Saturday February 23, 2019
Home India Kumari Devi o...

Kumari Devi of Nepal: Custom of worshipping Young girl as Living Goddess in Hindu-Buddhist Tradition

The secretive world of the Kumari has created many lores of its own including tales involving demons and the heads of dead animals

2
//
Image Source : pri.org
  • The child is believed to be the source of ‘Shakti’ or supreme power that envelopes the entire creation
  • She is believed to be the incarnation of the fearsome Hindu Goddess Durga
  • The kings Of Nepal would seek the Kumari’s blessing before the initiation of any scheme

The old Hindu-Buddhist tradition of worshiping a pre-pubescent girl as a manifestation of the Goddess Durga still continues on till today in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. The girl, who is not a born goddess is selected after many trials. She is believed to be the source of ‘Shakti’ or supreme power that envelopes the entire creation and sustains all the beings with her love and warmth.

There is an elaborate process to determine the Kumari, the Living Goddess who is entitled to sit on the pedestal for worship. Girls in the age-group of 4-7 years who belong to the Sakya community are screened by looking at their horoscopes and are selected on the basis of the 32 attributes that depict perfection, like a body like a banyan tree, eyelashes like a cow, thighs like a deer, chest like a lion and a voice as soft and clear as duck’s, mentioned Subhamoy Das, an Hinduism expert to hinduism.about.com.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

After all the ceremonies, the spirit of the goddess is believed to have entered into her body. After wearing the clothing and jewellery of her predecessor, she becomes the Kumari Devi, the living goddess who is worshipped on all religious occasions. She begins her life as the Goddess in her new sacred home called Kumari Ghar, at Kathmandu’s Hanumandhoka palace square.

Kumari Shobha Bhajracharya plays her sarod Image Source: BBC
Kumari Shobha Bhajracharya plays her sarod Image Source: BBC

Kumaris are drawn from the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. Planets, karma and an array of gods play an important role in the daily life of these people. It can be said that they are Buddhists who have adopted the Hindu caste system.

According to Subhamoy, Kumaris are believed to be the incarnation of the fearsome Hindu goddess Durga, there are several myths supporting this belief. One such is that Trailokya Malla, the king of the Malla dynasty was visited by the Goddess every night until the day he made sexual advances which made the goddess vanishes in fury. The king in regret worshipped and pleaded for her return .The goddess later appears to the king in a dream asking him to find a child from the Shakya caste. The girl is asked to be worshipped as the Goddess would have entered into her soul. The king does as he was asked and finds the world’s only Living Goddess, starting a tradition that continues on for centuries.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

The secretive world of the Kumari has created many lives of its own including tales involving demons and the heads of dead animals.

The kings Of Nepal would seek the Kumari’s blessing before the initiation of any scheme. After Nepal’s monarchy was abolished in 2008, the president is said to have bowed before her.

The title of Kumari is not given to one particular person for eternity, mentioned Das. She ceases to be the goddess with her first menstruation because it is believed that on reaching puberty the Kumari turns human. So till she reaches the age of 16, she is worshipped by all even though it is only for a few hours during festival times. For all the days of the festivals, a name is chosen which is determined by her age as instructed in the Tantric Hindu texts.

A careful life has to be led by the Kumaris as even a little bad luck can instantly turn them back into mortals. A minor cut or bleeding can make her unfit for worship and a new goddess is immediately searched and. After her life as a mortal begins, she leads a normal life and is allowed to marry despite many superstitions that say that men who marry Kumaris die a premature death.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

ALSO READ:

  • Utkarsh roy

    Hi I wanted to know that superstition regarding marriage of kumari is applicable only to royal Kumari or all other Kumaris of Nepal.

  • vedika kakar

    This seems to be prerty interesting!!

Next Story

Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan Emphasis On Women Education To Bring Child Vaccination Awareness

Kareena told the media here on Thursday: "This is a special and personal project for me because I am also a young mother and Taimur is going through the process of vaccination.

0
learning
Kareena said: "Yes, a mother can be concerned on such grounds, but you should discuss those matters with your doctor. Educate yourself, trust your doctor and understand that by vaccinating your child, you are securing his/her future from some of the fatal diseases." Pixabay

Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan, who has been appointed ambassador for the Swasth Immunised India campaign, says educating the women will help in spreading awareness about the initiative of child vaccination in the most impactful way.

Kareena told the media here on Thursday: “This is a special and personal project for me because I am also a young mother and Taimur is going through the process of vaccination. But at the same time, I would also like to mention that female literacy is equally important to get success in this campaign.

“Without a mother who is educated enough to understand the importance of vaccination…she won’t take her child to the doctor. And I know it as a matter of fact that a mother takes the best care of a child. So, we have to create awareness among the parents and we need a lot of public support to prevent the future generation from diseases, and have a healthy well-immunised India.”

Kareena
Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan. Wikimedia Commons

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, and Natasha Poonawalla were also present at the launch event.

Some women who were a part of the event pointed out that one of the problems they face is when a child suffers from fever after taking the vaccine. So, it makes them hesitant to take their children for vaccination.

Kareena said: “Yes, a mother can be concerned on such grounds, but you should discuss those matters with your doctor. Educate yourself, trust your doctor and understand that by vaccinating your child, you are securing his/her future from some of the fatal diseases.”

child
Some women who were a part of the event pointed out that one of the problems they face is when a child suffers from fever after taking the vaccine. So, it makes them hesitant to take their children for vaccination. Pixabay

On the importance of the involvement of a celebrity with such a campaign, the actress said: “Well, we can see how the polio campaign is successful in our country where we have managed to eradicate polio from a generation. Thousands of people who saw that Mr. Bachchan (Amitabh Bachchan, the brand ambassador of the polio campaign) was urging parents to take their children for the vaccination, they connected with him, so they thought if Mr. Bachchan is saying it’s important, surely it is.

Also Read: Northeast Not Homogenous But Diverse Grouping of Communities
“Similarly, I am sure that many young mothers will feel connected with me because I am doing this for my child. If my baby is growing healthy after taking the vaccine, it is safe for all the babies.” (IANS)