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Tibetan ‘Living Buddha’ with movie-star looks exposed as a sham

Authorities in Tibet say a 29-year-old man with movie-star looks who has been passing himself off as a living Buddha is a fraud, according to an official website.

The man claimed to be “Kyabje Ling Rinpoche,” and was offering training sessions on reincarnation for 300,000 yuan (HK$350,000), Tibet.cn reported.

Last Sunday, the Buddhist Association of China launched its Tibetan Living Buddha Query System, a database of 1,307 living Buddhas in eight mainland provinces, but there we none matching his name.

According to Tibetan Buddhists, the Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche is a tulku, or spiritual teacher who has been reincarnated seven times since the 17th century. The present Ling Rinpoche was born in 1985 and lives in Dharamshala, India, with the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile, the imposter in Tibet has became an internet sensation due to his resemblance to movie star Wang Xiaoming.

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Internet users dubbed him “the most handsome living Buddha since 2008” for his prominent cheekbones. He has more than 80,000 followers on Weibo where he posts Buddhists sayings, and his personal blog has has received more than three million visits. He released an album of Buddhist music in 2006 and singles in 2010. He was even interviewed by Taiwanese fashion magazine in 2008.