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10-year-old 'reincarnate' to revisit as saint

By Romit Bagchi, The Statesman, 29th October 2009 (Click here to download the original news coverage in PDF format) - Blurring the seemingly tenuous borders between the tangible and the intangible further, a 10-year old boy hailing from Boston, United States of America, was enthroned as a "reincarnation" of the celebrated 12th century saint, Gyalwa Lorepa amidst hundreds of devotes including a number of foreigners from Europe and America in the Druk Thupten Sangag Choling Monastery in Darjeeling today.

"The infallible guidance by way of oracles heard in a celebrated Drukpa monastery in Bhutan preceded by the spiritual upheavals in the boy manifested in his determination to return to his 'home' in a Bhutan-based monastery named after Gyalwa Lorepo has made the miracle possible. We are proud to have enthroned him today as the reincarnation of Gyalwa Lorepo, one of the first two disciples of the first Gyalwang Drukpa, the founder of the Drukpa linage, at a time when the profounder views of life suffused with the doctrine of karma and reincarnation show signs of being revived all over the world. The advent of the saint by way of reincarnation indicates the end of the reign of skepticism and return of the millennium of faith," said the head of the Drukpa Lineage, Gyalwang Drukpa.

It is learnt from the boy's family sources that he had shown signs of growing restlessness since infancy. Narrating the sequence of events leading to its consummation, his sister said that these were as much mentally exciting as spiritually edifying.

"He kept harping to our pain that his home was far away from the materialistic life in the Western world in a cloistered monastic life amidst the Himalayan seclusion. To accelerate things further, while on a pilgrimage to Bhutan, my uncle heard an oracle in a monastery asking him to return my brother to the care of Gyalwang Drukpa, his true spiritual mentor.

"In a befuddled state of mind, my mother disposed our property in the United States and came to Darjeeling. We subsequently found that my brother's real home is the 700-year old Tharpa Linng Monastery in eastern Bhutan," she said.

Speaking on the reincarnation phenomenon, a teacher from London, Mr Merian Makaoti said that it was his maiden encounter with what the Western world was inclined to state as a weird case of para- psychology. "Provided we admit the post- death existence of soul and its transmigration on an upward scale through successive births and dissolutions, there is nothing thaumaturgical in the conception of reincarnation. Memory might come back from behind the amnesiac penumbra of myriad births at a momentous juncture of the terrestrial evolution of a human soul," he said. Calling the experience as approximating to what the Romantic poet Coleridge termed as "willing suspension of disbelief", another foreigner from France, Mrs Drolne said that skepticism regarding the subtler truths of life fuelled restlessness. "Peace is in faith even if the faith revolts against the so-called omniscience of the materialistic puritans," she stated.