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|Ethnic religion of the Ahom people|
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The Ahom religion is the ethnic religion of the Ahom people. The Ahom people came into Assam in 1228, led by a Tai prince Sukaphaa, and admixed with the local people. The people who came into Assam included two clans of priests, joined later by a third, who brought with them their own religion, rituals, practices and scriptures. The religion is based on ritual-oriented ancestor worshipthat required animal sacrifice (Ban-Phi), though there was at least one Buddhism influenced ritual in which sacrifice was forbidden (Phuralung). . Ancestor worship and the animistic concept of khwan are two elements it shares with other Tai folk religions. There is no idolatry except for the titular god of the Ahom king and though there is a concept of heaven or a heavenly kingdom (Mong Phi, sometimes identified with a part of Tian, China) , there is no concept of hell. It was the state religion of the Ahom kingdom in the initial period.
In religious studies, an ethnic religion is a religion associated with a particular ethnic group. Ethnic religions are often distinguished from universal religions which claim to not be limited in ethnic or national scope, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Jainism. Ethnic religions are not only independent religions. Some localised denominations of global religions are practised solely by certain ethnic groups. For example, the Assyrians have a unique denominational structure of Christianity known as the Assyrian Church of the East.
The Ahom, or Tai-Ahom is an ethnic group found today in the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. They are the descendants of the Tai people who reached the Brahmaputra valley of Assam in 1228 and the local people who joined them over the course of history. Sukaphaa, the leader of the Tai group and his 9000 followers established the Ahom kingdom, which controlled much of the Bramhaputra Valley in modern Assam until 1826. Even though the Ahom made up a relatively small portion of the kingdom's population, they maintained their original Ahom language and practiced their traditional religion till the 17th-century, when the Ahom court as well as the commoners adopted the Assamese language, and Ekasarana dharma and Saktism religions.
Assam is a state in northeast India, situated south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of 78,438 km2 (30,285 sq mi). The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south; and West Bengal to the west via the Siliguri Corridor, a 22 kilometres (14 mi) strip of land that connects the state to the rest of India.
The Ahom kingdom expanded suddenly in the 16th-century and the Ahom peoples became a small minority in their own kingdom—though they continued to wield control. Subsequently, they slowly converted and by the early 19th-century, Ahom religion declined to be replaced by Hinduism. In the 1931 survey, all Ahoms listed Hinduism as their religion.Nevertheless, since the 1960s and 1970s due to an Ahom revivalism movement, as well as efforts from scholars, many of the older practices of the Ahom religion are being resurrected.
The Ahom kingdom was a kingdom originating in Medieval India, in the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam, India. It is well known for maintaining its sovereignty for nearly 600 years and successfully resisting Mughal expansion in Northeast India. Established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Mao, it began as a mong in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra based on wet rice agriculture. It expanded suddenly under Suhungmung in the 16th century and became multi-ethnic in character, casting a profound effect on the political and social life of the entire Brahmaputra valley. The kingdom became weaker with the rise of the Moamoria rebellion, and subsequently fell to repeated Burmese invasions of Assam. With the defeat of the Burmese after the First Anglo-Burmese War and the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826, control of the kingdom passed into East India Company hands.
The three priestly clans (Mo'sam, Mo'hung, Mo'Plong) of the Ahom people are the current custodians of the Ahom religion.
Dam-Phi (Dam: dead; Phi: god) is the worship of ancestors as gods and it is performed either in individual households (Dam-Phi) or publicly ( Me-Dam-Me-Phi ). The dead in Ahom society becomes a Dam (literally, 'spirit of the dead').They are held in awe (fear, wonder, and reverence); worshipped and propitiated for protection. After the fourteenth generation a Dam becomes a god (Phi) and is worshiped by the whole community. There are three grades of Dams graded according to the generation (with the highest living generation numbered one) and the circumstances of death, and they progress from one grade to the next.
Me-Dam-Me-Phi is the most important Ancestor worship communal festival in the Ahom religion celebrated by the Ahom people on 31st January every year in memory of the departed. It is the manifestation of the concept of ancestor worship that the Ahoms share with other peoples originating from the Tai stock. It is a festival to show respect to the departed ancestors and remember their contribution to society.
Awe is an emotion comparable to wonder but less joyous. On Robert Plutchik's wheel of emotions awe is modeled as a combination of surprise and fear.
The head of the household and his wife or the parents are called the Na Dam ("new Dam", 2nd generation), the next higher generation the Ghai Dam ("main Dam", 3rd generation) and the next higher generation the Chi rwan Dam (4th generation). Each Dam is complete only when both the husband and wife are dead. These three Dams constitute the Griha Dam. Those who die unnaturally, without children or unmarried are called Jokorua Dam and are not included in the Griha Dam and treated and worshipped differently.
The household Dams reside in the North-east pillar of the kitchen, Pho Kam (Assamese: Dam Khuta), which is usually raised first during the construction of the house and is considered most sacred place in the entire house.The Dam Phi rituals are directed at the Pho Kam. The household deity, Sheng Ka Pha, is also worshiped at the Pho Kam.
The next nine generations of Dams (5th to 13th) constitute Chang Dam, the Dams who have been let out of the house into the threshold;and are worshiped according to special rites, called na puruxor saul khua (feast for nine generations).
This is the final stage for Dams and in this stage, the Dams (14th and above) are considered to have become gods (Phi) and merged with original forefathers of the entire community collectively called Chao Phi Dam. In this class of Dams the two evil deities, Ra Khin and Ba Khin too belong, but they are worshipped with lower status and separately.The Jokorua Dams in the fourteenth generation become Khin and join these two deities.
As mentioned in Ahom Scripture Lit Lai Peyn Kaka At first, there was nothing besides the water of the ocean. Pha Tu Ching Which is an Omnipotent shapeless, impersonal God Almighty; opened his eyes to the void, and thus created from his breast the first deity—Khun Theu Kham. Freshly created, and finding nothing to lean on, Khun Theu Kham dove into the water and then laid on his back, and a lotus plant issued from his navel. This was followed by the creation of a crab, a tortoise and an eight-hooded snake that encircled the tortoise. The eight hoods spread in eight directions. Then a white elephant with long tusks and two mountains in the north and south were created, on which pillars were placed. Then a pair of gold-tinted spiders were created that floated in the air and dropped excrements, from which earth came about. The spiders then placed eight pillars in the eight corners of the wall and spun their web to create heaven. Heaven in Tai-Ahom Religion denotes Tien a part Yunnan In Southwest China , known as Mong Phi.
Pha Tu Ching also created a consort for Khun Theu Kham, and Lon Kām (four golden eggs) were born to them. Phā Tu Chin then created a Thaolung to warm the eggs—but the eggs would not hatch for many years. So he sprinkled ambrosia (nya pulok) on them and four gods emerged: (1) Pha-shang-din-kham-neyeu, (2) Sheng-cha-pha-kham, (3) Sheng-kam-pha, and (4) Ngi-ngao-kham (also called Phu ra). The fourth son, Ngi-ngao-kham stayed back to help create the world. The third son revolted and turned into an evil spirit, though his son Sheng Ka Pha became a household deity.
According to Ahom beliefs, the supreme, formless, omnipotent being is Pha Tu Ching, who is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of everything.The other gods and the universe are his creation. The Ahom pantheon of gods that generally receive oblations are Lengdon, Khao Kham, Ai Leng Din, Jan Chai Hung, Jashing Pha, Chit Lam Cham, Mut-Kum Tai Kum, Ra-khin, Ba-khin and Chao Phi Dam.
|1||Khao Kham||The presiding deity of water|
|2||Ai Leng Din||The presiding deity of earth|
|3||Jan Chai Hung||The master god of all natural powers|
|4||Lengdon||The ruler of the whole universe|
|5||Chit Lam Cham||The presiding deity of seven powers|
|6||Mut-Kum Tai-Kum||The master gods of light: the sun and the moon|
|7||Jashing Pha||The original wise forefathers, masters of language, culture, education and knowledge.|
|8||Chao Phi Dam||The forefathers above the thirteenth generation.|
|9||Ra-Khin||The evil power that creates different diseases, pain, misery in the body.|
|10||Ba-Khin||The evil power who creates diseases, pain in mind.|
Chumpha: The Chumpha (Chumpha-Rung Seng-Mong, Assamese: Chum-deo), was the titular deity of the Ahom dynasty, represented by a relic and which symbolized the Ahom king's sovereignty. It accompanied Sukaphaa across the Patkai on his journey into Assam.It used to be housed in the royal seat, till Suklenmung (1539–1552) moved it away and it played a prominent role during Singarigharutha ceremony. The relic is said to have been brought down from MongPhi by Kun Lung and Kun Lai the ancestor of Sukaphaa rulers Of MongRi-MongRam (Now Xishuangbanna , China) and could be worshipped and handled only by the king.
There are many other Gods including Major Ahom Gods. The Tai-Ahom people and generally had numbers of gods and spirits. They believe that in this world of phenomena visible objects have invisible spirits. Here are some of them .
The religious aspects are inscribed in scriptures written in Ahom language in a kind of barks known as in Sanchi Bark. Ahom religion has various manuscripts on Divination, Prognostics, khwan calling, incantation, Phralung. The three priestly clans (Mo'sam, Mo'hung, Mo'Plong) widely use these scripts. Some prayer scripts are known as Ban-Seng were found from Habung. Some of them were brought from Yunnan, China.[ citation needed ]
|Lit Lai Pak Peyn Ka Ka||The Lit-Lai-Pat-Peyn-Ka-Ka is considered as the main scripture of Ahom religion. |
Most of the cosmology and Gods of Ahom religion derived from this vast scripture.
|Khyek Phi Pha Nuru Lengdon|
Lit Khamphi Lengdon Lanmung
|These two texts enumerate the ritual worship of Lengdon|
|Ming Mang Phurālōng||This text enumerates the Phurālōng ritual worship.|
|Doya Phurā Puthi|
Nemimang Phura Yao Ching Bong Phura
Urak Pha Phra
|These three books list the Jataka tales of the Buddha.|
|Khyek Phi Umpha|
Umpha Phi Kun An Lao
|These books enumerate the ritual worship of Umpha|
|These books list the Rik-khwan ritual worship for longevity.|
|Lit Me-Dam Me-Phi||This book lists the ritual worship of ancestors.|
|Lai lit Nang Hoon Pha||This lists the ritual Ahom marriage ceremony called Cho-klong.|
|Jatak Phi An Ak||Included details of Rituals related to Birth Ceremony.|
|Lit Ye Seng Pha:||Included details of Rituals related to Ye-Seng-Pha (Ancestor Queen, Lord Of Knowledge and Arts).|
Kai theng Muong
|manuscript gives the ritual of sacrificing of a chicken by incantation without causing death by suffocation and slitting and gives the method of divination by studying the chicken bones or chicken legs.|
|Pat nam Lai|
Lit Aap tang
|Books included the process of purifying water.|
|Pun Ko’ muong||A manuscript that describes the genesis.|
|Phi Luong - Phi Wan||A manuscript is of Ahom astrology.|
The Ahom religion is based on rituals, and there are two types of rituals: Ban-Phi that involve animal sacrifice and Phuralung that forbids animal sacrifice. Rituals could also be performed at the household level or at the communal level.
Me-Dam-Me-Phi (Ahom language : Me-worship; Dam-spirit of the dead; Phi-god) is one of the major ceremonies aMōng the Ahom religious rituals that is performed publicly, propitiating the spirits of the dead. In the modern times, this is held annually on 31 January. The rituals begin with the creation of a temporary structure with bamboo and thatch octagonal in shape, called ho phi. In it six raised platters on the main platform are placed for the following divinities: Jashing Pha, Jan Chai Hung, Lengdon, Chit Lam Cham, Mut-Kum Tai-Kum, Chao Phi Dam. To the left of the main platform the raised platforms forKhao Kham and Ai Leng Din are placed; and to the right the raised platters of Ra Khin and Ba Khin.
The Rik-Khwan Mong Khwan (Ahom language : Rik-to call; Khwan-Life/longevity/Soul; Mōng-Nation), is a ritual to worship Khwan, to enhance or to call back the prosperity of the state or a person. The Rik Kwan is an important part of the Tai-Ahom marriage system described in the old Tai script Lai Lit Nang Hoon Pha. In early days Rik-Khwan Mung Khwan was performed by the Tai-Ahom kings on the victory of a war or the installation of the new kings. In the ceremony, devotee propitiates the god Khao Kham (the god of water) and invoke to restore the soul in the original normal place and to grant a long life.
The Dam Phi rituals are specific to propitiating the Na Dam, Ghai Dam, Chi rwan Dam and the Jokorua Dam at the Pho Kam pillar inside the house. These rituals are offered on all auspicious occasion in the household—the three Bihus, the Na Khua ceremony (feast following new harvest), new birth in the household, nuai tuloni biya (female puberty ceremony), Chak lang (marriage), and annual death ceremonies.
Ahom religion is primarily based on worshipping Deities called Phi and Dam (Ancestor Spirit). Ancestor worship and the animistic concept of khwan are two elements it shares with other Tai folk religions.While the duality of the individual self Han (Phu) and Pu are concepts that probably came from Taoism Concepts Yin and Yang. The custom sacred offerings consisting of chicken and Lao traditional rice beer, both in diluted (Nam Lao) and undiluted (Luok Lao) forms can be seen in other Tai folk religion too.
Census Data Finder/C Series/Population by Religious Communities
The veneration of the dead, including one's ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors. Certain sects and religions, in particular the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, venerate saints as intercessors with God; the latter also believes in prayer for departed souls in Purgatory.
A tutelary is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of "tutelary" expresses the concept of safety, and thus of guardianship.
Bihu is a set of three important non-religious festivals in the Indian state of Assam—Rongali or Bohag Bihu observed in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October, and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January. The Rongali Bihu is the most important of the three, celebrating spring festival. The Bhogali Bihu or the Magh Bihu is a harvest festival, with community feasts. The Kongali Bihu or the Kati Bihu is the sombre, thrifty one reflecting a season of short supplies and is an animistic festival.
A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world.
The Ahom dynasty (1228–1826) ruled the Ahom kingdom in present-day Assam, India for nearly 598 years. The dynasty was established by Sukaphaa, a Shan prince of Mong Mao who came to Assam after crossing the Patkai mountains. The rule of this dynasty ended with the Burmese invasion of Assam and the subsequent annexation by the British East India Company following the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826.
Theyyam is a popular ritual form of worship in Kerala, India, predominantly in the Kolathunadu area and also in South Canara and Kodagu of Karnataka as a living cult with several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals and customs. The performers of Theyyam belong to the lower caste community, and have an important position in Theyyam. The people of these districts consider Theyyam itself as a channel to a God and they thus seek blessings from Theyyam. A similar custom is followed in the Mangalore region of neighbouring Karnataka known as Bhuta Kola.
Chaolung Sukaphaa, also Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king in medieval Assam, was the founder of the Ahom kingdom. A Tai prince originally from Mong Mao, the kingdom he established in 1228 existed for nearly six hundred years and in the process unified the various indigenous ethnic groups of the region that left a deep impact on the region. In reverence to his position in Assam's history the honorific Chaolung is generally associated with his name.
Barua, also; Baruah, Barooah, Baruwa, Baroova, Barooa, Baroowa, Borooah, Boruah, Baroa is a very common Assamese surname.
The Tai-Khamyangs, also known as Shyam, is a subgroup of the Great Tai peoples of Southeast Asia. They are numerically a small indigenous Assamese community group found in Tinsukia, Jorhat, Sivasagar and Golaghat districts of Assam as well as adjacent parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Their population totals about 7,000, of which only a small minority speak the native Tai Khamyang language while the vast majority speak the Assamese language. The Khamyang are followers of Theravada Buddhism and are closely related to the Khamti. They maintain good relations with other Tai Buddhist tribes of Assam.
Mong Mao, Möngmao or Mao kingdom was an ethnically Dai state that controlled several smaller Tai states or chieftainships along the frontier of what is now Myanmar and China in the Dehong region of Yunnan with a capital near the modern-day border town of Ruili. The name of the main river in this region is the Nam Mao, also known as the Shweli River.
Habung is a expansive fortification region in between Pachim Dhemaji and Dhakuakhana under undivided Dhemaji district in bank of Korha and Charikodiya rivers in Assam. Habung was originally Brahmin settlement, settled by Ratna Pala of the Pala dynasty of Kamarupa in the 10th century. According to other sources, the name originates in Ha-Bong, the fifth capital of Ahom kingdom. It means Fifth King in Ahom language..The area is now a historical tourism place with historical Maidam and a corpse washing pond in between the fortification made by Ahom surrounded by mostly Ahom population and Ahom villages under Ajoha panchayat.
Sanamahism or Sanamahi Laining refers to the traditional Meitei beliefs and religion found in the state of India called Manipur near Myanmar. The term is derived from Sanamahi, one of the important Meetei deities. Sanamahi is said to derive his power from the combination of all the stars in the galaxy. Lord Sun worships him for more power and he delivers all with ease. According to Bertil Lintner, Sanamahism is an "animistic, ancestor worshipping, shaman-led tradition".
A maidam is a tumulus of the royalty and aristocracy of the medieval Ahom Kingdom (1228-1826) in Assam, India. The royal maidams are found exclusively at Charaideo, near Sibasagar; whereas other maidams are found scattered in the region between Jorhat and Dibrugarh towns. Structurally, a maidam consists of vaults with one or more chambers. The vaults have a domical superstructure that is covered by a hemispherical earthen mound that rises high above the ground with an open pavilion at the peak called chow chali. An octagonal dwarf wall encloses the entire maidam.
The Tai folk religion, known in Lao and Thai as Satsana Phi, is a form of animist religious beliefs traditionally and historically practiced by groups of ethnic Tai peoples.
The di inferi or dii inferi were a shadowy collective of ancient Roman deities associated with death and the underworld. The epithet inferi is also given to the mysterious Manes, a collective of ancestral spirits. The most likely origin of the word Manes is from manus or manis, meaning "good" or "kindly," which was a euphemistic way to speak of the inferi so as to avert their potential to harm or cause fear.
Singarigharutha was the traditional coronation ceremony of the king of the Ahom kingdom, a medieval kingdom in Assam. During the period of Ahom supremacy in Assam, the Singarigharutha ceremony had important constitutional significance. It was believed that even though an Ahom prince became king, he could not attain the status of full-fledged monarch until his Singarigharutha ceremony was completely performed. Therefore, each Ahom ruler after their accession to the throne tried to organize the ceremony as soon as possible. But it was not as easy since the ceremony was very expensive and there were records when some of the Ahom kings had to postpone it owing to emergency situations or due to financial crisis of the state.
Miao folk religion or Hmong folk religion is the common ethnic religion of Miao peoples, primarily consisting in the practice of kev dab qhuas. The religion is also called Hmongism by a Hmong American church established in 2012 to organise it among Hmong people in the United States.