The Himalayan Mountaineous Hindu kingdom, Nepal has a living and breathing goddess known as Kumari Devi (a deified young girl)! The custom of worshipping a pre-pubescent girl, who is not a born goddess, as the source of supreme power is an old Hindu-Buddhist tradition that still continues to this day in Nepal.
According to the traditions of Vajrayana sect of Mahayana Buddhism, girls in the age-group of 4-7 year, who belong to the Sakya community, and have an ‘appropriate’ horoscope are screened on the basis of their 32 attributes of perfection, including color of eyes, shape of teeth and even voice quality. They are then taken into in a dark room to meet the deities where terrifying tantrik rituals including harried heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes are performed to determine who is the real godess usually by the one of these little girls who stays calm and collected throughout these scary ordeals. Other Hindu-Buddhist rituals that follow finally determine the real Kumari. The godess is worshipped as worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists as an incarnation of the powerful Hindu deity Taleju.
The spirit of the goddess is said to enter her body. She takes on the clothing and jewelry of her predecessor, and is given the title of Kumari Devi, who is worshipped on all religious occasions. She would now live in a place called ‘Kumari Ghar’, at Kathmandu’s Hanumandhoka palace square. This godess usually turns human at puberty - her first menstruation
The Kumari Festival is held in September during the Indra Jatra festival
The downside of this living human divinity is that Nepalese folklore holds that men who marry a former kumari will die young, and so many girls remain unmarried.To which Icheoku will like to add, but who wants to marry a godess anyway?