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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Boston schoolboy named Buddhist high priest

November 8, 2009

To his old classmates in Boston, Jigme Wangchuk
is a normal 11-year-old schoolboy - but in India
he is worshipped by thousands of Buddhists who
consider him the reincarnation of one the faith's holiest figures.
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
The Telegraph
November 6, 2009

He has traded his American life for a monastery
in the Himalayan hill town Darjeeling to fulfil
his "destiny" as a spiritual leader and live
among his followers throughout Bhutan, Nepal and India's Himalayan states.

His parents have also given up their restaurant
business to be near his Drukpa Sangag Choeling Monastery.

They 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.

"He used to always talk of his past life but we
did not take it seriously, dubbing it as a
child's fantasies," said his mother Dechen. At
one point she claims he stopped playing and went
into a trance in which he recounted the story of
his former life as "His Holiness the Second Galwa
Lorepa" lama who died in 1250 in Tibet.

While in a trance he described a celebrated
Buddhist monastery with a 35ft dragon on the
roof. After hearing his description of the temple
he had not 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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