TODAY -

Reclaiming the Meetei Scriptural Knowledge for a Harmonious World

Puyam Nongdrei Khuman *



majestic looking framed picture of Pakhangba - the sacred symbol for the Meities
majestic looking framed picture of Pakhangba - the sacred symbol for the Meities :: Pix - Kh. Pakpa



In order to have peace at home, we need to maintain peace and harmony in the world. The two realms- one domestic and other international are well-connected. In search of the wisdom for realizing peace and harmony in the world, we have the puyas handed down by our forefathers which are nothing but the accumulated knowledge in thousands years of their civilization in the course of time (Matamgi Khonglei).

When the love for humanity (Taipang Meeoiba) knows no boundary and the planet earth is our home (Im/Yum) shared by all, we cannot have any other higher responsibility than saving this planet from destruction. In this race for saving the earth, Meeteis (present Meetei ethnic group) cannot run away from their responsibility handed over by ancestors thousands of years ago.

What is to be done? The puyas are the treasure house of knowledge in our custody giving us the responsibility to preach the good messages left behind since antiquity. I think it is the right time for all to come out with scriptural knowledge to save this 'Taipangpal' from destruction by greedy forces. This is not a utopian idea. I propose this for a "Yaiphathoiba Malem" (Harmonious World) in the years to come.

The Puyanic Origin of Mankind:

To love humanity as one big family, we have the origin of mankind tracing back to Konchin Tukthapa Pakhangpa who is the 'last among the Lais but first among human beings' (Laikiti mamei Taipang Meeoipakiti pukok). Pakhangpa is the first 'King of Mankind' according to Wakoklon Heelel Thilel Salai Amailon Pukok Puya (WHTSAP). According to the puya, the human beings were created in the image of Lainingthou. The creation was later on given up to be replaced by natural reproduction for populating the whole planet.

In Meeteilon, the word "Mee" is man. But one can count many ethnic groups having the words 'Mee', 'Mi', 'Mei' etc for human beings. We have Zeliangrong community using 'mei' to mean man while Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups have 'mi' for man.

The Zeliangrongs call the Meeteis/Meiteis as 'Tai-mei' meaning 'people of the plain'. The image (MI) of God is therefore the origin of the term 'Mee'. In order to distinguish the created beings from the creators, the created beings became "Mee-Atei" meaning "the other man/the other being". Later changes brought the term "Meetei" and presently "Meitei" is popular.

Art & Culture Minister Ph Parijat along with officials and Puya experts observing the ancient books (Puyas) of Manipur being put on exhibition on October 24 2010
Art & Culture Minister Ph Parijat along with officials and Puya experts observing the ancient books (Puyas) of Manipur being put on exhibition on October 24 2010 :: Pix - Hueiyen Lanpao



We have many different stories about the origin of the term "Meetei" or "Meitei". One need not wonder which one is right. Now, we must see how many people on earth still have 'Mi', 'Mee', 'Mei', 'Me', etc meaning man/mankind in their languages. These peoples are possibly in Kangleipak (Manipur), Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar, China and other Southeast Asian countries.

Interestingly, there are many people on earth who are still calling themselves 'Mee/Mi/Mei/Me' as they were first created in the image (mi) of GOD. The Biblical creation has something more to know from this puya. Is this all about language? In old Hebrew language, 'ADAM' and 'EVE' are words for MAN. But how many languages in the world have this word 'ADAM' to mean man/mankind?

The Kanglei word 'Mi/Mee/Mei' standing for 'IMAGE' in the creation theory is still a living history in this part of the world. Some of you will say it is because of Tibeto-Burman affinity. I have no problem with that understanding but my interpretation is lot more interesting.

The puya is talking about the origin of the universe (Tingpalpa), this planet (Malem) and the living beings (Thouwaipaanba) thus forming the 'Taipangpal'. The created human beings are the first human beings on earth. Later on, they reproduce to spread across the planet.

In this regard, Dr. L. Bhagyachandra Singh has written clearly in his book entitled, "A critical study of the religious philosophy of the Meeteis before the advent of Vaishnavism in Manipur (1987)". He rightly pointed out the meaning of 'Meetei' as man and the philosophy of Meeteism as praising humanity.

Another book by Malem Ningthouja entitled, "Freedom from India (2011) also mentions 'Meitei Chaokhat Luplen' defining/redefining the Meiteis as all the people in the beginning (p.269). The scriptural meaning of Meetei is man. Though we have 'Namu Taipang Meeoiba' representing the whole humanity, we can use Meetei to mean both man and mankind.

Politically and culturally speaking, the Meeteis are now the ethnic community living in the valley of Kangleipak (Manipur). However, its scriptural meaning is the humanity. There should be no confusion. See, we haven't forgotten who we are.

Our religion is Pakhangpa Laining:

Some Meeteilogists try to divide our religion into two, namely Sanamahi and Pakhangpa Laining Leechat. But this is a wrong conception of our religion (Laining Leechat) and philosophy (Wang-ulon). Why? The term 'Pakhangpa' is a title given to those human beings who know the 'Father' (EPA).

Konchin Tukthapa, the second son of Salailel Sitapa learnt from his mother the true nature and power of his father when Sanamahi was away for 'Nongkhong Koipa'. This led to his getting the throne. As a result of this, he was named 'Konchin Tukthapa Pakhangpa' meaning 'the born one who knows the father'. Anybody can become another 'Pakhangpa' on earth in 21st century. But this is not a child's play to know the FATHER.

To clarify what I am telling about our religion, please read the following lines taken from WHTSAP puya. The puya states:

"Hei-chakki khununglonti --
Hei-ee ani atuna Aatinga Koiloutaki pana chenthalakye haipaki EPA kouye.
Eki Pane haitana lepna khangpiyo.
Hei-ee chak haipati asipu koupane khangpiyo
".


'EPA' is the source of the blood who came down on earth as "Hei-Ee" EPA+KHANGPA=PAKHANGPA, i.e., Knowing the Father. The words "Aatinga Koiloutaki Pana Chenthalakye" point towards the open sky/space. Therefore, I conclude that the puya tells us that the first life-blood which is the EPA (Father) of all the living beings on earth descended on earth from the space to spread life forms as his mission.

Another significant part of the scripture left behind by our forefathers is as follows:
"Wakonching koupati I

Taipangpalpa Mapuki Konpu Wakonpung-Ching Phampal Kouye II

Mapu Sitapana Meine I
Ishingne I Nungshitne I Ahum asi chainahantuna
Nonglontaki Hunthalaktuna Thouwai leilipa Kheipikna Lapa-Amom masak khangtapa
Khanghannapa Yahip-phampham I
Chakcha I Yawon-Koloi I
Loina-Channa I Nungshi-Nungwon I Wahei I
Lamchat I Alu-Ahen I Mahei-Mashin I
Kangleilon I Loina-shillon I Loina-Shillam I
Loina-Shintha asi kheipikki thokhallipa phampine II
"
If one can understand what is written in the above paragraph, it is not difficult to say that human civilization is of outer space origin. I am saying this according to the puya and this is not my imagination. One needs to ask why it is written so. 'Mapu Sitapa' is the one who brought down (Nonglontaki Hunthalaktuna) civilization on earth for the human beings.

Therefore, it will not be far-fetched to say that at one point of time human beings were living in wild/semi-wild nature of nomadic life. One can describe the above paragraph to mean as many things as possible starting from husband-wife living as family to culture, tradition, language, love, affection, skills, hygiene, cleanliness, literature, history writing, occupations etc.

The Meetei religion is, therefore focused on searching and knowing the father who could do all this to create the Taipangpal. When we cannot see him or find him easily, there is the path to be followed by those who are seeking the FATHER.

In order to know the father, one has to know himself/herself first. And this is the fundamental part of the belief system of the Meeteis. Without knowing oneself first, knowing the 'father' is very doubtful. Thus our religion is not wholly about knowing the father but also attending to our own self for getting the Universal Father. Here comes the significance of chakcha, yahip, phampham, alu-ahen, huksel kanglon etc.

One has to nurture both physical and mental health in addition to character building of the self through practicing many traditional ways of living which are in harmony with nature. The origin of many martial arts forms and other indigenous games and sports have many things to do with this. Later developments showed that these practices could defend the country from enemies as every able body was a naturally trained soldier.

I emphasize here that those who can know the father are termed as 'Pakhangpa'. As our religion is the religion which teaches us the way(s) to find the father (EPA), we can call it 'Pakhangpa Laining'. But this should not mean worshipping the first King Konchin Tukthapa Epu Athoupa Pakhangpa or other Pakhangpas. Now, I think we have no more doubt on the religion of the Meeteis.

Burning of the Meetei Puyas:

In the book "Areeba Manipuri Sahityagi Itihaas" written by late Epu Ningthoukhongjam Khelchandra Singh, Santidas Goshwami is reported to have told King Pamheiba (Gharibniwaz) to burn all the books/scriptures as those are not of human beings but of the Lais kept very secretly in the world.

In exact words, "Santidasna Meitei Mayekna iba lairik amasung Pakhangbagi Paphal ubada Maharaj Gharibniwazda Iningthou lairik asidi Meegi lairik natte, laigi mayekne, Taibangpalda yamna thupna leiba lairikne, yamna arubane, aduna meida ngamna thadoklo haibada ningthouna leibakka khannakhige haiduna sana konungda lengshinkhre".

I don't know why we can't have proper identity of Maichou Lourembam Khongnang Thaba and Santidas Goshwami who happened to live in early 18th century.

Please read the lines below:
"Palee Eepungo Konsen Tulei Sengpa! Talang Laipaoki matung inna palee nangki nathou nangam Taipang Meepu Sapa houlo haina taakpile".
"Asum touna Tingpalpaki Mapu Eepung Loinapa Aapakpaki Eyek Epee Mayekpu Taipangpalpa Meeoipaki kayatnungta thupna thamtuna….".
"Atukumpa Taipang Mee atuta laiyamsingki Eyek Epee Laiyeksingpu thupna thamnapakitamak Epana Mee Sa-o haipane".
"Asum touna oikhipa laiyamsingki eyek epeeki eyekpu taipangpalpa mapuki huksang kayatki khunung eyek epee oina lepkhale."


Salailel Sitapa instructed his eldest son Konsen Tulei Sengpa Sanamahi to create human beings so that the "Eyek Epee Laiyeks" of the Laiyam could be secretly stored in those human beings. Comparing the above lines taken from WHTSAP puya with those from "Areeba Manipuri Sahityagi Itihaas", one can easily conclude that there was a good connection between what the Laiyam did and what Santidas Goshwami did during King Pamheiba's reign.

I want to leave the reason behind Santidas burning the Meetei puyas to your speculations. But I would end here saying that he came to destroy those scriptures kept secretly by the Laiyam for some higher purposes on earth. Santidas could have been a manipulated being sent for this mission. However, our act of demonizing the whole Mayang/Bengali community for the wrong act committed by Santidas is something illogical.

We should stop such self-destructive designs in the name of humanity. He could not destroy everything but succeeded in delaying the progress of mankind by making the puyas unavailable or fabricated. Please try to read between the lines to understand the significance of this particular act committed by Santidas Goshwami.

By following secular and democratic principles we should fight for our rights. But politics of hatred and communal ill-feelings are destructive for all. Such acts are against what we stand for. Our religion and philosophy aim at achieving something higher than scolding a religious community for an act of destruction committed by one named Santidas Goshwami. We must build the foundation for a 'Yaiphathoiba Malem' by joining hands with the rest of humanity and it should be shared equally with them.

Our spiritual realm must be free from racism and politics of hatred. Rather we should construct something under which the whole humanity can come and live together. And I strongly believe that is the 'Achumba Meetei Leechat' which exists eternally.


* Puyam Nongdrei Khuman contributes regularly to e-pao.net
The sender can be contacted at khuman_mei(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was posted on November 25, 2011.



* 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
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba @ Mysore : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Johnstone Higher Secondary Scholarship
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Bonfire :: Poem
  • 'Film Producers need to understand craft'
  • Choose difficult & make it easy
  • Eyes on Wangkhei AC
  • Dzukou Valley Landscape #6 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Is sports dwindling in Manipur's education
  • Startup Acceleration Program for NE
  • Applications for Agri Innovators & Startups
  • Focus on pre-production - Manipuri cinema
  • Harassment of Laishram Herojit
  • Coconut oil for summer beauty
  • Consultative Meeting on RIIN
  • Crossing the two lakh barrier
  • Marathon @ Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Conference on Algebra & Applications
  • 14th April, 1944: Its significance ..
  • Investigation regarding Lamhainamdi incident
  • Demise of passionate filmmaker, EM Kay Jeet
  • World Art Day at Manipur University
  • Human rights organization NCHRO
  • Mount Koubru caught in a storm
  • Friend or foe
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Athoubasinggi Numit tributes #1 : Gallery
  • Application : Medical Financial Assistance
  • The Power of Prayer
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives
  • What issues will decide 2022 Assembly poll
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Shopping : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Importance of film preservation: Cine Dialogue
  • Decline in number of Cinema Halls
  • Moment With My Pen :: Poem
  • Michelangelo in my drawing room
  • Get vaccinated call
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year Day) :: Book
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema : Report
  • Think it differently
  • 2nd wave poses an increasing danger
  • Interesting twist to pending ADC elections
  • Yaoshang Sports @Laipubam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #2
  • Lok Adalat at various places in Manipur
  • Covid-19 Survey : for science community
  • A Slave or A Master ! :: Poem
  • Spiritual flight journey
  • Workshop on NEP at Lilong
  • Old Manipuri Movie #2 : eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Yurreipem, Zingyo, Changton: eMing
  • can the dignity of menstruation be increased
  • Incentivize vaccination for success
  • Need for Flexible Education in Manipur
  • MoU with Film Heritage Foundation
  • Unwanted deafening silence
  • Hun : Thadou biggest cultural festival
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya addressed UN Youth Forum 2021
  • Status of women in the 21st century
  • ..we will fail to achieve Health For All
  • Monolith at Manipuri cinema Golden Jubilee
  • Complaint filed to MHRC on Sanaton death
  • Indifference to the fast spread of virus
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #2
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningtham Kummei @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Career in Poultry Science
  • Form independent investigation commission
  • Need of actions to control air pollution
  • Politics surrounding call for ADC polls
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #2 : Gallery
  • COVID test a must for all incoming flight
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Architects @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Bridge :: Poem
  • Second wave spreading swiftly
  • Yaoshang: Cooking Competition : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • World Veterinary Day, 2021
  • What is it in the name? Famous 'Michaels'
  • The Last Night :: Poem
  • Rehabilitating drug users
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out
  • Cultural Fest of Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #3: Gallery
  • 'Manipur Model' of Homestays gets booster
  • Manipur Lokayukta: Today's Imperative
  • Second wave could delay economic recovery
  • Give teeth to war on drugs
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • The Joy of Easter Sunday
  • What's happening in Myanmar
  • Easter : A strange & unique celebration
  • For One To Faithful :: Poem
  • Executive member : Physics Academy NE
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #1
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief @ Rajaimei, Senapati : Gallery
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice
  • ST demand may become redundant
  • Addiction to drugs & alcohol
  • NHPC visit 510 MW Teesta-V
  • Creating space for super spreader
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports Meet : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Cut Money: The Virus of Illfare in Welfare
  • Vigyan Vidushi : Physics for women students
  • Mulling over the absolute
  • Arrest of former Salai Chairman
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Champion in Natl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • Yaoshang Pichakari : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • We are all Human ! :: Poem
  • Adequate nutrition for productive society
  • ADC elections assured, but when? ATSUM
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • April Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Marathon Race- Kanglei Sports: Gallery
  • Paradise found. Paradise made.
  • AR organises anti drug awareness campaign
  • Fire @ Shirui, Ukhrul [Mar 29] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Kwakeithel: Gallery
  • Relief at Rajaimei & Tumuyon Khullen
  • Mask up to beat the second Covid wave
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Bamon Leikai: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Promotion of science @Senapati : Gallery
  • In need of a savior: the wailing of Myanmar
  • Science Awareness Programme at Senapati
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #2
  • AR interacts with ex-servicemen
  • Journalists' Sports Meet- Opening : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Film Preservation & Archiving Workshop
  • Fullmoon :: Poem
  • Appeal for assistance to Myanmar victims
  • Holi colour can cause dangerous side-effect
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • On Equality
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #2: Gallery
  • War on drugs & sports movement
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Will advances in TB outweigh Covid-19 ?
  • Expecting Rs 14567 crore from the Centre
  • Still making waves in the the year 2021
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Junior Men & Women Hockey : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Account Assistant @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • Principle of Self Determination & Peace
  • A Poem's Story
  • NDPP delegation visited Assam
  • Climbing cases in the last few days
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #4
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • World Water Day Water
  • The Night :: Poem
  • Demand to book Lamhainamdi incident
  • Five Films for Freedom, LGBTIQ+ campaign
  • Touch stance with look at past 'mistakes'
  • For a little bit more
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamjing Meira Episode 1 - AMAND Ladies
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #1
  • Science Awareness Program at Wabagai
  • Towards Special Agricultural Zone in Manipur
  • Office Bearers- Manipur Soccer Futsal Assn
  • Of forest and water in the world
  • Chingu Paokhollei Leirang - Ingellei
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur: Team champion, Natl Bodybuilding
  • One Midsummer Dream :: Poem
  • Public auction theory & policy
  • BJP likely to retain Assam
  • Imagination: Not a child's play
  • Climbing cases across the country
  • TAPASYA Foundation day #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #1
  • Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation
  • Workshop on NEP 2020 at Manipur Univ
  • Cyclist Philem Rohan reached Bengaluru
  • Delhi Citizens extend solidarity with Myanmar
  • Create ADCs first ultimatum
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Measures to contain COVID-19 in Yaoshang
  • Science Education @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Consultants @ The Property Geo, Imphal
  • The Myanmar crisis & our options
  • Whither Homeland... :: Poem
  • Course in Kinanthropometry
  • Awareness of science education in SC school
  • Understanding value of 'Time' & 'Money'
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #3
  • Book- 'Critics forum Manipur' : Gallery
  • Realization in the dark :: Poem
  • 39th Orientation Program at MU
  • Gauri Healthy Heart Mission at Kakching
  • State of democracy in Thailand : Discussion
  • Disturbing reports of deaths
  • Stop sand mining from River bank
  • Sharungbam Rameshor: Yuva Puraskar
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Brewing Bio Entrepreneurships in Manipur
  • Mayasvi festival of the Tsou of Taiwan
  • Accountants at R-Square Design
  • Myanmar Memories
  • Staring at second wave of the virus
  • Inauguration and Launching Galore
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #2: Gallery
  • Causes & solutions of unemployment
  • Where Fate Leads :: Poem
  • 'Dry fish' from Chittagong
  • Education for CWSN
  • ST demand: Gearing up for stir
  • Gadgets matters
  • Houses @Yangkhullen, Senapati : Gallery
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #3
  • Is there a perfect referee in football ?
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • The way to equal future
  • The magic of Coriander in skincare
  • From a high of 426 to zero
  • So far so good
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #20
  • Mushroom training @MayangImphal: Gallery
  • Rih-Ngai Fest @Kakhulong : Gallery
  • Imphal City from Nongmai Ching #2: Gallery
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki : Singer Profile :: eRang
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS