Nepal: 3 Year Old Child Determined to be Real Life Goddess

Via David Romanelli
on Aug 4, 2011
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A few days ago I received a Facebook message which read:

“Yeah Dave, my name is Shirley Hairston and I recently took your workshop.  I got terrible diarrhea after. Just thought you should know.”

Note: I wanted to ignore a message of this nature but I care very much about my students and responded…

“Shirley, are you sure it was my class? Maybe it was something you ate? Or possibly it was one of those intense backbending classes?”

Note: If I could blame it on someone or something else, it seemed like the easiest way to handle this.

Shirley responded, “No, I know when I got home from your yoga class I had terrible, explosive diarrhea and it hasn’t gone away since.”

“Wow. I totally apologize Shirley. Maybe it was the chocolate I served after class?”

(Here’s where I took a moment to make sure “diarrhea” was covered under my yoga teachers insurance policy. It wasn’t.)

Shirley wrote back, “No, I love that chocolate, I think it’s you Yeah Dave. There’s something about you that causes my bowels to explode.”

Wow. This was so bad it was good. Sorta like a compliment. But not really.


You may remember an interesting news story from 2008.

A 3-year-old girl named Matani Shakya was appointed a living goddess in Nepal.

In order to receive this honor, the living goddess had to have perfect hair, eyes, teeth and skin with no scars, and weirdest of all, she could not be afraid of the dark.

As a test, Matani Shakya needed to spend a night alone in a pitch black room among the heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes without showing fear.

Can you imagine putting a 3 year old in alone in a dark bedroom let alone in a room with the heads of slaughtered goats?

Critics say the tradition violates both international and Nepalese laws on child rights.

Nonetheless, Matani has sat alone in a cave for the past 4 years as she will do for the next 4 until she begins to menstruate…as goes this ancient tradition.


I know what you must be thinking and I agree…as long as she has TV.

Like Matani, there’s some part in each of us stuck in a cave, deep in our psyche.


Because sometimes, just sometimes, tradition is a lost leader.

That’s why Emerson suggested “a philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation and not history.”

Consider, if you have some addiction, ailment, or God forbid, explosive diarrhea…don’t blame your religion, yoga teacher, spouse, or parent.

Take responsibility. Strip off all the junk that weighs you down. Live in the moment. Once and for all, emerge from that dark place in your mind.

As a wise one said, “Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?


About David Romanelli

David "Yeah Dave" Romanelli has played a major role in pioneering the modernization of wellness in the United States. He believes wellness and feeling good is so much more than fancy yoga poses, green juice, and tight-fitting clothes. Dave launched his career fusing ancient wellness practices with modern passions like exotic chocolate, fine wine, and gourmet food by creating Yoga + Chocolate, Yoga + Wine, and Yoga for Foodies.  His work has been featured in The Wall Street JournalFood + Wine, Newsweek and The New York Times; and his debut book, Yeah Dave's Guide to Livin' the Moment reached #1 on the Amazon Self-Help Bestseller List. Dave's new book launches in Fall 2014 from Skyhorse Publishing. Check out his new show Yeah Dave! brought to you by Scripps Network, the people behind The Food Network, Travel Channel, HGTV, and more.  He is a current contributor to Health Magazine, Yoga Journal, and various other publications. Discover more about his journey on


5 Responses to “Nepal: 3 Year Old Child Determined to be Real Life Goddess”

  1. tanya lee markul says:

    I love how you combined explosive diarrhea with the baffling young goddess story! Brilliant sense of humour and wisdom. Thank you!!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Assoc. Yoga Editor
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  2. tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

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    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  4. The whole goddess thing is offensive but not that much different from the way our culture sets up young girls as beauty icons for grown women to aspire to. It seems the patriarchy is cool with female as long as it's not doing anything female – like maturing any way.

  5. I'd add to that: don't strip off the junk only to find different junk. The great irony of the western yoga/alternative spirituality community is that it tends to be made up of very progressive, well educated, postmodern people, who, for good reasons, are extremely skeptical towards the traditional authorities, religions, and hierarchies of their own culture…while looking all over for those of other cultures to idealize. Thus, people who would be horrified by the very notion of someone expecting to be treated with deference simply for being born into a particular race, class, or gender in the west start bowing and scraping and saying "Your Holiness" to people from magical mystical foreign lands who were supposedly born into a particular caste or lineage.