Kumari – Living Goddess of Nepal

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The Kumari or Kumari god is the solely living goddess adored by Hindus and Buddhists. The literal meaning of Kumari is Virgin. The Kumaris are young pre-pubescent girls who receive the power of goddess Kali and Taleju. Kumari goddess is the living incarnation of goddess Taleju. Kumari is the human embodiment of goddess Taleju and symbolizes power and protection.A Kumari’s glimpse is believed to bring good fortune. Many people visit the courtyard in front of Kumari’s window to urge a look of the living goddess. The more fortunate and better-connected individuals visit the Kumari in her chambers. She sits upon a gilded iron throne. Many people who visit her are those suffering from illness and menstrual disorders. It is believed that Kumari has special powers over such illness. Bureaucrats and high hierarchal governing body additionally visit Kumari goddess.

During the visit, the actions of the living goddess are closely watched because her actions are interpreted as a prediction of the visitor’s life. Some actions and its meaning of Kumari goddess are:Crying or Loud Laughter: Serious unwellness or death, Rubbing Eyes: Imminent death ,Trembling: Imprisonment and Picking at food offerings: Financial Losses . The process to seek out a living goddess is quite vast and has several criteria. Five senior Buddhist Bajracharya, Chief Royal Priest, Priest of Taleju and royal astrologer oversees the selection ritual of Kumari. Some basic characteristics searched in kids are sound health, no evidence of scars and marks on the body, uncut and blemish body skin, pre-menstrual and no loss of teeth.Once a girl passes through the basic requirements of Kumari Goddess, she is then further examined for “Battis Lakshan” 32-body perfections to decide the future Kumari.

Some of the characteristics of Battis Lakshan are:

-Body like a banyan
-Eyelashes like Cow
-Neck like a conch shell
-Chest like a lion
-Voice soft and clear as of a duck
-Same horoscope as of the King
-Sign of Serenity and Fearlessness
-Black Straight Hair and Dark Eyes
-Delicate and Soft hands and feet
-Thighs like those of a deer
-Small and moist tongue
-Sexual Organs small and well-recessed

The children also should not be frightened of blood and masked man. Every child is shown many sacrificed buffalo and masked men dancing on top of the blood. If a child shows signs of fear, she is deemed disgraceful of goddess Taleju’s power. The girl that shows courage amidst the blood and dancing is then selected as the next incarnation of Goddess Taleju.During the 8th day of Dashain, Kala-Ratri, the selection process of Kumari Goddess begins.