AMN / KATHMANDU
A 3-year-old girl Trishna Shakya has become new living goddess of Nepal. She was brought to Kumari house, a temple palace in Kathmandu today in special religious ceremony. New Kumari will live there before reaching puberty.
Hundreds of people were gathered at Basantpur Durbar Sqaure to have a glimpse and blessings of new living goddess. She was selected from four finalists of Newar community.
The selection procedure for Kumari is very tough and includes number of specific physical qualities.
The girl must have perfect eyes, teeth, must be free of scars and should be patient. She also have to prove her bravery by not crying at the sight of sacrificed goats and buffalos.
After the arrival of new goddess, her predecessor, Matina Shakya, left the Kumari house in a procession. She was also anointed Kumari at the age of 3 year in 2008.
Outgoing Kumari Matina Shakya, now 12-year-old, returned home on
Thursday after assuming the role of Living Goddess for nine years. Matina was picked for the role at the age of four in 2008.
Matina Shakya was bidden farewell and newly anointed Trishna Shakya was carried inside the Kumari house, a temple palace, amid a religious ceremony in Kathmandu at around 12 pm today. She will live until just before puberty. The ceremony is observed on the eighth-day of Dashain festival when Goddess Taleju is worshipped.
With Trishna’s arrival at Kumarighar, her predecessor Matina Shakya left from a rear entrance on a palanquin carried by her family and devotees.
Trishna Shakya will take part in a Puja to be organised in the Taleju Temple tonight.
The living goddess, who is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Taleju, the clan goddess of the Malla kings, who ruled Nepal between 12th and 18th centuries, will hold her status until she reaches puberty. The word Kumari is derived from Sanskrit’s Kaumarya, meaning “the princess”.
The selection process lasted 21 days during which the four candidates were put through rigorous tests, including spending a night among the head of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes.
The girl must have perfect eyes, teeth, must be free of scars and should be patient to be Kumari. Trishna was born to Bijaya Ratna and Shrijina Shakya at Aawas Chhetra in Dallu.