TODAY -

Panti Neimei: Prayer for longevity of life

Budha Kamei *



"God is the Creator and Sustainer of all life." According to Zeliangrong traditions and myths, 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 was given by Tingkao Ragwang to men. So, the Zeliangrong people worship Him for long and fruitful life.

The Zeliangrong inhabitants of North East follow a profound indigenous religion recognized as Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak. It is not a new religion, a religion which is preserved and practiced through oral traditions by the ancient Zeliangrong community through the ages. This religion is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the people.

It had no name and no founder. But, it has been historically evolved through the ages by law givers, religious diviners and prophets. It had no common religious authority as it was managed by the Pei, village council as the religious authority. It was nameless before, yet now known as the Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak in short TRC.

It was named after Tingkao Ragwang, the Supreme God worshipped by the people since time immemorial. The religion is now regulated and managed by a supreme religious authority called the Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak Phom (TRCP) which has two important organs: the Executive Council and the Ecclesiastical Council.

Following the footsteps of Haipou Jadonnang and Haipei Rani Gaidinliu, they constructed Kalum Kai, House of Worship for prayer cum religious congregation on every full moon day and every Sunday. Preservation of cultural, social, religious identity and solidarity of the Zeliangrong through their worships and prayers, rites, rituals and ceremonies, service to mankind, festivals and attain the ultimate goal of the souls, i. e to go to Tingkao Kaidai, the abode of Tingkao Ragwang is the main philosophy of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak.

The TRC people of North East observe Panti Neimei at the Tingkao Ragwang Kalum Kai, Chingmeirong, Imphal in the month of November every year. Panti Neimei means prayer for long 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) of Zeliangrong 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 short their lives.

Therefore, the devotees of TRC observe Panti Neimei strictly for longevity of life of the male devotees of TRC every year. The 10th Panti Neimei day falls on Sunday, the 15th November, 2015. All the believers of TRC are anxiously waiting for the day of Panti Neimei, because it comes once in a year.

All and sundry on this earth wants to live long life. But, this is not happened to everyone as man doesn't consider for his health. For long life, one depends upon his good health and for this he has to follow some health tips, regular exercise, balanced diet and no drink or drug etc. Besides, he has to follow dos and don't of the society/teachings of religion to keep away from sin.

Panti Neimei has served two things: it gives a message of peace and good health to all. Secondly, it provides an opportunity for a mass prayer at Tingkao Ragwang Kalum Kai, Chingmeirong once in a year. In the present scenario of our society, mental peace is very much important for good health and this may be achieved if one offers regular prayer and surrenders all his/her apprehensions and suspicions to Tingkao Ragwang.

So, Panti Neimei function is quite relevant. And it is not possible for the TRC believers of North East to congregate at the Holy place, Kalum Kai, Chingmeirong, Imphal without any purpose, but Panti Neimei gives them an opportunity for this.

The devotees (different work of life) with pure mind and body pray to the Almighty God Tingkao Ragwang for good health and longevity of life of the male followers of TRC. Surrender all your anxieties and suspicions to Tingkao Ragwang and pray for good health and longevity of life is the main philosophy of Panti Neimei.

In the morning of the day, TRC believers from different villages of the state rush to the Kalum Kai, Chingmeirong to attend the function timely, it starts at 7.30 sharp. TRC followers from Assam, Nagaland and from remote villages of the state arrive at the guest house of Kaum Kai, Chingmeirong one day ahead of the function.

Devotees take bath and wear 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. Universally, water is used as purifying agent. They enter the House of worship after performing the Kaikham Hanmei Luh, door opening song.

Shouting of Hoi, offering of holy wine, singing of devotional songs, recital of prayer hymns are the important rituals of Panti Neimei function, and all are conducted in systematic way to achieve the goal of the particular day. In other words, the rituals of the day are carried out in such manner that can give full satisfaction to the participants.

The devotees facing to the north will stand up and sing the devotional songs with full concentration to Tingkao Ragwang. This definitely will give mental peace. After the observation of Panti Neimei, they are quite relaxed, because they are blessed with wellbeing in the days to come. Lunch is prepared by the TRCP for the devotees.

The participants have it at the courtyard of Kalum Kai as Prasad for Longevity of Life. The female devotees take the offerings of the worship such as some rice, fruits, flowers and water as Prasad for their family members. One who is interested can take part at the observation of Panti Neimei, Chingmeirong, Imphal.


* Budha Kamei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on November 20, 2015.


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