Allowances for Nepal’s former living goddesses (Kumari)

In Nepal it is one of the tradition to make Kumari a living goddesses to a pre-pubescent girl selected from the Shakya or Bajracharya clan of the Nepalese Newari community. Those Kumari’s are worshipped and honoured by some of the Hindus as well as the Nepali Buddhists.

To select the right girl to be Kumari some process need to be done. Eligible girls are Buddhists from the Newar Shakya caste (the clan to which the Buddha belonged) of silver and goldsmiths. She must be in excellent health, never have shed blood or been afflicted by any diseases, be without blemish and must not have yet lost any teeth. Girls who pass these basic eligibility requirements are examined for the battis lakshanas, or ‘thirty-two perfections’ of a goddess. Some of these are poetically listed as such: A neck like a conch shell, a body like a banyan tree, Eyelashes like a cow, Thighs like a deer, Chest like a lion, Voice soft and clear as a duck’s.
And also they should have black hair and eyes and should have set of twenty teeth. There are many Kumaris over the cities but the Royal Kumari is the best one who lives in the centre of the city.

After chosen for Kumari there are some restrictions that Kumari needs to follow like they shouldn’t get married but now eventually some of them are married. She will always be dressed in red, wear her hair in a topknot and have the agni chakchuu or “fire eye” painted on her forehead as a symbol of her special powers of perception and many more.
The former Kumaris, living goddesses of Nepal who are worshipped and thought of to be incarnation of the goddess Taleju are now to be awarded a pension to secure and help them re-adjust to normal life. According to Laxman Aryal, Chief executive officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City said ten of the former Kumaris will receives monthly allowance of 10,000 Nepalese rupees ($101) from the July 2014 for the next 10 years.

Kumaris are not allowed to work, they are being treated as Goddesses and the life they live will not be a life of a normal girl as it used to be. So to help them these allowances are granted from the government. All the Kumaris are not from well-established families it is very respectable thought to help them out as Kumari are the one of the tourist attraction of Nepal. Since 2008 till present Matina Shakya is the latest Kumari .

Zeal Sharma

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