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Living Goddess Kumari

Living Goddess Kumari

Living Goddess Kumari

The Living Goddess Kumari is selected from the Shakya or Bajracharya clan of Kathmandu’s Newari community. Kumari Devi is pre-pubescent girl. People believes that kumaris are the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga-popular as Taleju in Nepal. There are several Kumaris in Nepal – the most important, in Kathmandu, lives in a royal dwelling called the Kumari Bahal. In medieval times almost every town in the Kathmandu Valley had its own Kumari. In the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan there is one for almost every locality, as well as a special “royal” Kumari, worshipped by the former Hindu kings. Many traditions have since disappeared, some only in the past few decades.

The selection process  by five senior Buddhist Bajracharya priests, the Panch Buddha, the BadaGuruju or Chief Royal Priest, Achajau the priest of Taleju and the royal astrologer. Kumaria, the child stays into a house called KumariBahal in Basantapur. She has to live in isolation from her family and relatives in KumariBahal. She is always in red and her forehead is painted in red. Kumari sits on her throne with her attendants. Usually one cannot be a Kumari beyond 16 years of age due to menarche.

Kumari Puja

Kumari puja is mainly to realize the potential divinity in every human being, mostly female. People believes that the power of the Kumari  is so strong that even a glimpse of her brings good fortune. Crowds of people wait below the Kumari’s window in the KumariChowk, or courtyard, of her palace, hoping that she will pass by and glance down at them. Even though her irregular appearances last only a few seconds, the atmosphere in the courtyard is full with devotion when they occur.

There is a popular superstition that the man who marries Kumari can die within six months of marriage by coughing blood. However, in reality, most Kumari’s dose eventually marries and spends healthy happily married life.

Sanju Dongol | Kathmandu | Photo: https://goo.gl/hX1m8D | Duke Nepal

 

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