Kumari Puja

Kumari Puja, celebrates the divine feminine energy embodied by the young girls. The ritual of Kumari Puja in Belur Math anticipates the festival of Durga Puja in Calcutta, India. The ritual, which evokes the victory of good over evil, provides for the adoration of a girl aged between the ages of six and twelve, symbolizing the virgin goddess.

A ceremony which still exist in Nepal and Bengal, the Kumari Puja, worship of the girl, testifies to the relationship between the woman and the Shakti. A girl of about twelve years old virgin is made ​​to sit on a throne and by means of a complex function, the girl is deified, thus becoming temporarily personification of the Goddess herself, and worshiped as such.

The celebration of small living goddesses attracts believers, who come to pay homage to young virgin, dressed in  sumptuous red robes and gold, and to be infused with positive energy and good luck. In this ritual the girls are worshiped, decorated, dressed in new clothes, and treated with the utmost honor. On the ninth day of Navratri festival in honor of the goddess Durga girls under the age of puberty are worshiped as an avatar of Devi.

The Kumari Puja knows several forms depending on the place where it is celebrated, but in general, the chosen girl is made ​​to sit on the throne reserved for the deity Devi and wrapped in a red choli.
Devotees usually offer many types of drinks, food and large amounts of money to get the favor of heaven.

Hindu texts such as the Jñanarnava Rudrayamala assign different names to a Kumari depending on her age. The girlfriend of a year is called Sandhya , two years Sarasvati , to three years of age Tridhamurti, four Kalika, five Subhaga, six Uma, on her seventh birthday is called Malini, eight years after the girl's name Kubjika, nine Kaala Sandarbha, the tenth year Aparajita , eleven Rudrani, twelve named Bhairavi, thirteen Mahalakshmi, a fourteen Pithanayika, fifteen kshetrajna and finally the sixteenth year of her age she is called Ambika.

In India, the Kumaris are worshiped only for a day and these names are assigned only during the ritual, which usually lasts a couple of hours. Over the age of sixteen a girl can no longer access the rite. The main objective of Kumari Puja is the realization of the divine potential in every human being, especially in women. A Hindu devotee sees the universal consciousness that manifests itself in a child.

Hindus are accustomed to say that their religion, in truth, is not a religion, it is rather a way of life. That's why life is governed mainly by Hindu rites and customs, rather than rules. Women in fact follow a series of rituals that allow them to celebrate some special events and crucial: there is no shortage of rituals with women in the middle Hinduism, unlike many of those who believe. No coincidence that Hindu women have a key role in most of the festivals and pujas, religious rituals in offering to the gods.

Hindus, in general, extolling the virtues of femininity and the role of women, considering them essential in facilitating the development of future generations. Although the Hindus themselves continually re-evaluate and redefine the roles of women over time, in the Indian texts epics such as the Mahābhārata still remain strong ideals exemplified by the characters as brave as Sita, Gandhari, Draupadi, Mandodari and Savitri. Overall, the women's rituals in Hinduism celebrate the essence of femininity and give a prominent place to women in the society.

In some parts of India the devotees celebrate the first menstrual cycle of a girl. When this girl bleeds for the first time, taking a bath with milk and turmeric. The girls typically receive too many gifts and new clothes from their parents and relatives. Some compare him, in a very simplistic, at a slumber party for girls only. Normally this ritual celebrates the coming of age of Hindu women.

The Sindhara is a North Indian ritual exclusively female. This festival is specially designed for mothers and falls in the month of Shravan month dedicated to the god Shiva or during the monsoon season. This is a time of fun and relaxation for the girls who are given the gift of new clothes and gifts of all sorts, while married women return to their mother's home for two weeks or more, where they receive special gifts from their parents and in-laws.

The deeper meaning of the Sindoor Khela is in favor of the longevity of the spouses, women who participate in the ritual in fact pray for peace and prosperity of their families.

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