Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Legend Of Goddess Kumari

The Tradition of worshiping God and Goddesses has been existing from the early Human civilization. Throughout the world, People have been worshiping both Divine Mortal God and Divine Spiritual God. Similarly, even today, in some part of the world, People have been worshiping Living god. As such practice comes from Nepal and India where there exist tradition of worshiping young pre-pubescent girls called “Kumari”. The word Kumari derives from Sanskrit word meaning “ Virgin “ which only includes unmarried young girls in Nepal and India. Kumari is name given to young Virgin Girl who is considered to be the God where Hindu Mythological Goddess Durga resides.

A young Nepalese girl dressed as a Kumari - or living goddess - looks on during a mass worship on Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu
Photo Extracted From : Telegraph.co.uk

In Nepal, Kumari is worshiped as living god and is selected from Nepalese Specific Caste – Newar Clan ( Shakya or Bajracharya community). Kumari is worshiped by Hindhus and Nepali Buddhist but not by Tibetan Bhuddist. Kumari is considered to be resided by Goddess Durga until she menstruates. After that she is considered impure and Goddess Durga vacates her body.

Young Preeti Shakya watches the White Machindranath Chariot festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 28. Only nine years old, she is the Kumari Devi, or Royal Living Goddess.

Photo extracted From : http://news.nationalgeographic.com/

There are different Kumaris throughout the Nepal where people install Kumari among the Newari Girls and Worship as Living Goddess but the best known Kumari among Kumaris is Royal Kumari from Kathmandu and she is kept in Kumari Ghar (House).The current Kumari is Matina Shakya and she has been living the life of Goddess Kumari since 2008.

However, Eligibility criteria to be selected as Kumari are tough and Rigorous and one must pass different test to be considered as Kumari. Basic criteria to be Kumari is that she should be unmarried and Virgin and must not have any injury or accident marks on her body. She should belong to Newar shakya clan, she should be in good health and never ever has and is suffering from any diseases, and In addition, she must not have lost any teeth or shed any blood from her body. After passing some of these basic criteria, they are further examined by high priest. Furthermore, her hair and eyes should be black, dainty Hands and legs. Moreover, she should have small and well-recessed sexual organ and set of perfectly twenty teeth.
History of Kumari

The tradition of worshiping Kumari dates back to 6th century. However officially the Kumari tradition begun during 17th century. There are many evidence and facts of how the tradition of worshiping Kumari started. Among many evidence, the most popular one is that of Jay Prakash malla,the Last Nepalese King of Malla Dynasty. According to legend, King was visited by Red Serpent who happens to Goddess Durga visited him every night in his Chamber to play the Game of Dice which is also called “Tripasa” in native Nepali Language. However, Goddess Durga forbided the King not to tell about this meeting to anyone but King’s wife became suspicious about the whereabouts’ of her husband during the night and she followed him to Chamber. As she approached the chamber, she saw Goddess Durga and her Husband both indulging in Game of Dice. As Goddess Durga found that the King’s wife came to know about their secret meeting, she was angered and told king that if He wants to see her again or protect his Kingdom than from now onward  she will only appear in the form of young virgin girl. Since then the tradition of finding Goddess Durga started among the young virgin girl and thus Kumari Tradition was established.

Another popular legend comes during the reign of King Trailokya malla where Goddess Durga and King played Dice in his chamber.However,One night King made Sexual offer to Goddess and She was filled with rage and stopped visiting him.Filled with regret, King pleaded Goddess to return and finally she returned but in the form of young girl from malla dynasty.Hence, according to the legend, the tradition of worshiping Kumari was started.

Special: Kumari are considered by devotees to be incarnations of a Hindu goddess. Selected as toddlers, living goddesses usually keep their positions until they reach puberty

Kumari Samita Bajracharya awaits the beginning of the festival

Perfection: A worker cleans the area in front of where Living Goddess Kumari (centre) sits wearing her traditional attire

Grand arrival: Living Goddess Kumari (centre), adorned in her traditional attire, arrives to observe the Bhotojatra festival in Lalitpur

Ready and waiting: Kumari Samita Bajracharya looks on after having her make-up done by her mother prior to taking part in a Red Chariot festival procession

A Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is a 'living goddess.' The word literally means virgin in Nepali

A Nepalese security sniffer dog checks Kumari Samita Bajracharya (centre), aged 10, as she attends the Red Chariot festival procession

Kumari Samita Bajracharya's feet, pictured, were painted and she was dressed in a traditional costume accessorised with jewellery

Nepal's living goddess locally known as Kumari, Samita Bajracharya, watches the last day of Rato Machhendranath chariot festival in Patan, outskirts of Katmandu, Nepal

The event, celebrated every year to herald good monsoon rains for increased rice harvest, prosperity and goodluck, is one of the main festivals observed by both the Buddhist and Hindu communities of Kathmandu

Photos Extracted From Dailymail.co.uk
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For Further Reading,
Goddess Kumari

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