Caroline Letrange

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NEPAL: What about Gods ?

Par Caroline Letrange :: 18/06/2007 à 1:51 :: Cultural Adventure

On Kathmandou Durbar Square, gods are almost alive there !

You cannot visit Kathmandu without visiting the Kathmandou Durbar Saquer. Let me give you some useful indications about Dubar :  there are 3 Durbar squares in the Kathmandu valley. Durbar Kathmandou, Durbar Patan, beyond the river Bagmati, and Durbar Baktapur.

You may find lots of infos about Dubar on internet then lets talks here about the gods living In Dubar Kathmandu and do a short visit of the monuments around monuments.
Lets have a look at : the Hanuman Temple (the monkey god), the terrble god Kal Bhairav and the living godess, Kumari

1 Hanuman, the monkey god

get a little walk out of the center of Dubar Square and get to the Hanuman Dhoka Temple. The entry is prohibited to tourist and you will not be allowed to get in. His body is surmounted by a red platform and his face is covered with a thick layer of Sindur, a red dust, also used to apply Tikka, the red point place between the eyes, mixed with seneve oil, a mustard seed.
This god removes the pains and carries out the wishes. He also supports military successes. Every morning, the believers offer rice, money or small bits of paper where wishes are written.

On the top of the entry door of the temple, god Krishna and has human and tantric representations. Around Krishna, his human representation with its two favorite and, on the right, king Prata Malla and his wife. This temple was used for unfolding of the ceremonies of crowning.

It is also in this temple that is held the Dashain animals sacrifices (see Ticket: Durbar, royal city).

2 - Kal Bhairav, the terrifying god

Not far from there, dont miss the astonishing statue of Bhairav the Black!

creepy God Crowned with death's-heads, having large eyes and pairs of arms drawn up towards the sky. In this hands a sword, a scalp, an axe, a shield and at his feet, a human dead body ...

But why such a flood of terror that leaves us, the dudy tourist that we all are, a little perplexed ? In fact this god is the incarnation of Shiva god in his destroying appearance to "awake" the unfaithful human, to frighten him and let him face his own ignorance, symbolized by the dead body. Never lie in front of Kal Bhairav god, or you will instantly die !!

Take along your reckless kids to this god,  sure that they will no longer lie any more !

This statue was found in a field in the north of Kathmandu in the 18th century and has been placed here.

3 - Kumari, the Godess living room

A venerated girl a such alive god...!

Indeed Kumari is a very girl élévée with the row of alive goddess, before her irremediable fall like a simple mortal. This goddess lives in her palate of Newari style built with the 18eme century. Kumari is the representation of Parvati (woman of Shiva, that you can see with the balcony of the temple facing the temple of Kumari) or of Durga (see ticket on Dashain), another form of Parvati... yes, I know, all these gods with all their incarnations, they diverting, but, one is made there good a little with long...

This girl is called Kumari royal during all her short period of deification, to be different from other Kumari, déchues. Why rise with the row in goddess this girl, the legend tells that a king received the Taleju goddess, in the shape of a very beautiful woman, in order to play the charts, the day when it wished it éperduement. But Couroussée, the goddess disappeared and promised never not to return. The king begged the return of the goddess who agreed to reach her request but returns in the shape of a young untouchable virgin.

Today, the goddess is selected among girls exit of the clan Sakya (clan of the blacksmiths) towards the 4 years age. She is then examined and will have to comprise the 32 distinctive signs of the Buddha; I deliver some of them to you: to have eyes of cow (beautiful and lengthened like those of the eyes of cow), a skin comparable with the softness of the bark of Boddhi Tree, the tree under which the Buddha preached, to have the loops of hair turning towards the line, to have the eyebrows which are rejoingnent with the top of the nose...

Poor girl will have finally will subject itself to a judicious ritual to frighten it it will be locked up in a part complétement black in which hang to heads sanguinolantes decapitated animals. If Kumari does not stumble and no sign of fear expresses, it will be regarded as the new alive goddess. Finally after a small meeting of choice of clothing (it must find, among various scattered samples, of the fabrics of old Kumari) and a blessing of the astrologer, Kumari is officially declared goddess.

Consequently, it saw reclue world in its temple and cannot touch the ground of its feet; she then is transported or conveyed in a tank with the top of the ground at the time of her rare public appearances at the time of the festivals.
But attention, as soon as a drop of blood leaves its body (wound or other), Kumari loses its statute of goddess it becomes a simple mortal and will be replaced by a Kumari news.

From this moment, it can turn over in its family and marry. But in the facts, the families badly accept this former goddess, the applicants with the marriage fear death if they bind with old Kumari, the idleness and the statute of divinity of very a 4 year old girl until her approximately 12 years modify its perception of the life considerably and to become again simple "human" is often difficult to consider spychologiquement. For numbers among they, all these factors push, sometimes, some of these girls to be finished in the prostitution.

Do not hesitate to find you in this temple around approximately 15 hours for, in exchange of a few rupees, to see Kumari throwing you a glance scornful the top of one of the windows of its monastery. But attention, photographs prohibited!!

As I did not have the right to photograph Kumari,
I made stereotypes with Saddhus outside the temple

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