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
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #3
  • We do not stop playing because we grow old
  • Naga Talent Scouting Contest
  • 'Nagaland financial published is deceptive'
  • Politics of drop and induct Ministers
  • Playing a risky game
  • Swearing in @ Rajbhavan [24 Sep] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya - Parliament to pass Climate Law
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #2
  • Petition to PM by farmers of Ningombam
  • Low ease of doing business in Manipur
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • My idea of justice
  • Offensive against party hopping
  • Politics is more than a game of numbers
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • RK Bikramjit (Flutist & Composer) : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #4: Gallery
  • Hijam Irawat : Irawat the Legend #1
  • Nurturing young minds amidst lockdown
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • A hot test in a Darjeeling lodge
  • Number games before reshuffle
  • Preserving biodiversity amidst uncertainty
  • Barak: Our economic & ecological security
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loan Distribution- Street Vendors : Gallery
  • Imposing fresh curbs, need of the hour
  • Youthful Years :: Poem
  • International Day of Peace 2020
  • 3rd Poshan Maah: Drive against malnutrition
  • New advisory for COVID-19 positive patients
  • Peace: an elusive concept
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Irabot Day & practice of volunteerism
  • Rangnamei, Lamkam, Athing: eMing
  • Morung Dialogue: To Freedom: A Human Story
  • Mushroom Growth of Social media Influencer
  • Observance of Kuki Black Day Sahnit Ni 2020
  • Nagaland Lokayukta investigation into Dy CM
  • Spirit of Art 164-1 (A)
  • Significance of September 19
  • Nongin, the State bird of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Financial Assistance for Journalist Phase-1
  • National Education Policy - Review #5
  • Condemn Moreh Police on Child Rapist case
  • Music video chronicling true naga spirit
  • What is trademark ?
  • Below par recovery rate
  • World Bamboo Day 2020 : A Report
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukning Pothasang #LetsTalkAboutDementia
  • 7th Khangminashi Lecture: Nanotechnology
  • Cancellation- Hyderabad Univ entrance exam
  • Condemnation on rape of 3-1/2 year girl
  • Calling social entrepreneurs from NE for UNDP
  • The Bright Lights :: Poem
  • Ensure health care service during COVID
  • Shirui Village, Shirui Hill, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Life moves on
  • JRF (on Chakhao) @ICAR, NEH Meghalaya
  • Fruit face packs
  • BA/BSc Exam at Lilong Haoreibi College
  • Fingering of Ladakh
  • Shadow of Greater Lim or Nagalim
  • Calls for change in election campaign
  • Tongjei Maril 1942: Bridle Path to Motor Road
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Khutheibam Abdur Rahman- Poet & Activist
  • Manipur StartUp Conclave 2020 : Gallery
  • Karmayogi Mission for reforms in civil services
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Foundation Day- Journalist Union #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • The thirst for reopening schools
  • Vale of Tears: Untold stories of violence : Rvw
  • Career option in Ethical Hacking
  • Monkey justice
  • Tribal Ministry for seamless implementation
  • Disturbing daily spike & total figure
  • Rani Phi design on 'Doctor in 2020' :: Gallery
  • Aquapreneurship & present Fishery status
  • Discussion: Crime Against Women in Manipur
  • World Ozone Day 2020
  • National Education Policy - Review #4
  • Sole meaning of life is to serve humanity
  • Covid-19 accentuates the job crisis
  • BJP versus Cong versus NPP
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Cultivating the common ground : FNR
  • Reimagining Immunity & Immune System
  • Happy Engineers' Day
  • My Teacher - I Salute Thee ! :: Poem
  • Today a reader, tomorrow a leader !
  • Discussion : Myanmar's 2020 Election
  • Daily spike of 90 thousand plus
  • Buning Meadow / Piulong Valley #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Discovery of a novel biopolymer
  • Mrs. Laldinpuii : Success Stories from NE
  • Remembering our heroic martyrs
  • Alternative to online teaching during COVID
  • Teenage skin care
  • Tree Planatation at Chandel
  • Final pact sans NSCN (IM)? Uneasy peace
  • The cry for Justice! Kuki Black Day
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Flood-like situation @Thangmeiband :: Gallery
  • Khumang : e-Conference on 'Science & Tech'
  • National Education Policy - Review #3
  • Demand for a DNA Testing Machine Lab
  • Lilong Haoreibi College resumed functioning
  • A song of appreciation :: Poem
  • COVID-19 & after: Need for change in plans
  • On the Flag that was hoisted at Kangla
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Ambulance to Chief Medical Officer : Gallery
  • Highway projects in Manipur & agriculture
  • Keeping an eye on 'Eye health'
  • Academic Year Online for Assam DB Univ
  • Need to go in for more after RAT
  • By-election; play a fair game
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA, Imphal :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Southeast Asia: Strategic for Competition
  • Memory of Pranab Babu
  • Gandhi, self-help, khadi & Atmanirbhar Bharat
  • The reality we live today :: Poem
  • NEET & JEE: Balance betn student & health
  • 21 years of reaching out to the readers
  • Non Positive
  • Agri Fair at CAU Iroisemba #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Suicide: Chasing death
  • Women rights-based access to contraceptives
  • Delimitation & limitation of valley minorities
  • Understanding CET
  • Himalaya Diwas at IBSD, Takyelpat
  • Noting post Covid complications
  • Rechecking hospital's modus operandi
  • Azad Hind: Its Forgotten Govt & the Army
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • MPSC 2016: Social media mob injustice
  • Manipur women weave success in pandemic
  • FEGOCTA to resume academic activities
  • Live one day at a time :: Poem
  • Should animal be given same right as human
  • Countdown to by polls
  • Tungjoi Glory Day (Senapati) #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Skill Development Prog by CM: Gallery
  • National Education Policy - Review #2
  • Hope : The reason we keep living !
  • International Literacy Day 2020
  • Beauty benefits of rice water
  • Targeting young girls : Minds of retards
  • Should trading Frog amount to smuggling
  • Rendezvous with RK Bikramjit (Flutist)
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Reminiscence of coming & journey : Book Rvw
  • And I sleep for the hunger of you : Poem
  • MPSC propose re-examination is not justified
  • Increasing local transmission
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #2
  • Revoke Agreement on 66 MW Loktak Project
  • My homage to Pranab Mukherjee
  • Eventide :: Poem
  • Protest against gangrape of a minor
  • Condemnation against the gang rape
  • Heat of the Internet
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Loans to vendors [Aug 25] : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #3
  • National Education Policy - Review #1
  • Menstruation needs to be discussed openly
  • Serious internet jokes & reflections
  • Climbing number of cases, deaths
  • Akhunba Takhellei #2 : Film scene :: eRang
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga story in Indigenous People movement #1
  • Tribal Resource Conservation Ethics
  • Vilification of MCSCCE selected candidates
  • Grand Chef Manipur at Luwangshangbam
  • Monument of friendship :: Poem
  • How will the Naga CSOs respond ?
  • Irritating season
  • Yaoshang Halankar #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Need for Impact Assessment: Social media
  • Legal awareness on 'Right to Food' at Lamlai
  • First E/online Lok Adalat held
  • Teacher for JEE Main & tutorials
  • 'JLF has no concrete plan to the Naga issue'
  • Need to follow the basics of new normal
  • Why difficulties in containing COVID-19
  • Bijiyashanti reels yarn off lotus stalks
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Online Jump Rope Championship 2020
  • ICAMST-2020 at Dept of Maths, RGU
  • The obscurity of the pandemic
  • LDHCL signs Agreement with MSPDCL
  • Grand Chef Manipur Season 1
  • What is Patent ?
  • Party-hoppers' gift: By-poll amid COVID crisis
  • Virtual world: an epitome of new normal
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 August: Govt of Manipur
  • September Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Level I Trauma Centre @ RIMS : Gallery
  • Khumang 2020 : Science & Tech for Society
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #2
  • Webinar : Medical & its allied profession
  • eFDP on Unoganized Sector concluded
  • NSCN-IM : From spotlight to marginalised..
  • A fail mission to eradicate corruption
  • Landscape to Dzukou Valley #5 : Gallery
  • Interlude :: Poem
  • Diversion: The political masterpiece ?
  • Webinar on Re-Imagining Mahatma Gandhi
  • Digital Health ID
  • COVID-19 and need for evaluation
  • Greater autonomy: On the path to exclusivity
  • Keeping Up With the Kakching Trekkers
  • National Sports Day @ MU : Gallery
  • The X Schedule
  • Observance of National Sports Day
  • 'No connection with streaming Manipuri film'
  • Unsung Warriors :: Poem
  • Life skills for exciting career
  • Making a mockery of a real menace
  • Battle of Maram : 1944
  • CM foundation for 1000 projects : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang : A social reformer #1
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Moirangthem Mani : Kalabhusan (Thang-Ta)
  • 13 August @BT Park #2 : Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • 16th Death anniv of Chittaranjan : Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day [14 Aug]: Gallery
  • Independence Day @MR Ground : Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS