There are numerous facts about Goddess Kumari that you might not know. But after reading this article you will be completely amazed by knowing some interesting
and amazing facts about the Living Goddess “Kumari“.
Instead of being a small country, Nepal is a multilingual, multiethnic, and multireligious nation. Religions are the system of belief that is developed and evolved over time and some eternal mysteries driven by the feeling that some questions can only be answered by faith.
Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity are the building blocks around which Nepali society is built. It’s so complicated that there are over thirty-three million Hindu gods and goddesses.
Among them ‘Kumari‘ is the only living goddess worshipped in Kathmandu the capital city of Nepal.
Living Goddess ’Kumari’
Nepal- The only country in the world where living Goddess Kumari is worshipped.
The literal meaning of Kumari is Virgin. The Kumaris are young pre-pubescent girls who receive the power of Goddess Kali and Taleju. Goddess Kumari is also considered as the incarnation of Goddess Taleju, also known as Goddess Durga.
In the Shakta text, Mahatmyam or Chandi, the Goddess is said to have declared that she resides in all female living beings in this universe. Buddhist worship Kumari as Bajradevi and Hindus as Bhawani.
Though Kumari is Buddhist by birth, the Taleju is a very important Hindu Goddess. This unique tradition is a perfect example of the peaceful coexistence of religions in Nepal.
History of Kumari in Nepal
There have been various stories on Kumari Tradition. For example, Goddess Taleju visiting the king in his dreams and asking to build a home for the Goddess and start Jatra if wants to save his reign.
The queen once finds out the Taleju Bhawani and the king playing dice and disappears on which Taleju Bhawani gets angered blaming the king for sharing the secret with the queen and disappears. The king once made wrong advances towards the Goddess Taleju as they play dice while discussing the welfare of the country.
However, all the story concludes the tradition of the search for Kumari started to get to meet the Goddess Taleju and for the safety of life and country.
Selection of Goddess Kumari
There are 11 living Goddess Kumari in Nepal chosen from various towns in the belief that
Kumari protects the town from evil powers.
The three most important Kumaris are each associated with one of the main towns of the Kathmandu valley; Patan, Bhaktapur, and Though the Kumari selection procedure in all places is similar though time and process are different.
In Kathmandu, Kumari is selected from the Shakya clan, In Patan from Bajracharya. In Kathmandu, at the first stage, 9 girls are selected from which the only one will be Kumari.
In Patan, at the first stage 3 girls are selected and In Bhaktapur kumari is directly selected. Worshipping Kumari differently in 3 cities brings out the essence of culture. In order to be Royal Kumari, the list of requirements is elaborated. Some of them are :
- The girl must have 32 perfection of the Goddess
- Perfect health without any history of illness
- Gogeous expressive eyes
- A sonorous voice
- Delicate and soft hand and feet
- No wounds and scar
- Straight hari curled towards right side
- Must not had shet any bloood and never menstruated
The nominated girl then undergoes an extraordinary test on the night of Kal Ratri ( the 8th night of the Dashain festival). They must pass by one hundred and eight buffaloes and goats that have been sacrificed to Goddess Durga without fear.
If she maintains a perfectly calm demeanor through the circuit of carnage, she is taken into the Taleju temple by the high priest and installed as the new incarnation of the Goddess.
Life After Kumari Selection
The Royal Kumari lives in a magnificent, intricately caved three-floored wooden temple. This temple, known as Kumari Chhen or Kumari Ghar, is located on the southern end of Basantpur Durbar Square.
Non-Hindus are allowed to enter the premises but not all can visit the Kumari. Throughout the span as the Goddess, the Kumari has to live in isolation from her family. Even her actual family members treat her like Goddess.
A ‘Chitaidar’ (Woman who takes care of the kumari) is assigned to look after the everyday needs and general upbringing of the Goddess. The movement of the Goddess during the offering of devotees is regarded as omens.
If she cries or laughs loudly, the worshippers are expected to become seriously ill or even die. If she picks at the food offered, the visitor will soon lose his money. If non of the ominous sign appears, the worshipper’s wish will be fulfilled.
There are only 15 days in a year when the royal Kumari comes out from her temple. It is believed that Goddess will leave her body if Kumari’s feet touch the ground. Therefore she is carried by the person or in a golden palanquin whenever she travels out of her temple.
Traditional Wear And Ornaments Of Kumari
For festivals and other formal occasions, the Kumari is always dressed in red, because red is considered the color of god and power among Hindus in Nepal. The Kumari wears a bright red(Jama cloak) down to her feet, a red Bhoto (shirt), and a red Pagari (turban). Her hair is gathered in a topknot and decorated with sweet smell flowers; she has a third eye painted on her forehead, which is believed to destroy all the evil in the world.
The Kumari wears garlands of diamond And gold coins And two necklaces of perfect symbolic significance. One is the golden chain made in the shape of a serpent God called ‘Basuki Naga’ on her neck, hanging down to her belly. Another ornament that the living Goddess wears is a four-inch-long golden Ta-yo, which has a cylindrical body with a number of edges and a conical shape at both ends.
This is sheltered under the umbrella of eight-headed miniature golden Naga which symbolizes the eight mother Goddesses. It is believed that these ornaments were prepared near the end of the rule of Malla Kings when the Kumari tradition began. The ceremonial clothes and ornaments are passed from one Kumari to the next, through the ages.
The Kumari’s red tika, which is placed on her forehead is called ‘Bhrigu’. It represents the cosmic energy of the earth. The special tika is prepared by mixing vermilion powder, rock crystal powder, a kind of sweet-scented natural powder called ‘Kumkum’, and sesame seed oil.
We hope these interesting and awesome facts about the living Goddess Kumari have amazed you. There are still many facts related to different things about Nepal. In the coming days, we will let you know more and more interesting facts about different topics in Nepal. If you find this article interesting, then simply share it!
Also Read: Facts About Gautam Buddha