November 21, 2005

"A snake bit me but I do not need treatment. I need six years of deep meditation."

The 15-year-old Ram Bomjon is one-twelfth of the way through that time period. They say he doesn't eat or drink and that a light shines from his forehead. Meanwhile, he's something of a theme park:
A thriving market has grown in the once pristine forest, supplying pilgrims with everything from chewing tobacco and bicycle repairs to incense and sacred amulets. The ground is covered in litter.

A fence was built around Ram's tree to prevent pilgrims prodding him, then a second, and now a third is planned, as well as a bus park, leaving Ram at the centre of an ever growing circle of rubbish.

Prakash Lamsal, a businessman said: "Some people are selling 2,500 rupees [£20] worth of tea a day.

"These lamas [monks] are going to build mansions out of this. If I wasn't a bit embarrassed I'd take a van down there and set up a stall."


Kevin said...

(Sorry, I know this is OT but I can't resist)

Twin debacles separated at birth? You decide.

Following the invasion of Iraq, the US fired the vast majority of the Iraqi Army, creating conditions ripe for instability.
OSM disbanded 230 and its original 300 “Partners”, creating a vast pool of potential anti-OSM blogger insurgents.

Conman Ahmed Chalabi somehow gets the Pentagon, the CIA, the White House, and the New York Times to believe that the convicted swindler could run Iraq.
Conman Roger L. Simon somehow gets experienced venture capitalists, leading anti-Muslim bigots, small town CPA’s and Vichy liberals like David Corn to believe that a failed mystery writer could run a company.

After Exxon-Mobile refused to allow its trademark to be infringed upon, Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) was renamed Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
After a radio production company strongly objects, Open Source Media is set to change its name; the frontrunners include Ass Clown Media and Spring Time for Hitler Media.

DICK Cheney and Charles JOHNSON

PlameGate: In a desperate attempt at damage control, Karl Rove outs the wife of OIF critic Joesph Wilson but only makes matters worse.
FlameGate: In a desperate attempt at damage control, the wife of Roger Simon outs OSM critic Dennis the Peasant but only makes matters worse

Washed-up terrorist legend Abu Musab al-Zarqawi rises again to lead the anti-US forces in Iraq.
Retired wingnut legend Steven Den Beste returns to play David to OSM’s Goliath.

Judy Miller

Although many reasons are offered -- WMD’s, support for terrorism, control of oil, vengeance, democracy in the Arab world and just plain old colonialism – no one really knows why Iraq was invaded.
Although many reason are offered – spreading the wingnut agenda, fact checking the MSM, pure naked greed, lending gravitas to the blogosphere or just the plain old desire to create media rock stars – no one can articulate OSM’s raison d’etre.

OIF lacks an exit plan
OSM lacks a business plan

The huge Mission Accomplished banner hanging at the OSM launch party.

tiggeril said...

The thing that always strikes me when we visit family India is the sheer number of times we get hit up for money when we're in the vicinity of a temple. 527s have nothing on the Hindu priesthood when it comes to fundraising.

tiggeril said...

Er... make that family IN India.

vbspurs said...

He and that 3-year old marathonist should hook up.


Palladian said...


this is a problem that I forsaw, the conflation of OSM with the center-right blogosphere, and how their botched business plan has provided fodder for the lefties feeding trough. Somehow their schadenfreude grates me the wrong way, even when I wholly agree with the substance (when it exists) of their criticism of OSM. This has nothing to do with the ideology of the people involved, it has to do with a poorly conceived and poorly executed business. To try and use this to mock the endeavor in Iraq, even in jest, is insulting.

The reason Ann's commentary and criticism of OSM is valid and devastating is that she's not using the failures of OSM as just another way to attack political rivals, which seems to be the primary motivation of others on the left.

Anyway, I HATE off-topic comments so I apologize and will shut up now.

Quaker Oats said...

Not saying anything and getting poked with sticks--sounds like George Bush for the last couple of months. This seems to be working out better for the Rom than the President, at least on approval numbers.

Dave said...

OK, so here's a question: why can we safely mock people like this little Buddha, but when we mock Christian evangelicals we are accused of "anti-Christian bias" etc.?

All religions have their extremists, and extremists should be mocked and questioned.

tiggeril said...

Because the evangelicals have access to the media in ways that the little Buddha doesn't, is my guess. Even if they don't have access to the media, they've managed to make themselves into a powerful lobbying group in the US. It's not limited to Christian evangelicals, though. Hindu fundamentalists operate the same way in India. We just don't see it here.

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: I'm not mocking him. I'm mocking the commercial business around him, but not him.

XWL said...

I suspect the commercialized circus surrounding this saddhu isn't purely coincidental.

Holy figures (and objects) as commercial draw is a phenomena that happens worldwide across all belief systems.

And too often the holy figure is in on the game.

(that's why you should just prey to the sun, the moon, the earth, and the ocean, they won't betray you)

And Kevin wins the award for most unapologetically off-topic, off-topic post of the week.

Pancho said...

Devotees claim that Ram Bomjon, who is silently meditating beneath a tree, has not eaten or drunk anything since he sat down at his chosen spot six months ago.

Right! And Tammy Faye didn't use eyeliner.