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Middle aged hetrosexual, WASP male. Middle of the road, reasonably sane and  reasonably employed.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Living goddess wanted in Nepal:

Religious leaders in a town near Nepal's capital are searching for a young girl to worship as a living goddess because the incumbent has just got married to a fruit, officials said Monday.

"We have started the process to find a new Kumari for Bhaktapur," Jaya Prasad Regmi, the head of the committee which manages the centuries-old Hindu tradition, told AFP.

"We are holding meetings with locals and people from (the) Shakya cast."

Three medieval towns in the Kathmandu valley worship pre-pubescent girls as the living embodiment of the goddess Taleju.

Eleven-year-old Sajani Shakya had served in the post for nine years in the town of Bhaktapur, but is now obliged to retire following her symbolic wedding.

Sajani's family caused controversy last year when they travelled with the girl to the United States to publicise a documentary that had been made about her role.

Traditionalists were angry that her family had not sought prior permission for the trip, arguing that a Kumari loses divine status by leaving the country.

Nhuchhe Shakya, Sajani's father, who also works for the committee in charge of finding a replacement for his daughter, said the trip had not caused her to retire early.

"In Bhaktapur, we have a tradition to get our girls married to a Bael (Aegle marmelos), a fruit dedicated to Lord Shiva, around the age of 10 or 11," Shakya said told AFP.

Sajani was symbolically married to the fruit last month and "there were no other specific reasons for her retirement," he said from the town 15 kilometres (nine miles) east of Kathmandu.

The best known of such goddesses is the "Royal Kumari" who blesses Nepal's king once a year and is confined to a crumbling, ornate palace in the historic heart of old Kathmandu.

Human rights groups say the practice abuses the rights of the young girl selected from the Newar Shakya ethnic caste.

But in Bhaktapur, the local Kumari lives with her family, goes to school and is paraded for worship just once a year during the festival of Dasain.

Sajani's father predicted his daughter would have no difficulty adjusting to life after serving as a living goddess.

"She knew that she was not going to remain a Kumari all her life, so she is mentally prepared. I think she will handle it well," said Shakya.

Meanwhile, bride and fruit are said to be doing well!

Allan W Janssen is the author of the book The Plain Truth About God (What the mainstream religions don't want you to know!) and is available at the web site www.God-101.com

Visit the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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3 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye said...

There might be a job offer coming from Nepal.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarah Honenberger, said...

This is serious. It took me a minute to realize that. Can she then marry a human?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Allan said...

This is serious alright. It shows just how fucked-up you can get on religion.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

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