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Thongak Lairembi

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Thongak Lairembi
(Old Manipuri: Thongak Lailempi)
Gatekeeper Goddess of the Entrance Gate to the Underworld Kingdom
Member of Lairembis
Thongak Leima (Thongak Lairembi)
Other names
AffiliationMeitei mythology (Manipuri mythology) and Meitei religion (Sanamahism)
Major cult centerLangol hills
AbodeLangol hills
RegionAncient Kangleipak (Antique Manipur)
Ethnic groupMeitei ethnicity
FestivalsLai Haraoba

Thongak Lairembi (Meitei: ꯊꯣꯡꯉꯥꯛ ꯂꯥꯢꯔꯦꯝꯕꯤ, romanized: thong-ngaak-laay-rem-bee, lit.'gatekeeper goddess'), also known as Langol Lairemma (Meitei: ꯂꯥꯡꯒꯣꯜ ꯂꯥꯢꯔꯦꯝꯃ, romanized: laang-ol-laay-rem-ma), is a primordial goddess in Meitei mythology and religion. She is the divine female personification of the death. She guards the door of the entrance to the underworld, which is the land of the death, ruled by her consort, Thongalel.[1][2][3] Legend says she gets departed from her husband when Thongalel was lost in the battle between the gods of the underworld and those of the upper world, in the hands of Salailen Sidaba. The winner asked the goddess, who is the wife of the loser, to be the gatekeeper of the entrance gate to the underworld, and for Thongalel, he gave him Khamnung Kikoi Louonbi, in return.[1][4]


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"Thongak Lairembi", the name of the goddess, written in medieval Meetei Mayek abugida

The name "Thongak Lairembi" (/tʰóŋ.ŋak.pə. lai.rem.bi/) is made up of two Meitei language (Manipuri language) words, "Thongak" (ꯊꯣꯡꯉꯥꯛ, /tʰóŋ.ŋak./) and "Lairembi" (ꯂꯥꯢꯔꯦꯝꯕꯤ, /lai.rem.bi/). "Thongak" (adjectival form of noun word "Thongngakpa", /tʰóŋ.ŋak.pə/) means doorkeeper or gatekeeper in Meitei language (Manipuri language).[5] "Lairembi" (ꯂꯥꯢꯔꯦꯝꯕꯤ, /lai.rem.bi/) means goddess or a female divinity in Meitei language (Manipuri language).[6]


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Every year, the Lai Haraoba festival is celebrated in honor of goddess Thongak Lairembi (Old Manipuri: Thongak Lailempi).[7][8][9]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 "থোঙাক লাইরেম্বী" (PDF). hueiyenlanpao.com (in Manipuri).
  2. A Critical Study Of The Religious Philosophy. 1991. p. 108.
  3. A Critical Study Of The Religious Philosophy. 1991. p. 109.
  4. L. Kunjeswori (2003). Archaeology in Manipur. Rajesh Publications. p. 147. ISBN 978-81-85891-18-7.
  5. Sharma, H. Surmangol (2006). "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary."Thongngakpa"". dsal.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  6. Sharma, H. Surmangol (2006). "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary."Lairembi"". dsal.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  7. Raatan, T. (2004). Encyclopaedia of North-east India. ISBN 978-81-7835-274-9.
  8. Singh, N. Tombi (1975). Manipur and the Mainstream. Chitrebirentombichand Khorjeirup. p. 76.
  9. N. Tombi (1972). Manipur: A Study. Available with Raj Stores. p. 31.

Other websites

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