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Meiteis Vs Bishnupriya Manipuri (2018)

With the traditional dhristi, these two jatis have these similarities definitely with some ‘Notes’. Certainly, avoided western lens/ framework, models etc.


# Meiteis (Hindus) and Bishnupriya Manipuri are Sanatan Dharmi.
# Ras Leela is performed with bhakti and shradha both by Meiteis (Hindus) and Bishnupriya Manipuri
# Cuisine (ex: Irolpa/ Iromba) same both for Meiteis & Bishnupriya Manipuri
# Paramparik dress is same both for Meiteis & Bishnupriya Manipuris
# Paramparik architectural design of house and its surroundings same. 
# Apoka puja is performed with bhakti and shraddha both by Meiteis & Bishnupriya Manipuris

Note: For Bishnupriya Manipuris, Apokpa comes under Hindu cosmology.

For Meiteis (Sanamahi), Apokpa comes under Sanamahi cosmology (Hudsonian version).

Why Hudsonian version? Simply we don’t know. It is like someone reads Orientalism 1.0 (European version) and 2.0 (American version) and writes commentary on Hinduism! Caste, Cow, Curry! It is to safeguard it and protect it.

# Maibas/ Maibis (Meitei; in Bishnupriya Manipuri ‘Maipa’) : It is both in the samaj of Meitei and Bishnupriya Manipuris.

Note: In Bishnupriya Manipuri Hindu samaj, ‘Maipas’ are person with inanimate shakti to cure illness and other disorder. In different names, it is found every Hindu samaj.

In Meitei samaj, especially Sanamahi their understanding of Maibas/ Maibis comes from Sanamahi cosmology. Simply, they are representatives of Sanamahi, like the Hindus have Bamons.

Take note: This marked difference was noted by TC Hudson. A person with Christian eyes and European Orientalism decoding the then Hindu Meitei samaj of 1900s! What is TC Hudson in Manipur; it is GU Pope in Tamil Nadu. GU Pope claimed that Thiriukkural (revered Tamil Classic and the philosophical text of Shaivism) is based entirely on the Bible and the author of it was a Christian! Fast forward, Dravidian Movement starts.

# Grammar: Meitei grammar is based on Sanskrit grammar. So, do the Bishnupriya Manipuri language.

Take note: The present academicians (Hudsonian) are positing that the present Meitei language (2.0 version) is different from the earlier Meitei language (1.0 version). It means there is discontinuity. The two versions are totally different. And the 2.0 version is based on Sanskrit grammar. About the relationship between 1.0 version and Sanskrit, it is still a HYPOTHESIS. It has not been proved or disproved.

From the paramparik dhristi, there are seemingly NO difference. The difference whatever are cosmetic in terms of rituals and smritis/ memories. It is like asking a person to tell the difference between two Banyan trees. The person knows that the two trees are actually offshoots of a BIG Banyan tree.

Like we appreciate the similarities, we must appreciate the DIFFERENCE with mutual respect.

Let us NOT forget the vyavaharik realm, as of today the two samaj are totally DIFFERENT. Both live in multi-political structure, social structures are different (see the Notes), academic stories are tangential and opposite.


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