Monday, April 16, 2012

The Royal Kumari

This may be one of the most powerful beings walking among us. I love how the Hindu religion is full of oxymoron. This is one of the most beautiful examples of how this is what is impossible to be. 

You may be wondering what this 'little girl' did to make me so much of a fan. Keep reading because she actually showed me her power on a couple of occasions. 
Kumari Cho
Anyone who has read my book, or even the first chapter, will notice my fascination with the Royal Kumari, the only living goddess on the planet. How I came to the conclusion that this young child is in fact a living, breathing goddess was strange, even for me. I was riding along on my assistant's motorcycle through Darbur Square in Kathmandu. I noticed a figure in the window of the Kumari Cho and just asked myself, 'What is the Kumari? An abused child kept captive?' Just then, like a cosmic download, I understood. I became so fascinated by her that I clapped my hands like a child when I first saw her come to the widow. That was just a little bit embarrassing.

I would go see Kumari every chance I got and one day she looked at me briefly in the crowd; that was pretty cool. I could feel an energy I had never felt before. There seemed to always be a Nepali guide that would be spouting off some horrible things about Kumari and I got quite the reputation for confronting these men who try to make it something it isn't. "If she ever gets married it will be cursed. When she hits puberty she gets fired." First of all, the gods probably do not abuse children like that. Second, other than becoming a bit spoiled, the girl can live a full and productive life. No, she is not held captive. She could abdicate her position at any time by simply allowing her feet to touch the ground or by letting them know. 

My birthday was coming up and I needed a new cell phone. I wanted to get one with a camera so I could take a picture of Kumari when she came out for her upcoming celebration. I got my new mobile and the day before the festival was to be, I accidentally dropped the phone down the stairwell at the guest house where I was staying. My first and only thought was that I would not get a picture of Kumari on my new phone. When I picked up the phone five stories below it worked perfectly. I know it was impossible for the cell phone to survive the fall, but it did and it still works and I have the pictures above on my own mobile. I know Kumari heard my disappointment and gave me my own miracle. No little girl could do that, so when you look at Royal Kumari look twice-once at the little girl and once for the goddess within. She is a loving goddess that doesn't need anything from humans. She just loves and gives like the benevolent goddess she is. I'm not even Hindu and she blessed me so freely because she is love, the personification of love. Many people pray to Kumari for help with their children when they are sick.

I had an idea about alum stones being used as a hand sanitizer and took the package of paperwork to Royal Kumari for a blessing. I am not allowed to be in her presence because I am not Nepali, but she came to the window just for me (and the crowd that had gathered) and it was pretty amazing. She just saw me, really saw me. It was like getting my entire soul read. I couldn't pray, think or anything. I just stood there drinking up her energy and feeling such power from this beautiful little girl/goddess. 

Another day I was going through some things and found a card game I bought a few months prior and thought Kumari might like to learn to play Uno. I took her the deck of cards and left it with her manager. I asked him if there was anything I could do for her. He explained that there was a festival coming where she would go outside. This actually happens with each full moon, I think. He said I could bring a sacrifice of fruit for the young men that would pull her chariot during the upcoming festival. I happily accepted and brought plenty of fruit  for the young men that carried Kumari the day before so she could bless it. 

We sat up on the temple while we watched her being carried out and around Kathmandu. Then we went to the Cho to pass out the fruit.

Here she is coming back
If you would like to read a book written by a former Royal Kumari I recommend From Goddess to Mortal by Rashmila Shakya and Scott Berry. If you've had your own Kumari miracle please leave a comment. 

My money saving tip for this blog post: If you are a student be sure to bring your student ID. Show it at UNESCO sites like Darbur Square and you can quite often get a reduced or free admission.

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