Gaudiya Vaishnavism : An Integrating force in the Amalgamation of Meitei Nation
- Part 2 -

Manindra Konsam *

As such, an initiation of an evolution of a common bonding of cultural tradition for the integrated Meitei power can be seen since the beginning of the amalgamation of the Meitei Nation. However, in the process of the common cultural evolution for the amalgamated Meitei power, there are historical evidences that shows: the Meitei also developed their own distictive culture different from the other groups they subdued and amalgamated to their own power.

For such insertion, the followings may be considered:-I. Meidingu Ningthoukhomba (1432-1467 A.D.) wanted to attack and subdue the Moiraang but hasitated as both the powerful Khuman and Kabo were allies of Moirang. Whereas the Kabo was friendly with the Meitei but the Khuman remaind a great adversary. So, the Meitei king planned a conspiracy with the Chief of Andro to make alleis with the Kabo to attack Moirang.

The Chief of Andro was sent to Kabo for requesting help for Meitei to attack Moirang. Meanwhile a night, Meitei secretly attacked Kabo and beheaded Kabo queen and placed the head atop the palace gate of the Kabo. The Meitei attackers on their return left scattering meal leftovers wrapped in lotus leaves to mislead them as Moirang as it was a customary tradition of the Moirang of wrapping their meal packages (Chayom) -4-in lotus leaves, whereas the Meitei wrapped their's in Leihouraa (plantain leaves of edible banana) and the Khuman in Changbi Laa (leaves of wild plantain).

II. Meidingu Nongyin Phaaba (1523-1524 A.D.) ascended at the tender age of 10 yr. after his father Meidingu Lamkyamba (1512-1523 A.D.). Taking advantage of the Meitei king's young age, Angom King Angoupaamba Kyamba forcibly married the young king's queen mother Chaningphaabi. One day the Angom king came to the royal court adoring Urekshek Chaashangba (painted feather of white Heron) on his head which was a customary to the Meitei but not of the Angom. So the Meitei queen mother protested the nature of the Angom king and consequently got killed along with her young king son.

On the other hand, it is also a well known fact that all the different groups of people (regardless of smaller groups that merged to one or another bigger group) amalgamated to the Meitei power and integrated through common cultural bondings in many ways, still continued to enjoyed their own distinctive ways of folk culture and traditions.

Each group had their own distinctive paterns and colours of costumes and ornaments that could show the identity of the group they belongs. They had day to day habits and ritualistic practices different from one another.

For example:-I. Meidingu Yaanglou Keiphaaba (969-984 A.D.) introduced the pattern of embroidering Khoi (a curve design) in the border of the Meetei womens' Phanek Mayek Naibi (stripe-sarong) which was adopted by all the groups amalgamated to the Meitei power. However that was done in different colours of distinctive stripe-sarong to identify the women wearer of the respective group she belongs. Such as :

a. Ningthoujaa (Meitei) : Thambal machu phanek (indigo and red stripe).
b. Khaaba-Ngaanba : Chigonglei phanek (golden and black stripe).
c. Angom : Langhou phanek (black and white stripe).
d. Chenglei (sharaang Leishaang and Haorok Konthou) : Loirang phanek (reddish and white stripe).
e. Luwang : Higok phanek (sky-blue and black strip).
f. Khuman : Kumjingbi phanek (dark blue and whitish stripe).
g. Moirang : Hangampal phanek (yellow and reddish stripe).

(Those trend of wearing distinctive colours stripe-sarong by the Meitei women conforming to their respective groups continued till the Great World War II. But after the War, Meetei women started trendsetting to wear any kind of stripe-sarong as they like and continues to be still in vogue.

II. The Chakpas of Manipur is a strong group of people who came and settled in this land since early days.Their main settlement areas with their religious practices which had affinity to the Tantric culture of Mahayana Buddhist were in and around the present day Bishnupur (Lamaangdong). They were defeated and -5-brought within the Meitei power during the reign of Meidingu Kongyaamba (1324-1335 A.D.).

But they continued to remain with their customary practices and distinctive dialect. As such, The Chairen, subdued and brought within the Meitei power during the reign of Meidingu Telheiba (1335-1355 A.D) also remained retaining their customary practices; whereas the Heirem Khunjaan, subdued at the same time with the Chairen got completely merged to the Meitei fold.

In addition to the above circumstances, alien groups with their distinctive cultural traditions started settling within the amalgamated Meitei power either by means of forced exlusive settlements as war captives or by migration from both the east and west. So, by the turns of the early 18th c. A.D., it may easily be concieved the the hard earned amalgamated Meitei Power and Nation might surely had faced a chaotic social order.

By the turn of the 18th c. A.D., the small valley of Manipur, though it housed the seat of power of the amalgamated Meitei Nation, had numbers of different cultural colours which were not rightly befitted for a nation. Other than the amalgamated groups of the Meitei Power and Nation, the valley had housed- Takhel (Tripuri) Vaishnav Hindu village (later to be mingled with Chinese), Mayaang (Cachari) Vaishnav Hindu village, Mayaang Kaalishaa (later Bishnupriya) Shaakta Hindu villages, Khraamran (Burmese) Buddhist village, Kameng (Burmese Karen) Buddhist village, Muslim villages and in between Brahmans from different parts of India with their different Hindu school of thoughts.

In such chaotic combinations of different cultures in a small land like Manipur valley where the seat of power for the amalgamated Meitei power and Nation leis, why a Meitei king would not like to adopt a state religion to bring common cultural traditions for his amalgamated subjects for integration as one?

Therefore, during the reign of King Pamheiba @ Garibaniwaz (1709-1748), there came a real time for the Meitei nation to have one common religion to shape one complete entity for the amalgamated Meitei power and its nation. So the king had to choose one from the three emerging religion of the world: -
1. Buddhism, a flourished religion of the south-east Asia including neighboring Burma, the then greatest enemy of the Meitei;
2. Islam, an alien but worldwide religion but then emerging forcefully in the eastern part of India;
3. Vaishnava Hinduism of India, the religion of the then friendly neighbouring kingdom of Ahom and Cachar.

The king rightly decided for Vaishnava Hinduism the religion, his father Meidingu Charairongba (1697-1709 A.D.) fondly embraced and patronised. But, adoptation of Vaishnava Hinduism by Meidingu Garibaniwaz for his amalgamated Meitei power brought more chaotic altercations than to bring common bonding among his amalgamated subjects as Hinduism in the valley of Manipur started reaching in varied forms with different colour and outlooks.

-7-PS: The English in the above article is subject to correction and improvement as the writer is not habitual of writing in English. - The writer.

To be continued...

* Manindra Konsam, Editor, Sanathong Monthly, wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on November 15, 2018.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Gaan-Ngai @Iboyaima Shanglen #3:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Manipur Assembly Election (2007-2022) #1
  • World Meetei Council website launched
  • Homecoming of missing Arunachal youth
  • Winter vegetable that will give you glow
  • State hapless in preventing Omicron
  • The wait for the list continues
  • Republic Day @Kangla #1 :: Gallery
  • No matter what :: Poem
  • Fear of the virus
  • The Peace Forest Initiative
  • The vehicle for NEP 2020
  • Contribution of Leimayol Arts Centre
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Lotus plant: A multipurpose plant species
  • Primary School renovated at Joupi
  • Republic Day recollections
  • Huge skills gap making new jobs go abegging
  • National Voters' Day
  • Lining up for BJP ahead of polls
  • Lainingthou Sanamahi Complex #2:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • BAMCHAS biennial conference 2022
  • COVID Vaccine Booster: To give or not
  • Before I sleep... III
  • Indian Army as a career option
  • 20-yr MoU to set up Mini-Grid in Nagaland
  • Season of promises!
  • Election curbs; relief for commoners
  • First manifesto, then candidates list
  • Imoinu @Yumnam Leikai :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Our Ailing Planet: My locality as a facet
  • Stop Oil Palm Plantation in Manipur
  • General election in hard times :: Poem
  • Being free from freedom
  • Roaring 40 in first list of Cong
  • Significance of Gaan-Ngai festival #2
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Wake Up My People Wake up :: Poem
  • A tribute to Athokpam Indrakumar Singh
  • Stunted fingerling- Replacement of fish seed
  • Training Program at Dimapur
  • Gaan-Ngai @Kakhulong :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Classical Language Vs ST for Meetei
  • The Great Green Walls, conserving nature
  • Webinar: The Birds and Bees Talk
  • Covid Booster Campaign at Tamenglong
  • IVF Centre in Guwahati
  • Easing curbs as cases spiral
  • Third wave is on!
  • Ecotourism Complexes @ Ramrei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • No excuse not to end acute pandemic stage
  • Palm-oil in Manipur: Bad to worse
  • For sons and daughters :: Poem
  • Effective methods for facial hair removal
  • Subdued dissent over Sunday as poll day
  • Embracing the party hoppers
  • Gaan-Ngai @Iboyaima Shanglen #2:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Cultural Activists of Manipur honoured
  • Male infertility: What are the options ?
  • Is celebrating New Year Day really worth it
  • Third wave: State on record breaking spree
  • Compulsion of power politics
  • Imoinu Thouniba @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • O Jonga! O Jonga :: Poem
  • Grey market for election tickets
  • Some common weeds of Manipur #2
  • Lilong Haoreibi College awarded 'B' grade
  • State used as transport route of drugs
  • Possible post poll scenario
  • Significance of Gaan-Ngai festival #1
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Lunghar path in springshed conservation
  • Lament of love :: Poem
  • Career options in Lift Technology
  • Brief tale of one year COVID vaccination
  • Bickering among allies in coalition politics
  • Low vaccination coverage
  • NH-2 : Remember Khongnem Thana
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • O Kolhen! O Kolhen :: Poem
  • Program on POCSO Act at Thoubal
  • The Killing Fields (2013-22) :: News Timeline
  • A spate of 'defections' in UP elections...
  • High performing individuals work alone
  • Onus on ECI to avert crisis situation
  • Keeping people informed is key
  • Gaan-Ngai @Iboyaima Shanglen #1:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • The church is & must remain apolitical
  • Tamenglong Battalion celebrated Army Day
  • How prosperous NE India became backward
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Koubru #1:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Read all about Gaan Ngai
  • Justice, Peace and Change :: Poem
  • Mass Surya Namaskar at Tamenglong
  • Padmanabha Swamy Temple
  • Overcoming vaccine hesitancy
  • Nothing grand about 'Grand Old Party'
  • Lainingthou Sanamahi Complex #1:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Some common weeds of Manipur #1
  • How to keep your hair healthy this winter
  • Third wave: Litmus test for NE states
  • High TPR, low vaccination
  • Maharaja Gambhir Singh
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Rani Gaidinliu Open Air Lounge inaugurated
  • NAAC peer team visit for assessment
  • National Youth Day
  • Conservation Agriculture: intensified farming
  • Negligence galore as Covid cases rise
  • Back to the spike in three figures
  • How AFSPA undermines 'Act East' Policy
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • P Achevei : Mega Mister North East 2021
  • Stop Violence related to Election
  • Civil / Project Engineer @ R-Square
  • Business Development @ R-Square
  • Customer Representative @ Property Geo
  • No matter what :: Poem
  • Stealthy extension of AFSPA
  • Confiscating 'suspected heroin'
  • 188 Death Anniv: Maharaj Gambhir:: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) 20th Call
  • Kalum Kai (House of worship) #2
  • Account Assistant @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • Business Dev @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • The 5G Race :: Samarjit Kambam
  • Manipur elections not for the faint-hearted
  • Guns & violence in run up to polls
  • Climate Change in Ukhrul in last 50 years
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Are we able to break chain of transmission
  • 100 new Sainik School- opportunities for girl
  • Joyjeet Waikhom / Ksh Maradona: Mr India
  • Money flying in or out ?
  • Will partial lockdown help curb transmission
  • Voting during Covid pandemic
  • Food items @ Singjamei, Pishum :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Curfew : Measures to combat COVID
  • IMFP - Indian Made Foreign People
  • Happy 2022 to you !
  • Manipur Press Foundation Day :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Politician must practice, preach on COVID
  • Makeup routine during pandemic
  • Third wave threat no more a mirage
  • Queuing up for BJP
  • Thangal Lambi & Ima Keithel :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Before I sleep... II
  • Election Brawl :: Poem
  • Impact of Covid on Employer Branding
  • Chasing peace in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Kalum Kai (House of worship) #1
  • The art of New Year's resolution
  • Cong struggling to keep its house in order
  • Manipur's place in the eyes of Delhi
  • Makru bridge, Oinamlong Waterfall : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Depression : A New Time Bomb
  • School & Student Championship Quiz
  • Concern over child labour
  • ECI on sluggish vaccination rate in state
  • Vaccination rate in hill districts
  • Fusion of contemporary dance & theatre
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Crackdown on violators
  • AMAND, Pune released 2022 calendar
  • Rising poverty in Manipur
  • Sunset, the most memorable!
  • Election time season of plentiful promises
  • Interesting role of NPP, NPF
  • Pineapple @ Ngariyan Hills #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • kLlQtre :: Seireng
  • National Day for our feathered friend
  • Value of purposeful life
  • Homemade face packs for winter beauty
  • Dreadful start to New Year as cases spike
  • Manipur steps into Year 2022
  • Tarpon Katpa @ Loktak #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • OneHealth: towards pandemic preparedness?
  • Before I sleep...
  • Meitei ST demand & the opposition
  • Bye Bye 2021 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #6: Gallery
  • Manipur : National Futsal C'ship 2021
  • 'Unlocking Locks Under Lockdowns' released
  • Baby corn cultivation for livelihood
  • Extension of AFSPA to Nagaland
  • Hoping for a better New Year 2022
  • Appeal of AMCO to Chief Minister
  • NK Sanajaoba- Star in Dark Sky of Manipur
  • Danube Kangjam : Miss North East 2021
  • Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958
  • January Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Carol on Christmas :: Poem
  • Formation of 13 Farmer Producer Orgns
  • Indian Army Inquiry Team visits site in Oting
  • Review home isolation rule or punish violator
  • Lining up for saffron party
  • Red Ribbon Manipur Idol, 2021 #2: Gallery
  • Job-Fair 2021 @ Imphal : Gallery
  • Christmas Eve @ Imphal : Gallery
  • Christmas Eve @ Churachandpur : Gallery
  • Red Ribbon Manipur Idol, 2021 #1: Gallery
  • Heisnam Savitri (Legendary actress) #2
  • Painting: Tribal Freedom Fighter #1: Gallery
  • New Barak Bridge @Jiri highway : Gallery
  • Heisnam Savitri (Legendary actress) #1
  • RK Meghen tribute @ Nupi Lal : Gallery
  • Protest: massacre of Naga Brethen: Gallery