Home | Discussion Forum | Photo Gallery | Links | Guestbook

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Though

Bishnupriya Manipuri people are religious conservative Vaishnavs. Mainly Bishnupriya Manipuri thought is identified with Hinduism in form of Vaishnvism which is associated with the School of Sri-Chaytanya. Some scholars mentioned that the people are the followers of Vishnu from the ancient times, as before the reign of King Garib Nawaj, when the great force of the Neo-Vaisnavism came and spread in the land of Manipur. Now the whole community has adopted Goudya Vaishnavism.

Despite the fact that Manipuri faith is identified with Vaishnvism, there is a basic faith in existence outside Vaishnvism. The Manipuri Bishnupriyas have their own Gods, Deities, Rites and Rituals. Worship of the deities by the help of music and dance to ensure the community welfare is part of their belief. All these practices are claimed to be concerned to Bhuta Yajna of Vedic ritualism. Here is listing of deities worshipped by the Manipuri Bishnupriyas -

1) Apokpa: The most important one is the Apokpa, the clan god worshipped in every Manipuri Bishnupriya house, as a form of family god, termed as Goror-Dou or Apokpa.

2) Atiya Guru Sidaba or Soralel or Soraren - Atiya Guru Sidaba is the high God assumed as existing prior to anything. His another name is Soraren (sometimes Sorarel). Soraren (Sora=god and ren=the chief or the highest) may originally have been a family god. In the opinion of some Manipuri scholars Soiraren is a corrupted word of Surendra, who is described as Indra in Vedic scriptures. The most renowned ancient folk songs of Bishnupriya Manipuri refers a lot about Sorelel. The Rain-Invoking Songs(1450-1700) and also Madoi-Soralel songs(1500-1600), mentioned Soralel as the King of all gods.

3) Githanipung: Another household deity is Githanipung, very much identical with Leimaren of Manipuri Meiteis. A pot containing water needs to be fill up with new water every Tuesday.

4) Pahangpa: Identical with Pakhangba of Manipuri Meiteis. The offering of chapals (Chapal Katkorani/ Latkorani) for satisfying negative and evil spirit related with worshipping of Pahangpa.

5) Phunka: The phunka or phungga Lairu, consist of a small hole, situated on the west of fire hearth in which there is an earthen pot, the hollow usually covered by clay roof.

6) Lamor Dou: Offering foods for satisfying negative and evil spirits also present in Manipuri Bishnupriya custom. The worshipping of male tutelary deity Lam-lei and the female tutelary deity Lam-leima are one form of soul-worshipping.

7) Kaal: Kaal or Kaalthakur is the river deity of Bishnupriya Manipuris. ‘Kaal’ (>Kala) laterally meaning the black deity. According to the Bishnupriya myth Kaal is the most short-tempered deity; He can be displeased very easily. The worshipping of Kaal performed by offering Chapal’s, which if mainly made of green grasses, sesame seeds, rice, milk and  cow-dung displayed on a Banana leaf.

More Info:

A Tribute to Manipuri Religion - http://manipuri.itgo.com


The Best Observers of Vedic Ritualism

The Bishnupriya Manipuris are reputed to be a highly conservative race devoted to strict Vedic culture and tradition and have still now retained Hinduism without the least deviation to other religions like Islam, Buddhism, Christianity etc. It can boldly said that The Bishnupriya Manipuris are perhaps even now the best observers of Vedic ritualism in India. The social discipline and ideas are even now very rigid as it were the Aryan people of the western India of Vedic and post-Vedic era. Moreover, there is no Vaisya or Sudra people

There is no Vaisya or Sudra people in this community excepting Ksatriyas and Brahmins

 in this community excepting Ksatriyas and Brahmins. This is the fact why these people do believe that they are the descendents of the Ksatriyas and Brahmins of Hostinapura who came to Manipur following Babhrubahana. They have high social orderliness and a rigid structure of the social dicipline. Even in the ending part of 21st century, the Bishnupriya Manipuri people cannot dream for polygomy and intercaste marriage. Such cultured community is rear found in the world now days, though the number of people of this community is very negligible because of the strictness of their social order.

Brahmins have
undue influence in this society. They have control of the Modhops, the place of religious and cultural observance

Most orthodox Bishnupriyas believe that, the names of the state / Capital and the people, Bishnupur and Bishnupriya undoubtedly come from the noteworthy tribe of group of people whose nucleus was in Vrishni where from their ancestors came and enter Manipur, in olden times. The descendants of and followers of the afore-said five heads of sects of Vrishni declared themselves as the Pancha Bishnupriya ( Bishnupriya : corruption or derivation from the word Vrishni) Manipuris. The evidance is also found in distinctly in this regard from a thorough study of Bishnupriya Manipuri language which is in close proximity with the Sauraseni Maharastri Parakrit and also contains pure Vedic or Sanskrit words.

More Info: