Khoriphaba

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Khoriphaba
Prince of the Sky Kingdom
Member of Lainingthous and divine polo players
KHORIPHABA.jpg
"Khoriphaba", the divine name, written in medieval Meetei Mayek abugida
Other namesKhoiriphaba, Khorifaba, Khoirifaba, Kholiphapa, Khoiliphapa, Kholifapa, Khoilifapa
AffiliationMeitei mythology (Manipuri mythology) and Meitei religion (Sanamahism)
Major cult centerNambol
AbodeNambol
WeaponKangjei (polo-stick)
ArtifactsKangjei (polo-stick)
AnimalsMare (female horse)
MountMeitei horse (Manipuri pony)
TextsKhoriphaba Naothemlon, Kangjeirol
GenderMale
RegionAncient Kangleipak (Antique Manipur)
Ethnic groupMeitei ethnicity
FestivalsLai Haraoba
Personal information
ConsortChangning Leima (alias Chaning Khombi)
Parents
SiblingsEreima (Irai Leima), Hellois, Khamlangba, Pakhangba, Phouoibi, Ngaleima, Nongshaba (Kanglasha), Nongthang Leima, Sanamahi, Thumleima

Khoriphaba (Meitei: ꯈꯣꯔꯤꯐꯥꯕ) is a God in Meitei mythology and religion of Ancient Kangleipak (Antique Manipur). He is the son of Sky God Salailen. He came down from heaven to earth to search for his mother and then for a bride.[1][2] He is best known for wrestling with Loyalakpa in the Lai Haraoba festival.[3] He is also a polo playing God.[4]

Description[change | change source]

God Khoriphaba is a Lainingthou. In Ancient Meitei language, "Lai" means God or Deity and "Ningthou" means King or Ruler. However, the term "Lainingthou" carries many meanings. It may refer to "king of gods", "godly king" or "kingly god". Since Khoriphaba is not the king of gods, he is a kingly god.[5][6][7][8]

Khoriphaba is a sportsman. He participated in polo as well as wrestling championships. Among the deities, God Khoriphaba and God Loyalakpa possess the epithets of being the best wrestlers.[9] The two powerful gods wrestled during the Lai Haraoba festival.[10]

God Khoriphaba is one of the polo player gods. He participated in the divine polo match.[11] During the godly polo championship, Khoriphaba joined the southern team. His team was led by God Thangjing while his opponent's team (northern team) was led by God Marjing.[12]

Mythology[change | change source]

God Khoriphaba was born with the divine union of God Salailen (alias Soraren) and Goddess Konthoujam Tampha Lairembi at Heaven. When Khoriphaba was three months old (or three years old), his parents got separated. His mother was abandoned from entering into Heaven. So, little Khoriphaba was looked after by the 1000 queens of heaven. But he cried for his mother. Salailen tried to pacify the baby's cry but in vain. He gave him milk but it was of no use. He summoned his nobles and subjects. He asked them to make his son stop crying. Thousands of gods and goddesses tried but all of them failed to stop the boy's cry. Finally, Chingkheirel Apamba tried his luck. He sang hymns in praise of the baby God. Suddenly, the boy stopped crying. At this, Salailen named his son Khoiriphaba.[13]

One day, Angoupalba Yaibirel Sidaba found Khoiriphaba crying near a tree. He brought the boy to his home. He asked his family to take care of the boy. The clan members looked after the child like their own child. They named him Puthiba.[14]

One day, Khoiriphaba heard some women talking about him. They said, "Look how cute the child is! We love him so much! His mother would have loved him many times than we love him. How much his mother would have suffered for the loss of the child." Khoiriphaba immediately asked them about his mother. But none knew the answer to his question. So, he decided to search for his mother by himself.[15]

God Khoriphaba descended from sky down to earth in search for his lost mother Konthoujam Tampha Lairembi.[1] He came to Moirang near Khoiri Keithel. The sun already set when he was there. Not knowing what to do, he started crying. God Thangjing and his consort Koiren Leima came to him. They came to know about the identity of the boy. The divine couple took care of Khoiriphaba.[16]

Under the guardianship of God Thangjing, Khoiriphaba grew up. He made many friends. He was nine years old. He started wrestling (Meitei: Mukna Kangjei), race, and so on. He was always the champion of all the competitions. This made his friends fell jealous of him. So, one of his friends told him about how he grew up under the care of Thangjing. Khoriphaba was told that they would not allow him to play with them because he was an inferior God. Khoriphaba felt dejected for many days. Thangjing noticed it and asked him. Khoiriphaba narrated him the incident. So, Thangjing decided that Khoiriphaba should be sent to his mother without further delaying. He summoned all the 27 friends of Khoiriphaba. He asked them to challenge Khoiriphaba for wrestling and race championships. None were ready for the challenge. Then Thangjing asked them about a tug of war in which all of them would stand together at one side and Khoiriphaba alone at another side. There was a condition. If they won, they would be the winner. But if Khoiriphaba won, they should send Khoiriphaba off to his mother's place at Haorok Konthou, carrying him on a palanquin. The 27 friends accepted the challenge. But all of them got defeated in the hands of Khoiriphaba.[17]

On the next day, the 27 friends proceeded for the journey with Khoiriphaba on a palanquin towards Haorok Konthou. They came from a long distance from Moirang. On the way, they came across a beautiful place. They could not control themselves to rest at the beautiful place for a while. They requested Khoiriphaba who agreed. The beautiful place where they rested was named "Toubul" (Old Manipuri: Toupul). Some friends were waiting for the resting friends at another place. The place where they waited was named "Ngaikhong". After some time, little by little, all of his friends left Khoiriphaba alone. So, Khoiriphaba continued his journey alone. On the way, he came across a river. On the river, many women were fishing using nets. Since morning, they could not catch a single fish. He was helped by a woman to cross the river.[18]

Finally, he reached Haorok Konthou. The people of the place were greatly awed to see him. They have heard of his quest. But Goddess Tampha was not at the place. Due to the fear of Salailen, the villagers sent her off to another place. She was looked after by the Kabui tribes in the hills. So, Khoriphaba set off for the next journey riding on his mare Ngangrubi.[19]

On reaching the village of the Kabui tribes in the hills, he was warmly welcomed by the tribesmen. He finally met his long departed mother. He proposed her to return home back to heaven. But she did not agree because she was abandoned by her husband. So, he sadly left his mother.[20]

There are also legends about God Khoriphaba looking for a bride. He veiled his face and hold a polo-stick over his shoulder.[2] While searching for a lover, he was riding on a mare.[21]

God Khoriphaba reached Koubru's place. God Koubru offered him to choose any lady of his choice from his place. Khoriphaba chose Goddess Nungthel Leima. But Nungthel Leima was already the consort of Loyalakpa. So, God Koubru could not give him the desired lady. Koubru did not want to take back his own words. He asked Khoriphaba to choose any lady but he should do it blindfolded. Blindfolded Khoiriphaba attempted to choose but he could not get Goddess Nungthel Leima. This action is enacted by the maibis in the Lai Haraoba festival.[22]

Worship[change | change source]

During the Lai Haraoba festival, there is a special ritual named Kanglei Thokpa dedicated to God Khoriphaba.[23] In this ritual, a group of maibis sing a song depicting Khoriphaba's search for a bride.[24]

"The goddess of the hills, my beloved
The jewel, which I am unable to part with
On such a day, I follow your footprints
I fail to find you...
Sweet one, have you gone to another village?
Or have you gone to fetch fire from your neighbour?
Or have you gone to wash your hair at the riverbank?
Or are you combing your beautiful hair in the huge house of your father?
Perhaps, you have gone to a kang game and seated between two village brothers as a piece of decoration, radiating...
Perhaps, a cloth is tied around your shoulder and slender waist and you are pounding rice.
My friend, I have not seen my beloved for a long time.
Please tell me where she is?[25]"

This song of love and associated gesture evolve into dancing. The dance enacts the horse polo game.[26] During this ritual ceremony, a maibi will cover her face with a veil. She will hold a kangjei (English: polo-stick or hockey-stick). She will hook a girl from amidst the crowd with the hooked end of the stick. This is called Lai Nupi Thiba (lit. Predilection of bride).[27]

During his worship, cooked foods could be offered but devotees are not allowed to offer fish.[28]

Texts[change | change source]

The Khoriphaba Naothemlon text describes song to stop little Khoriphaba from crying.[29]

Namesakes[change | change source]

Art and culture association[change | change source]

The Khoriphaba Artistes Association is a non commercial artistes association. It was established in 1971 in Imphal.[30][31][32][33][34]

Bodybuilding event[change | change source]

The Mr. Khoriphaba Body Building Championship is an annual bodybuilding event. It includes both men's as well as women's classes. The first championship took place in the year 2019.[35]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Devi, Dr Yumlembam Gopi. Glimpses of Manipuri Culture. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-0-359-72919-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Parratt, Saroj Nalini (1997). The Pleasing of the Gods: Meitei Lai Haraoba. Vikas Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-259-0416-8.
  3. Traditional Customs and Rituals of Northeast India: Arunachal Pradesh, meghalaya, Manipur, Assam. Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture. 2002.
  4. Taneja, Anil (2009). World of Sports Indoor. Gyan Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7835-765-2.
  5. The History Of Manipur. archive.org. p. 205.
  6. The History Of Manipur. archive.org. p. 365.
  7. The History Of Manipur. archive.org. p. 396.
  8. The History Of Manipur. archive.org. p. 440.
  9. Singh, Moirangthem Kirti (1993). Folk Culture of Manipur. Manas Publications. ISBN 978-81-7049-063-0.
  10. Traditional Customs and Rituals of Northeast India: Arunachal Pradesh, meghalaya, Manipur, Assam. Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture. 2002.
  11. Taneja, Anil (2009). World of Sports Indoor. Gyan Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7835-765-2.
  12. Roy, L. Somi (2021-06-21). And That Is Why... Manipuri Myths Retold. Penguin Random House India Private Limited. p. 102. ISBN 978-93-91149-65-9.
  13. Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 681. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2.
  14. Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 681. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2.
  15. Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 681. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2.
  16. Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 681. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2.
  17. Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 682. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2.
  18. Lisam, Khomdan Singh (2011). Encyclopaedia Of Manipur (3 Vol.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 682. ISBN 978-81-7835-864-2.
  19. Roy, L. Somi (2021-06-21). And That Is Why... Manipuri Myths Retold. Penguin Random House India Private Limited. p. 101. ISBN 978-93-91149-65-9.
  20. Roy, L. Somi (2021-06-21). And That Is Why... Manipuri Myths Retold. Penguin Random House India Private Limited. p. 101. ISBN 978-93-91149-65-9.
  21. Chandra, Yashaswini (2021-01-22). The Tale of the Horse: A History of India on Horseback. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-93-89109-92-4.
  22. "Maibi's, Kanglei Thokpa / Lai Nupi Thiba. Trance Dance of Lai Haroaba". sevensistersmusic.com.
  23. Meitei, Sanjenbam Yaiphaba; Chaudhuri, Sarit K.; Arunkumar, M. C. (2020-11-25). The Cultural Heritage of Manipur. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-29637-2.
  24. Devi, Nunglekpam Premi (2018-04-14). A Glimpse of Manipuri Literary Works. FSP Media Publications.
  25. Devi, Nunglekpam Premi (2018-04-14). A Glimpse of Manipuri Literary Works. FSP Media Publications.
  26. Devi, Nunglekpam Premi (2018-04-14). A Glimpse of Manipuri Literary Works. FSP Media Publications.
  27. Kumar, Niraj; Driem, George van; Stobdan, Phunchok (2020-11-18). Himalayan Bridge. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-21551-9.
  28. Moirangthem Kirti (1988). Religion and Culture of Manipur. Manas Publications. ISBN 978-81-7049-021-0.
  29. Oral Narratives of Manipur by Dr. Chirom Rajketan. archive.org. 2016. p. 32.
  30. "Khoriphaba Artistes Association". www.saathire.com.
  31. Annual report: 2002-2003. archive.org. Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. 2003.
  32. Sangeet Natak Akademi annual report: 2006-2007. archive.org. 2007.
  33. Sangeet Natak Akademi annual report: 2007-2008. archive.org. Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. 2008.
  34. Sangeet Natak Akademi annual report: 2008-2009. archive.org. Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. 2009.
  35. "L Rishikanta wins senior men's title at 1st Mr Khoriphaba Body Building C'ship". e-pao.net.

Bibliography[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]