‘Did you know that there is a living Goddess and even a glimpse of her brings good luck and fortune’
Yes you read it right, in Nepal it has been a centuries old tradition, they worship the living goddess, basically She’s selected as a young child and lives in an isolated and secretive existence and is rarely seen in public.
Kumari Devi, a pre-pubescent girl selected from the Shakya caste of the Nepalese Newari community, who are the the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. At a very young age girls are inspected for specific 32 characteristics like no blemishes on the body, thighs like a deer, chest like a lion, and eyelashes like a cow, her hair and eyes should be very black, she should have dainty hands and feet, small and well-recessed sexual organs and a set of twenty teeth etc and once they steer clear the inspection and series of other tests, girl is declared as the Goddess Kumari Devi. The Kumari is believed to be the incarnation of the fearsome Hindu goddess Durga. But there are many rules for a Kumari to follow like they have to apply special makeup to face in intricate designs, the girl isn’t allowed to go outside except for festivals and on those occasions, her feet must not touch the ground. That means someone has to carry the young goddess. Furthermore, the Kumari is not permitted to speak to anyone besides her family and close friends.
But the Sad part is…once treated like a princess, they have to relinquish their Kumari status once they reach puberty [to which priest justifies that once Kumari reaches puberty she will be susceptible to the distractions of young men. Besides, as she’s no longer a child, she will be tempted to tell the secrets of the temple]. The girl is immediately regarded as a normal child and given back to her parents. A small token pension is awarded to her family. Going from goddess with everything provided for you to simply being an everyday child.There is also a belief about of how a Kumari’s spouse will die early leading to the now normal girl never getting married.
Several questions arises when we hear about this: Why existence of Kumari is such a mystery to everyone and what are the secrets which guardians of the temple don’t want the world the know? Why once a princess is treated like a common women, living an average life, isint the transition is Tough? How did this tradition started?
Kumari still lives in her home in Kathamndu’s historic Durbar Square , which remains unaffected by the Earthquake, suffering only minor cracks, while surrounding buildings were badly damaged or destroyed.