Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Boy, 11, declared reincarnated holy man


A US boy is not going back to school - after he was declared the reincarnation of a Buddhist holy man who first died in 1250.

Boston-born Jigme Wangchuk, 11, has now moved to India where he has been made the head of a Buddhist sect in the country's eastern Darjeeling city.

His parents say they discovered their son was not like other children two years ago when he started talking about his "past life". At first, they dismissed it as a childish fantasy, but began taking it seriously during a trip to a monastery in Mysore, southern India. At one point, he went into a trance in which he described a celebrated Buddhist monastery with a 35ft dragon on the roof.

After hearing his description of the temple he had never visited, the monks proclaimed he was the reincarnation of the 'Rinpoche' or high priest Galwa Lorepa, the founder of one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.Now he will spent the next ten years in virtual seclusion and only be able to communicate with his former school friends by email."It has been a very difficult period for us over the past two years. I have been crying for the past five months, but have, at last, come to terms with it," said his mother Dechen."When we were in New Delhi on our way to Darjeeling, I asked him whether he would like to go back to Boston. He said he has to fulfil his responsibilities to his people."But for 'His Holiness' Jigme, there's no regrets: "I will miss my school days but I am happy in my new role. I like it here," he said.

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