TODAY -

Hinduism in Manipur
- Part 4 -

Dr. Chirom Rajketan Singh *

 Shree Shree Govindaji Temple at Palace Compound, Imphal on January 21 2016
Shree Shree Govindaji Temple at Palace Compound, Imphal on January 21 2016 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



On the first day of Holi small huts of straw are made where the idol of Shri Gourachandra is placed and worship in the evening. After the puja is over the huts are burnt. After this small children would go from door to door for Nakatheng (asking for money). Besides this the unmarried ladies come out on the road, stopping passers-by by blocking the road with a rope and asking for donations.

There is playing of colours, singing of holi hymns by old and young and Thabal Chongba at night (a kind of dancing to the music by holding each others hands). These are the various activities that take place during the five day Holi. Old people (both men and women) would offer their service to Shri Govinda, Shri Bijoy Govinda temples by singing Holi hymns.

Holi is totally a mixed festival in Manipur. It is not celebrated in this way in other parts of the country. The name of the festival itself is different. It is called Yaoshangin Manipur. The tradition of Thabal Chongba dates back to the time of origin of this land. Burning of Yaoshang (straw hut) is associated with the story of Gouranga Mahaprabhu. Playing of Holi is related to Krishna and Radha.

It is also related with the story of Holika (daughter of Hireinya Kaushipura) and Prahlada. All the Hindu festivals that are celebrated in Manipur are all modified according to the tradition and way of life of the place. So they all seem to have originated here.

Birth Rituals:

Birth rituals that are carried out nowadays shows intermixing of old Meitei tradition with Hindu religion. In Meitei tradition during pregnancy the would be mother and father have to refrain themselves from doing certain things. On the fifth day after the birth of a child the mid wife (Chabokpi Maibi) performs a ritual for the long life of the new born in the morning. This ritual is called Epan Thaba.

At dusk, the Brahmin performs Swasti Pujah. He prays to the Destiny god Swasti Devi for the child's long life. The child's maternal uncle (mamma) will shoot arrows. This is followed by the blessing of the new born by showering money and gifts. The morning ritual is Meitei tradition while evening's ritual is Hindu based.

Chakumba:

This is the ritual of introduction of baby to first solid food. The ritual is performed at 5 months for baby girls and at 7 months for baby boys. On this day the child is made to wear silver ornaments - anklets, bangles, neck chain etc. with traditional new dress. The ritual may be performed in a simple way without Brahmin, Priests or Astrologers.

The child is made to taste the fish and rice just for namesake after offering it to the gods. Then the child is made to touch certain objects like book, gold, currency note, paddy etc. which are placed in front of him/her. This is done to see what the child would become when he grow up. With the coming of Hinduism the ritual changes a bit.

In the Hindu temple, rice, sugar and milk are offered to Lord Vishnu for making Kheer (a sweet dessert). Then the kheer is given to the child. So it is either kheer or fish and rice which is given to the baby in this ritual.

Naming:

Naming of the child is considered very important as it is believed that if a child is not appropriately named then he might have short life or will suffer from illnesses. So priests are consulted before naming a child and the child is named after studying his birthday and month.

For the Meiteis who follow Hindu religion they consulted astrologers for the same. The ritual is not held in a big way for majority of the Meiteis. But for the Chakpa community of Manipur like Andro the ritual is held in a big way by arranging feasts for the people of their community including the priests.

Mana Hutpa / Chura Karan:

This is the ritual of piercing of ear lobe. Nowadays it is performed in a bigger way. The piercing of ear lobe is done either on the 5th day after the birth of a child or any other auspicious day by calling a goldsmith.

On the day of Chura Karan the previous earring is replaced by a new one. Then a barber shaves off the head of the child. Fire worship (Yagya) is performed by the Brahmin for the child's well being. This ritual is done when the child enters 3 or 5 years of age with a grand feast.

Luhongba (Marriage):

Marriage is a compulsory ritual for the Meitei community and is being performed since early times. The coming of Hindu religion influences the ritual. The word Shubh Vivah is used for the Marriage ceremony. There will be Sankirtan throughout the ceremony. As the groom sits the bride would go round the groom for seven times. Marriage ceremony of early times is quite different from today's marriage ceremony.

In the early times the elders of the bride and the bride groom after mutual agreement will perform a ritual called Heijing Kharai Puba. This ritual is considered equal to marriage. Marriage ceremony of the present day is almost influenced by Hindu religion.

Marriage as mentioned in old manuscript like Thawan Thaba Hiran, Panthoibi Khongul, Tutenglon, Nongban Pombi Luwaoba etc. is quite different from today's marriage. Once Heijing Kharai is completed the groom need not go to the bride's place. The bride will be sent to the groom's place on an auspicious day with a dowry.

For example, during the time of Meidingu Charairongba (father of Garibniwaj Maharaja), when his daughter Chakpa Makhaongambi got married, the groom i.e. the King of Samsok (Ava) did not come. She was sent after the Heijing Kharai ceremony. In old manuscripts like Panthoibi Khongul, Thawan Thaba Hiran etc. we can find that the groom did not go to the bride's place.

Today's marriage ceremony shows intermixture of Meitei religion and Hindu religion. Heijing Kharai, Yumlai Laipot, Lamlai Laipot, Apok Asa are all related with Meitei religion. Sankritan is not at all related with marriage.

The most important element of marriage is arrangement of offering for the gods is Laipot (for house deities and for deities outside the house) which is to be arranged by both marriage parties and get exchanged.

Other forms of matrimony like Loukhatpa, Lai Tin Thaba, Keinya katpa do not involve Sankirtan but Laipot is a must. Sankirtan is only the manifestation of Hinduism. It was adopted later as it was believed that whatever is offered without Sankirtan were not accepted by Lord Vishnu.

Death ritual:

Sankirtan is also a part of death ritual. There is a difference in the activities performed by the Meitei priest and Brahmin for the ritual. Not only this, the Brahmin and the Meitei Hindus hold death rituals on different days. After one year another ritual called Phiroi is held and this will be the last death ritual.

From the manuscripts we come to know that the people in the past bury their dead by putting in a coffin. After one year the dead body is dug out, the remains are cleansed and then buried again. This ritual is called Lu Tengba. Thus we can see intermixing of Meitei religion and Hindu religion in the death rituals also.

Hindu religion may have some influence on the various rituals but it cannot make them totally Hindu based. Hindu religion cannot replace Meitei religion. Till today Sanamahi, Leimarel is worshipped. There is no place for Hindu religion in Lai Haraoba .

Lai Haraoba still signifies a pure Meitei Tradition. Now in Manipur many Hindu festivals have been replaced by Meitei festival. For example, Durga puja is replace by Panthoibi Eratpa(puja), April 14 Cheiraoba is replace by Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba etc. These changes signify the return of the Meiteis from Hindu religion to Meitei religion.

The Meiteis never leave their traditional culture. That is why Hindu religion cannot replace Meitei religion. We can know this from the various rites de passage. All the Meitei ritesstill have the traditional element in them. If the various rites de passage are studied thoroughly only then we can establish the true identity of the Meiteis. .

Concluded....


* Dr. Chirom Rajketan Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of Manipuri at Kha Manipur College, Kakching
This article was webcasted on November 05, 2019.



* 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 e-pao.net. 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.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Patriots' Day @ Kangla #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 August: Govt of Manipur
  • The Destiny :: Book released at Kohima
  • Onus on Modi to deliver: Naga Separatism..
  • Maternal Health Rights during COVID
  • Next possible language riots in Assam
  • Hour Before The Rain :: Poem
  • The novelty of the term new
  • Gagging the academia freedom of expression
  • Tete-a-Tete with Maharaj Leisemba
  • COVID-19 Status 12 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Historical War fought by Manipur : 13 August
  • Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2021
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Reservation within reservation for NE STs
  • Cloud computing as career choice
  • Community transmission? How will respond?
  • Pardon us your Excellency
  • Thangjing waterfall, Henglep, CCpur : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • COVID-19 Status 11 August: Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Bamboo: The Magic Grass :: Oinam Naobi
  • MSMEs must to rejuvenate economy
  • Consumer Protection Act 2019
  • Congress scripting its own demise
  • Addressing the Zeliangrong question
  • COVID-19 Status 10 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Ramkashing, Sinneihoi, Aton: eMing
  • Women plug food supply gap during lockdown
  • NGO Studies (MAINS) program in South Korea
  • Initiate inquiry for Hospital refusal
  • Love in the Hard Times :: Poem
  • From cluster to local transmission
  • Negative remarks on positive activities
  • MK PB Singh, 1st CM & Mizo agitation
  • COVID-19 Status 9 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Azolla: An organic farmer's friend
  • Corona Came Calling... :: Poem
  • Manipur gi sakkhangbidraba yelhoumee
  • Thousand questions to life but.. one answer
  • Time to take all into confidence
  • Yaoshang Thabal Chongba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 8 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Impact of Covid-19 on mobile phone users
  • International Day of Indigenous Peoples
  • A call against systematic inequalities
  • August Diary :: Poem
  • A tale of Friendships Unlocked !
  • A Nuclear Free Future
  • Stay positive on Northeast plan
  • Is MSPDCL taking advantage of COVID-19
  • Folk Dance @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 7 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Written obituary :: Poem
  • Truth unearth by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Clarification from SKY Hospital
  • COVID-19: Orders - 7 Aug: Govt of Manipur
  • Children's psychology & lockdown intervention
  • No confidence & godfather
  • Death in childbirth in the 21st century !
  • Need for a suitable pandemic model
  • Phuba Khuman in Senapati dist #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 6 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Thoubalphobia- Malemnganbi's Child Delivery
  • Why not establish veterinary college, Manipur
  • India-Myanmar Convergence :: Webinar
  • National Education Policy : A New Horizon
  • Wanted : Total figure of local transmission
  • Lets appreciates the thousands heroes
  • Become an Amateur Astronomer
  • COVID-19 Status 5 August: Govt of Manipur
  • BIG 17th call : Biotech Ignition Grant
  • Maya Kuki- 3 titles at IAWA India 2020
  • 2020 :: Poem
  • What is Intellectual Property Right (IPR)?
  • Art of running a coalition Govt
  • Traditional Raas Dance #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 4 August: Govt of Manipur
  • 2 from Manipur clear Civil Services Exam
  • Education Policy: Prospects & Way Forward
  • Appeal to stop Chromite mining
  • Agri-enterprises for Atmanirbhar North-East
  • Changes to make-up during COVID-19
  • Time to act sensibly
  • Barricading or brainstorming?
  • Tarao Laimanai, Chandel #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 3 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Ravi's take on China factor in NE Insurgency
  • Opportunities in post COVID days
  • Shifting of drug supply trend in Manipur
  • Hope in COVID Era !! :: Poem
  • Press Communique from NPF [3 Aug]
  • Stand on ST demand
  • Culturals @ Sangai Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 2 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Misinterpretation of Naga Political Settlement
  • Home returnees, unemployment & ILPS
  • NEP to adversely affect future of North-east
  • Conflicts of laws on Child Marriage & POSCO
  • His Stoic Endurance :: Poem
  • 'Declare relatives working in Naga movement'
  • Rise from July 1 to August 1
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 1 August: Govt of Manipur
  • CCC @ Khongnangkhong [Aug 1]: Gallery
  • Where are the men in family planning ?
  • Asymptomatic & Rapid Antigen Testing
  • Cosmic Lover :: Poem
  • Incremental benefit of cleaning Nambul River
  • Why only 5 Kg of rice to cardholders?
  • Imphal View from Nongmai Ching #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Id-Ul-Azha celebrated by Meitei Pangal
  • COVID-19 & its detection strategy
  • Physical Education & Sports @ MU
  • Naming the COVID vaccine
  • Withdraw MoUs signed for mining
  • More deaths, more concern
  • Ailing Nambul River recovering
  • Dr TS Gangte: Pioneer of higher education
  • COVID-19 Status 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • August Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Hand sanitizer @Kakching [Jul 29]: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Orders / Memo on 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • National Education Policy 2020
  • A Golden Jubilee Reunion :: Poem
  • Employment options in Insurance Industry
  • The Political life of the State
  • Recording death tally at four
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • COVID-19 Status 29 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Enforcement of COVID-19 Guidelines
  • My Love :: Poem
  • LPG management and supply
  • International Faculty Development Program
  • High-end Forensic Geology in crime scenes
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Manipur on the map of COVID death
  • Checking corruption: greatest joke of the year
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Plantation is no less a serious business
  • COVID-19 : Impact on mobility of women
  • Appeal to stop Mining in Ukhrul, Kamjong..
  • Making sense of lockdown
  • Non-Discrimination in combating COVID-19
  • Zeiladjang @ Makuai, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Chassad & the Question of Justice
  • Online Training program for Police Officer
  • Proposal of Online Education: Its impact
  • The walls of Roman Londinium
  • Reminiscence of coming :: Book Review
  • Seeking to set house in order
  • The dawn of a new-normalcy
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Delimitation amasung yelhoumee Meetei..
  • Investigative Journalism training conducted
  • Gas Balloons :: Poem
  • Career in insurance: Jobs for millions
  • Meet model teacher helping students
  • Understanding total figure of 2212
  • Manipur Art Fest 2019 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 July : Govt of Manipur
  • PM calls for Vocal for Local to Manipur
  • Makhol_ Discussing Arts E2 with Astad Deboo
  • Society :: Poem
  • IQs & EQs of politicians
  • Living with COVID 19
  • 'Blood donors should be welcome'
  • Bracing for the worst
  • Princess & Political Agent launch #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Virus Fabrics Spray by Kakchingtambam Kiran
  • Tales from a conflict zone :: Poem
  • Why Manipur senior IPS officer shot himself
  • Anti Defection Law: Big Debate
  • COVID-19 vaccine : So near and yet so far
  • Central observers here after trip to Delhi
  • The limitation on Free Speech
  • Impact of COVID-19 on transgender
  • COVID-19 Status 23 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Love Story of Tonu Laijing Lembi
  • 29th NAMA Virtual Convention 2020
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #2
  • Seeking NHRC to intervent in Akhil Gogoi case
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture : Paper
  • Lockdown & opening doors to outsiders
  • In search of the elusive leader
  • Anti-Repression Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Race Apart ? :: Poem
  • Of political instability, COVID & war on drug
  • Preventing skin damage due to face masks
  • Issues raised by NPF Legislature Wing
  • Webninar : How to develop skills in writings
  • Nonsensical rush for fuel
  • When the virus starts attacking
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #3
  • COVID-19 Status 21 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Negatives turning positive, catastrophe in wait?
  • Environmental change : Uttarakhand : Rvw
  • Empathy Campaign at Imphal Airport
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Liezietsu [21 Jul]
  • Responsible conduct- Jiribam to Thoubal
  • BJP may be in trouble..
  • The Princess & Political Agent launch : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Governor & Maharani launch Binodini's Book
  • Mount Koubru: Its dying glory, & way forward
  • Govt expenditures on education in Manipur
  • 2nd Online Career counseling in IT
  • The last of the oaks :: Poem
  • Rising cases of infection
  • Manipur today is living on mercy of Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #3: Gallery
  • Loktak Lake: A gem perishing front of our eye
  • Man behind 'Save Nambul'
  • X-rays and applications
  • COVID-19 pandemic & existential crisis
  • Training programme on mushroom cultivation
  • Best result in last three years
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #1
  • Salam Sangita : NE Women Success Stories
  • Subconscious Mind in COVID Era :: Poem
  • In quest of leadership
  • 4 BJP Ministers' visit to Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Between hospitals and hope
  • War on drugs: A losing battle in Manipur
  • Class XII Result : Highest Marks
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • Class XII Result : District PC
  • Class XII Result : Science
  • Class XII Result : Arts
  • Class XII Result : Commerce
  • Training programme on mushroom : Gallery
  • Heritage Park @ Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • EEVFAM Foundation day : Gallery
  • Licypriya low-cost 'Face Shields' : Gallery
  • 9th Manipuri Film Awards (MANIFA) Result
  • Yaoshang Halankar @BijoyGovinda #2: Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #2
  • Barak waterfall @ Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #1
  • Takhelchangbam Kunjabihari : Wari Liba
  • I Rise :: Film Scenes : eRang
  • Motsillaba Mingsel :: eRang Photos
  • SPONSORED ADS