TODAY -

Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) :: Translated from Meeteilon
- Part 6 -

James Oinam *

 Tribal Woman 'Chayom Thupki'
' Tribal Woman ' : An illustration of 'Chayom Thupki' by James Oinam



Chayom Thupki (Translation): Part 6

Book Title: Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy)
Author: Makar Luwang
Publisher: S. Achauba Khaba Nganba, Khurai Khongam Leikai
Year of Publication: 1995

(51)
Heirangkhoinida chanaba heinida
Sibu thoina haoba heidi chindamba heinida


The living things were created (by god) and all became bright. This saying is about the making of the humans. At first humans could not speak. The flowers and the fruits, seeing that the humans have not realized their worth, compared them to heirang (different kinds of fruits). Later people were able to talk. Then they called humans as chindamba (one who expresses [tamba] what is in one's heart through the lips [chin]) fruits. And they said chindamba fruits are much better than heirang.

(52)
Sanaogi makhom sanbina thaklani
Karang ching shaygairani


The cow will drink the milk of the calf. Karang Ching (Karang Mountain) will split open. The cow is metaphor for leaders and elites of the society. They take great care of themselves (drink the milk), but do not care for the coming generation—as if they are in some kind of a race.

Karang Ching is a word play. Karang means legs. If a person tries to ride on two boats at the same time, his legs would split open.

(53)
Haoreibigi ingkholda lashing polang phaubani
Huina yenna shokkani shut phet


Literally it translates as in the garden of Haoreibi a basket containing cotton is left for drying, dogs and fowl might touch—shut-phet.

However, rhyming words and metaphors have been used to hide the real intent of the saying. For instance, instead of 'aloshing' (wisdom), 'lashing' (cotton) has been used. Also, the name 'Haoreibi' is a corruption of the phrase 'haurakpadagi leiba' (one that has been here from the beginning, i.e., yelhoungeidagi).

Polang is formed from the words 'pon' and 'lang'. Lang means a 'trap' (to confine the animal). The word means that nine gods/sacred places have been put inside this land with boundaries put around them carefully. Now, the first sentence becomes, a lot of wisdom and sacred things have been left by our forefathers.

The next sentence says, protect these from the dogs and fowls. In Manipuri animals are classified into two groups: yum sha (yum [house] + sha [animal]) and lam sha (lam [land] + sha [animal]). Yumsha is again classified into emung sha (inside the house animal) and mapan sha (outside the house animal). Dogs and fowl belong to the latter category. The words shut and phet come from the smelling by the dog (shut) and sound by the fowl. Hence the second sentence is about protecting the land from foreign influence.

(54)
Nakongda changlakpa makholni
Lawaina kauruba khongthangni


One that enters the ears is the sound. One that is called forth by the mind are the steps.

When objects strike one another, the vibrations enter our ears and we call them the sound. It does not leave any impression on the mind. But the noise in our head or mind (disturbing thoughts) can only be heard by us. It is not caused by an external source. When we say untoward things to others or interfere in other people's business (khut-sha shangluba), then they talk behind our back. So disturbing thoughts are our own doing.

(55) Ngarang haying anina ngashi haujik tannare

Yesterday and tomorrow have together chased away the today and now.

(56)
Pukningna khullakpa thetchillu
Wakhalna purakpa thamjillu


When we find a shiny object on the way, we pick it up even though it may not be of any use as it pleases the heart. Such things are stuck somewhere. But if take something after thinking about it, then it should be kept securely in some place.

(57)
Sanbi loiyu sangom chani
Tenbalaga thajaba phangani


Milk is much more nutritious than its taste. Hence, keeping a good cow is important to drink good milk. Otherwise, like a cat who has got a taste of it one will drink anything which is white in colour. While listening to something one has not experienced, one understands little. Majority will not be believed. As it is said only someone who has been bitten by snake knows its poison.

(58)
Kumshi mapal sharaga nongmei mahei yangani

[Flowering/budding in former time will result in fruition in later time]

When one learns something new a little knowledge is gained. This is called 'mapal shaba' (flowering/budding). In the past, what our parents have learned have now with time become complete knowledge (mahei yanba, meaning fruition). It is not possible to know everything about a new thing. But what have been learned in the past can be learnt easily and we can know everything about them.

(59)
Thorukok thaurukok chang chap
Makutani san san


Since what has been offered to the gods does not contain what should be there, the traditional offerings and songs (thorukok, bald), it has become even (chang chap). It is only skin (makutani) without any flesh.

(60)
Mutlabadi munba ngamloi
Yunglabadi mutpa ngamloi


[If extinguished, will not ripen
If established, will not extinguish]

There are things that are trying to destroy the land as if an eagle is flying over the sky looking for an opportunity to paunch at its prey. If out of mutual jealousy, if we allow the land to be destroyed then the young generation will have no future. However, if we resolve together to save then it will be saved.

(61)
Manam phao makhol thiyu

[Catch the smell, search the sound]

In Manipuri an expression 'oinnumbdeda' (oiba = likely + numba = to smell) is used to say that someone does not look like he/she will be able to do the job (upon looking at the nature of the job and by the look of the person). So here catch the smell means try to know if people are judging whether you can do a particular job. And when you hear opinions of people, see whether they know about the job, it requirements. If they do, then seek help from them.

(62)
Ten ten tena ten, nungshu natte tena ten
Mapuda khoiji makhoiji
Shari lakham kham


In a corner of the land, people have been living for countless years-breathing the air, drinking the water and eating the food of the place, thus becoming a part of it. From all around, clever arrows (ten) are being shot at them to convert them to something foreign. But these will not hit them. The arrow made from the navel of the lord of fire, water and air only can hit them.

 Cover of 'Chayom Thupki'
Cover of 'Chayom Thupki'




To be continued.....


* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on July 02, 2019.



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