by Bomjon alone (not true: his resident brutal monks had been helping him!). Thus, instead of a single sign of compassion towards the victims, followers actually admire Bomjon how could he manage to “pacify” all 17 strong men alone, unarmed…?
We, Westerners, are very naive. We think that the stories and descriptions from the Nepali followers are to be believed without reservation. We took them all for granted. Like the one about the Australian J., who had described his attack by Bomjon to me in an interview. The story had been told to me by the Bomjon-attendant “witness” Tomasz Tarnawski, when I was still a follower, in 2011, in a very twisted version, showing J. as the actual aggressor and Bomjon as a hero. As now I understand, in the case of all of his attacks against people, a similar false story had been created by him and “spontaneously” spread to the outside world through his followers.
If we compare most criminal deeds of Bomjon, the scheme of these stories is always the same:
– The victim actually attacked Bomjon
– Bomjon was alone to defend himself against him/her
– He had the right to further “punish” the victim, due to some divine rule that we cannot understand
In a way I am grateful to God that I am out of this cult. Being inside would mean to take on the sin of supporting his harming of people, kidnappings, rapes, violence, torture, cheatings, and already two killings. Already I feel bad conscience that I supported him even after I did hear about his violent endeavors and sexual discrepancies until 2011. I was so purely dedicated to this Nepali boy (now a 27 years old man), that I could simply not allow any notion of negativity concerning him.