Friday, June 20, 2008

ANCESTORAL WORSHIP AMONGST AHOMS

Ahoms who originally came from mung maolung of south china as back as 1228 AD.The present Dehong-Dai -Chingphow of south china are called Dai and the people who came with prince Chao Lung siuka-pha in 1228AD and are settled in Assam are called as Tai Ahoms.
Ahoms have there own philosophy,beliefs,customs and traditions.The Ahoms philosophy is based on the concept of the linkage between Earth and Heaven.According to the beliefs of Ahoms a person is not reborn after death.The person becomes"Damphi"(God) and goes to heaven and lives with his relatives.The ceremony is celebrated by prayers and offerrings to the ancestors as a mark of respect and honour.
Ahoms celebrate this ancestoral worship in a grand way called'Me-Dam-Me-Phi'...where 'Me'means worship,'Dam'means the Dead and 'Phi'means God,in other words the dead ones are worshipped as Gods.It is said that after death a person remains in the state of 'Dam'and after being worshipped and offerrings by his relatives , kins or by the society the dead becomes 'Phi' or the God.Ancestor worship is related to the idea of the soul living forever.It is believed that after death the soul leaves the body and goes back to the place where his ancestors stays.
Another important customs that is related here is that the dead body is not burned and is kept in a box and this is called as "Maidam"...were the holy rituals are carried and the dead body is kept for worship for 49 days and 100days...and with the dead body all the useful things were given like food,cloths,utensils and all the needs so that the dead person is self sufficient when he leaves the earth.In history it is written that Chaolung Siu-ka-pha the first Swargadeo(heavenly king)of the Tai Ahoms observed this sacred rituals of Me-Dam-Me-Phi.After his death Chaolung Siu-ka-pha was buried in Charaideo in upper assam which is now a tourist place and object of attraction and the subject of research.
This kind of Ancestoral worship is practiced among various communities of the globe such as Kamus of Laos,korea,japan.chams of vietnam,burma,hongkong,thailand,china,also it was common to all the earliest civilization such as mesopotamia,Egypt.Thus the Ancestoral worship hold an important place in Ahom community and the festival 'Me-Dam-Me-Phi' is an essential part of it and each and every auspicious occasion is marked by the worship of the soul or the dead spirits or the Dam-phi.

1 comment:

Utpal Datta said...

Nice piece of witting, loaded with informations . .