TODAY -

Panti Neimei : Prayer for longevity

Dr Budha Kamei *



Tingkao Ragwang is the “Creator and Sustainer of all life.” According to a local myth, Tingkao Ragwang willed to create the universe, god, men and nature. Didimpu and Didimpui created the sun, the moon, the stars, the water, the wind, fire, the earth etc. They were the two primal God and Goddess created by Tingkao Ragwang for the same purpose.

After creating the earth, Tingkao Ragwang bore the thought of creating human beings who could always remember Him; who could rule the world in place of Him and who could make offerings to Him. Two additional deities named Dampapu and Dampapui were created to create human beings. The two deities took a long time in creating the human beings. However, the created man and woman were lifeless and could not move their limbs.

Finally, Tingkao Ragwang gave soul and life only then they became alive and human lives. Soul and life were given by Tingkao Ragwang to men. So, the Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak people worship Him for longevity and fruitful life.

The TRC people of North East India observe Panti Neimei in the month of November every year. Panti Neimei means prayer for longevity of life; (Panti means long life and Neimei, prayer).

The observation of Panti Neimei started from the year 2006 as revealed by God through the dream of priest and priestess (Mhai Mhu) that the male devotees of TRC die untimely due to carelessness of their health and not following the teachings and principles of Tingkao Ragwang properly, thereby Tingkao Ragwang out of anger has made their lifespan short.

Therefore, the TRC people observe Panti Neimei strictly for the longevity of life of the male members every year.

Everyone on this earth wants to have longevity of life. But, this does not happen to everyone as man doesn’t consider his health. For longevity, one depends on his good health and for this he has to follow some health tips, hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle etc. Besides, he has to follow dos and don’ts of the society to keep away from sin.

Panti Neimei serves in two ways: it gives a message of prayer for mental peace and good health. Secondly, it provides a mass congregation at Tingkao Ragwang Kalum Kai at Chingmeirong, Imphal once in a year. In the present scenario of our society, mental peace is very much important for healthy life and this may be achieved if one offers regular prayer and surrenders all his apprehensions to God.

So, Panti Neimei function is quite relevant. However, only worship/prayer is not enough, because one needs to contribute something good for the society. Service to mankind is service to God. It is not possible for the TRC believers of North East to congregate at the Holy place, Kalum Kai, but Panti Neimei gives an opportunity for congregation.

It also gives a chance to meet friends, relatives, dear and near ones who live in different parts of North East India; this brings them closer and also tightens the bond of love among the people. The devotees with pure mind and body pray to the Almighty God Tingkao Ragwang for good health and longevity of life of the male members. Lend your service to mankind, surrender all your anxieties to Tingkao Ragwang, and pray for longevity of life is the main philosophy of Panti Neimei.

In the morning of the particular day, TRC believers from different villages of the State rush to the Tingkao Ragwang Kalum Kai to attend the function timely, usually, it starts at 8 am. TRC followers from Assam, Nagaland and from remote villages of the State will arrive at the guest house of Kaum Kai, one day ahead of the function.

Devotees take bath and wear neat and clean dresses of prayer/worship; women wear Taramdui Pheisoi as lower garment and Banphei Bangmei as shawl and men use Pheingao muffler. Before entering the Kalum Kai, all devotees are sanctified by sprinkling of water with Ten Mhaimit, a kind of grass.

Universally, water is used as a purifying agent. They enter the House of worship after performing the Kaikham Hanmei Luh, door opening song. Shouting of Hoi, singing of devotional songs, recital of hymns are the important form of prayers of Panti Neimei function, and all are conducted in systematic way to achieve the goal of the particular day.

All the devotees stand facing to the north with folded hands and sing devotional songs such as Panti Neimei Luh, Hoineimei Luh etc. with full concentration. After the observation of Panti Neimei, the participants felt quite relaxed. Lunch is prepared by the TRCP for the devotees. The participants have lunch together at the courtyard of Kalum Kai as Prasad for longevity of life.

The female devotees collect some offerings of the worship such as rice, fruits, flowers and holy water as Prasad for their family members. Thus, Panti Neimei has social and religious significance. The Panti Neimei function of 2021 observes on Sunday, the 28th November, 2021 at the Chingmeirong Kalum Kai, Imphal.

Notes and references:
(Endnotes)


1 Brown, R. (2001).
Statistical Account of Manipur.
Delhi: Low price Publications. p. 21.

2 Kabui, Gangmumei. (1991).
History of Manipur. Vol. I
(Pre-Colonial period), New Delhi: National Publishing House. p. 56.

3 Invitation of 10th Observation of Longevity of Life (Panti Neimei).


* Dr Budha Kamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on December 03 2021 .



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