Nepal on on Thursday selected a three-year-old as the new ‘Kumari’ regarded as the living Goddess in the country keeping with the tradition that has outlived two Royal dynasties over more than four centuries. Trishna Shakya, daughter of Bijaya Ratna and Srijana Shakya was recognised as the one possessing divine powers. She qualified a rigorous test in which she competed with three other contestants from the ‘Shakya’ clan, an essential condition, to claim the position.
She was introduced to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari soon after a government committee declared her to be the new Kumari. Trishna was later taken to Kumari Ghar, the official residence of the Kumari for centuries. She replaced Manita Shakya after she turned 12. The committee that has representatives from the community, religious bodies and the experts selects the Kumari from among eligible Shakya girl children with powerful planetary configuration. Someone believed to be possessing 32 noble ‘virtues’ including a scar free body is selected.
Trishna was named Kumari on the Mahaastami day after qualifying for the divine post on the ‘Kalaratri’, 8th night of Dussehera. She will have to have ‘divine darshan’ of Goddess Taleju Bhawani, considered to be a protector of the Kings, in a temple on Maha-Navami Friday. It is believed that she will be energised and blessed with Bhawani’s divine power during the first meeting.