Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol
Dr Mangangcha Thoudam Laiba
Contd from previous issue
The six peaks are Meiwai Langba Ching, Malang Nongphai Icham Ching, Inga-Kumdam Ching, Kouba Ingen Nongphaiching, Eeshing Thembi Nonghou Ching, Koubru Yairel Salailen Laimaru Laiphamlen etc. A big bamboo plant grows between Lamyang Lamkhai and Lokchao; another small species grows starting from Lokchao upto the peak of Koubru mountain. The Imphal and the Nambul have their source out of the Koubru. The Koubru mountain range forms a part of Patkai hill range. It is mainly formed with stone of Barail Series. The Koubru Hill range has stone of Disang series dating back to (Eocene to Oligocene) 65×105 =65,000,000 to 26×106 ); again it has stones predated (upper Cretaceous to Eocene – 71×106 to 65×106 ). The fossils found in the Koubru belong to the Barail Series. The Koubru mountain range emerged along with the European Alps and the Himalayas out of sea of Tethys.
Many flora and fauna are found in Manipur which has a sub-tropical climate and Alpine meadow that is found only in high altitudes. The low part of the peak of Koubru known as Lai Mora, is an example of Alpine meadow. One white and rare rhododendron found mainly in the Himalayan region, grew to the eastern side of the pond. This rhododendron is found along the Saramati and Siroi ranges.
Some of the animals found are orangutans, elephants, monkey, black monkey and others belonging to the line of the tiger. There are evidences that show that human beings once settled there.
Conclusion: Besides being worshipped as a protector of the four directions and as a sylvan deity, those who follow Lainingthou Laining (3,100 BC, the reign of King Kangba) worship Him during such occasions as the birth of a baby, marriage, death of a person by performing rituals mentioning of Lainingthou Koubru. Along with that fish and animals are also offered. Along with Him the 61 evil spirits are also propitiated. On the concluding day of the festival of a sylvan deity, the priests sing of lai nonggaba as thus – “… Oh father take along the bag, a fire is lit at the top of the Koubru, along with a horse saddle, playing the pena, along with the song let us head for the heaven”. After the departure of the deity, He is given a farewell. Therefore this deity is taken as one that has been with the Meeteis inseparably from time immemorial. The ancient manuscript “Nung Lon” says thus about Koubru and Kounu’s sanctified place, temple and their images and ceremonial practices – there is one stone known as Sumda Yai along the path of Kangla. The stone takes a rest there. It is black in colour.
Its name is Koubru. There is another stone called Hee. It has a divine face. It faces the path. Its name is Kounu. A stone known as Hee is on the path of Ushoi. It has a celestial appearance. It also faces the path. Its name is Koubru. He is the deity of both winter (six cold winters) and summer (six rainy summers). This Koubru is sacred to Lainingthou Koubru and Lairembi Kounu. Therefore, the Koubru is taken as the cortex of a human being, Kangla as the navel, the Loktak as the centre of fertility and Chingnunghut as the rectum. It is a cultural and religious tradition of the Meeteis to pray to Koubru for the welfare of the land. Even king Bodhachandra, who practised Vaishnavism, did not give up following the old religious traditions of the Kangleis.
According to Cheitharol Kumpaba “1863, (1941) Wednesday is the first day of December … on Monday, the fifth day after Wednesday a propitiatory ritual was performed for the four deities who protect the directions … the ceremonial prayer was performed by Pandit Chandrasing.”
In 1953 (1875) the first day of June is Tuesday … on the 15th lunar day, Monday, the king goes on a pilgrimage to the Koubru. 1955 (1877) Saturday is the first day of September … on the eleventh lunar day, Tuesday, a golden Leihao (Champaca) was offered to Koubru by Haobam Mantri and Pandit Thongam Madhav on the order of the king. It is instructed by religious scholars that a person born on this earth will get salvation if he/she can visit the blessed places of the Koubru.
It is believed that our departed souls are blessed by Lainingthou and Lairembi. When our souls are in heaven the heavenly deity Chingu Lai Pangganba, puts such questions to the souls standing by the heavenly gate – Oh! Human beings, did you visit the sacred sites of Koubru, Marjing, Nongpok Ningthou, Wangbren, Thangjing, Loyalakpa, Waroiching etc. Did you come without looking back at Mingsenkhong ? How did you cross that heavenly river after climbing Langching, taking a rest of Khamnung Khundin at Potthapung ?
Did you pray to your grandmother, Thonggak Lairembi, who is guarding the Langgol hill range after crossing the river ? Did you take a bath and wash your clothes at Nungsi Khongham Eepak ? Thus our scholarly religious elders teach us that such questions are put to the departed souls by the heavenly deity, Chingu Lai Panggalba and the seven Lainuras. Therefore, we should know the inner and outer concepts of the sacred place of Kanglei when we visit them. In conclusion I would like to say that this land is based on the human physique; even a house is built after the image of the supreme god, known as Taibang Semba Mapu. Both the script and language are based on the human body. Everything has its origin out of the head.
Thus customary rules should be followed. This land is known as a heavenly abode because of the presence of these rare traditions.