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'Buddha Boy'  Reappears in Southern Nepal

A teenage Nepalese boy who some believe to be the reincarnation of the Buddha has re-emerged in a remote southern jungle after disappearing more than a-year-and-a-half ago.

Officials said thousands of his followers flocked to see Ram Bahadur Bomjan speak Tuesday in Bara district about 150 kilometers south of Nepal's capital, Katmandu.

Police said the teenager plans to preach to his devotees for a short time every day for a week, and then plans to return to the jungle to meditate.

Bomjan has been nicknamed "Buddha Boy" by the local media. He first started drawing crowds in 2005, when his followers said he meditated for months without food, water or sleep. Tens of thousands of people flocked to see him sitting cross-legged beneath a tree.

He left the meditation site in March of 2006, complaining about noisy crowds. He reappeared in a different location in December of that year and meditated there until March, when he vanished into the jungle again.

Many of the boy's followers believe he is the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who founded the Buddhist religion some 2,5000 years ago. Modern Buddhist religious leaders said they have not reached a conclusion about Bomjan because they have not been able to properly investigate him.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.