TODAY -

Bhuban cave: Holy place of the TRC people
- Part 2 -

Dr Budha Kamei *



Bisnu returned to the residence of Didimpu after rounding the world for seven times but the throne of his maternal uncle was occupied by his youngest brother. Bisnu knew the mischief of his mother and decided to destroy the world. He started the work of destruction.

Bangalgwang, with the request of his daughter, Madilu, emerged out of the earth with an earthquake and persuaded Bisnu with the words: “Listen to me for a moment, everything on the earth and the earth on which you rule was created by me before you were born, so you cannot destroy the earth. Even if you do not accept the decision of your mother you should at least accept my request.”

Though Bisnu was angry, he half-heartedly accepted the proposal of his maternal uncle to be the Neikei Ragwang. So, he went to settle at Pubon (Bhuvan) cave as Neikei Ragwang.

Bisnu left Koubru village at night and settled at Longrang (Nungnang). But all of a sudden, he planned to settle at the top of Khoupum Hill where he levelled and completed the foundation work of his house in a night.

In the morning, he went to Pubon (Bhuban) Hill and settled there because he could see the house of his younger brother. Not satisfied with the intrigue of his mother, Bisnu carried away everything and the divine world became abnormal this made alarm to men, god, and creatures.

To remove the grievances of gods and men, an old god suggested that if the son of Apouna marries the daughter of Bisnu there would be peace and Bisnu also would bring back everything that he carried away for the sake of his daughter.

Other gods present in the discussion also supported the suggestion. They decided to send Shashokpou and Shangampou, intelligent and well conversant to custom and tradition to negotiate with Bisnu for the marriage proposal.

Bisnu out of anger fenced his residence area with Kurampui (caterpillars) so that the agents of his youngest brother (Ragwang) could not enter. The two Nouthanpous (marriage negotiators) could reach the gate of Bisnu but at the gate they were killed by Mangloipu (gatekeeper).

After the failure of the mission, the gods discussed and decided to kidnap one of the daughters of Bisnu for Diphungpu, son of Ragwang. Some youth were appointed and assigned the task of kidnapping. The youth were waiting for an opportune time. Many days and months went by but one day, Dikoilunglu came out to fetch water and they, without any delay, kidnapped her for the wife of Diphungpu.

When Bisnu came to know about the kidnap of his daughter by the men of Ragwang he sent out Pongwang to find out the whereabouts of his daughter Dikoilounglu. Pongwang with his divine power destroyed all trees and plants in the Koubru Range including houses and granaries.

The divine world was devastated and gods, men were hard to live. All gods came out and persuaded Bisnu with good terms and advice. One of the old gods narrated the whole episode of the kidnap and requested him to restore the normal nature. After the narration, Bisnu carried away his daughter without any words.

After some time, Charasinglangpui went to the house of Bisnu and she was warmly welcomed by her daughter-in-law, Kudinei. Charasinglangpui was satisfied with the good manners of her daughter-in-law. Bisnu came out from his bed and asked his mother about her coming.

Charasinglangpui tried to persuade Bisnu with the words: “My dear son, you are my eldest son. You know the occurrences in the past and present and foretell the future. You are the wisest among my sons. There is no mother who does not love her offsprings. Don’t be angry. You will have the best life. Everything will be in your hands, nothing shorts for you.”

Bisnu cooled down his temper by forgetting the past he had with his mother. Bisnu gave seeds, plants, birds, creatures etc. which she kept in her conical basket. In return, Charasinglangpui gave a blessing to both Bisnu and her daughter-in-law. Then, she left the residence of Bisnu for home.

All Gods saw a possible way to bring peaceful settlement of the issue. Therefore, Kouja and Tairong (Kapu-Kana), presiding deities as marriage negotiators were sent to the residence of Bisnu to finalise the marriage proposal. Thus, the marriage proposal between Diphungpu and Dikoilunglu was settled with the consent of Bisnu.

As per custom, bride price was given. Bride price consisted of Laogai (iron-hoe), Bui (spear), Bang (dao), Tu (necklace), Ta (armlets), Loidu Bangmei khat (a white cock) etc.

After marriage Dikoilunglu sat idle since there was no sound of birds, no flowers blooming; and Charasinglangpui sent Dikoilunglu to her father’s place to request him to reinstate all the things that he had taken away.

After hearing the request of his daughter Bisnu blessed her. She returned to Pouna Hills and lived there happily. Thus normalcy returned. After normalcy had been returned, Ragwang told to Gods, men that “Today, my son marrying the daughter of my elder brother (Bisnu) is tabooed and prohibited, but it is done to save the whole divine world from destruction.”

Because of this reason, the practice of Tanpui-Tanpu (marriage within the clan) is unacceptable in the TRC society.

1. Ragwang resides at Mt. Koubru and is the king of the Gods of Lower Realm. He is worshipped for well being and prosperity.

2. The abode of Bisnu is at holy cave at Bhuvan Hills, Cachar, Assam. He is the most powerful God on earth who looks after the affairs of men, nature and animals and communicated with men. He is worshipped by the TRC people during the pilgrimage to His holy cave.

3. Napsinmei’s abode is at the peak of Napsinmei Hill (Phourungba) of Ganglon Namthan in the old Cachar Road. He looks after food grains. He is worshipped to have abundant food grains.

4. The residence of Chonchai is at Mt. Kasuakbut in Taosang Khullen village in Tamenglong District. He looks after the health of men.

5. Charakilongmei lives at a mountain peak of Benna village (Thonglang) at the western spur of Koubru Mountain. He is in charge of keeping peace and ward off any disturbances on earth.

6. Koklou resides at the Peak over the Pongringlong village in the Koubru Mountain. He is the Peipou, owner of the office of the God’s Court.

7. Karangong is believed to reside at Puching (Khebachig) in Tamenglong. He is the healer of man suffering from dizziness and a teaser of unruly and misbehaved persons particularly youth. He is worshipped for health purposes.

The seven brother Gods are worshipped on the last day of Gaan-Ngai festival as Raren Loumei every year for the welfare and longevity of life of the village community.

Conclusion

After observing the above facts, we can conclude that the TRC people worship multiple Gods but they give great emphasis to the worship of Tingkao Ragwang. Tingkao Ragwang is the creator, operator and destroyer. Bhuban cave is the abode of Lord Bisnu, the eldest son of Charasinglupui who transmits the divine message of Tingkao Ragwang to the people of TRC.

He is the most powerful God on earth and looks after the affairs of men on earth. It is in the Bhuban cave the point of reformation of indigenous religion started. Because of these factors Bhuban cave is the holy place of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak people.


Concluded ....

References

1. Gangmumei Kamei. 2012. Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak: The Zeliangrong Primordial religion. Imphal
2. Gangmumei Kamei. 2004. The Zeliangrong Nagas from Makhel to Rani Gaidinliu.
3. Chaoba Kamson. 2015. The Zeliangrong Social System. Imphal
4. Gangmumei Kamei. 2009. Jadonang: A Mystic Naga Rebel. Imphal


* Dr Budha Kamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 23 2021 .



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