Remembering the Living Goddess of Nepal

It was raining lightly that day and I was huddled in a small courtyard in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square with a large group of tourists, waiting in silence for the Living Goddess to appear.

The temple of Kumari – the Living Goddess – is here most of the time, but stands by the window in the middle for everyone to worship.

At the window sits an older man, probably the lama responsible for educating the Living Goddess. A man in the crowd began to ask for something in Nepali, presumably for the Living Goddess to show herself. It wasn’t long before a teenage girl came through the window, wearing a traditional red dress, and she scanned the group below, unable to make out her expression. In less than 20 seconds, the little girl went inside and the crowd dispersed.

The living goddess of Nepal is known as Kumari, which means virgin goddess in Chinese, and is also known as the living goddess, and is strictly selected from the ordinary young girls of Nepal. The young girls chosen as living goddesses are sent to the temple at the age of three and live in the temple and receive worship until the onset of menarche, after which the living goddess retires to the common people and the living goddess is succeeded by other kumari.

The Living Goddess is worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal. In Nepal, 81.3% of the people are Hindu and 9% are Buddhist, so it is clear that the Living Goddess has a high status in the hearts of the Nepalese people. It is said that when there were still kings, even the kings had to worship the Goddess, and they believed that the Living Goddess could bring peace and prosperity to the people.

Despite the honor of being a living goddess, I was so sad when I saw that little girl. She was only a teenager. Once a young girl is chosen as a living goddess, she has to leave the secular world, the embrace of her mother and father, and her carefree childhood, and live in the Kumari temple all day long, living a glorious and lonely life as a living goddess.

As a goddess, her words and actions are naturally interpreted by her devotees for good or bad intentions, so the living goddess is usually expressionless. Because even a look in her eyes can be interpreted as a symbol of bad luck. Her feet cannot touch the ground, otherwise it will be considered an omen of bad luck, and she can only ride in a palanquin or be carried by a monk when she goes out on her usual tour.

After the Living Goddess retired, it was generally difficult for her to get married. On the one hand, it is difficult to integrate into daily marriage due to being pampered since childhood, plus more than a decade of closed goddess career so that no basic life skills and earning skills, on the other hand, the local people believe that it is not auspicious to marry a retired living goddess, whose husband will die within a few months. But now I heard that this situation has been improved, there has been a retired living goddess married and broke the living goddess married that ominous rumors.

There are also living goddesses after retirement is not miserable by the government’s monthly allowance and parents and siblings relief life, I heard that there is a living goddess after retirement determined to study, and later also went to college, a best-selling book.


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