Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/386

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qo Collectanea.


Debi kapachtyo ! Swarha^ Ongjadurakha Debt, kapacheyo. Swarha Ong Debt, kapacheyo, Swarha ! Durga gi thangne segak segdk khaio ! khaio ! tumo. Guriigi thang di chumthangne. Guritgi chunggoi di leichinne. Leichin fiongphai kaibane. Setkaiu settumu" the meaning of which is, "The Guru's sword, it is the rainbow. The Guru's shield, it is the clouds. The rain clouds are divided. Divide, destroy (them). Thangjing's sword is pointed, Nongpok's sword is three-pronged, the master's sword is curved, twirl glittering, twirl scattering. Apart ! Apart ! With jewel sword whirling cut. Ong Durga Devi, charm away! Swarha, Ong Jadurakha Devi, charm ! Swarha Ong Devi, charm ! With Durga's sword divide and break the clouds in pieces. The Guru's sword, it is the rainbow. The Guru's shield, it is the clouds. The rain clouds are divided." The extraordinary mixture of Sanskrit words with the Manipuri invocation, and the impartial appeal to gods of the Hindu Pantheon and the local divinities, exactly show the religion of the people. The Brahman and the Maiba carry on their vocations without interfering with each other, the former being ministers in the orthodox way to the Hindu divinities, whUe the latter has absolute control of the worship of the local gods and goddesses.

In the Manipur Chronicle, written, be it remembered, by the official chronicler of the Manipuri kings, we read of the advent of the first Brahman from Assam in 1704-5 a.d., and his success in winning the approval of the Raja and his ministers. In 1707-8 we read of the first temples being built and of sacred monkeys being maintained. In 1723-4 the worship of eleven of the local gods was prohibited, but four such divinities were retained, and Brahmans were appointed to their service in place of the Maibas. Later we read, in 1735, — "The Raja Garib Nawaz punished all those Manipuris who neglected to follow Hinduism,"

At the present day the Manipuri is a very strict and orthodox Hindu of the Vaishnava sect, but at the same time a firm believer in the ancient gods of his forefathers. What the resultant religion will be, time only can show.

J. Shakespear.