Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kirat history by kirat scholar Iman Sing Chemjong....Part II

दिपेन योङहाङ

PART � 2
In compiling the Second Part of History and Culture of the Kirat People, I have tried my best to create interest to all readers by describing the past pomp and majesty of the Kirat Kings of Nepal hills and North India in general and Assam in particular, the adoption of the name Morong for the Eastern Terai land of Nepal, the invention of Kirat scripts called Rong script, the Shrijunga script and the Munlom Faith of the Rong Kirat people; the Yumasam faith of the Limbu Kirat people. The discussion that ensued between the Kirat King Hangsu Deva with his Chief minister Karthak Wookday in the King's Council of Kathmandu Valley for the conversion of the king into Buddhism reveals a remarkable insight on the civilization of the Kirat People of ancient Nepal.
The long campaign of King Uba Hang from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet to the Mithila province of North India; the preaching of King Mabo Hang and King Shrijunga Hang's religious instructions in the 9th century AD in Eastern Nepal contributes significantly in studying the history and culture of the era.
The two important historical milestones for the modern history students and enthusiasts which throw light on how the Modern Kingdom Of Nepal was established are the successful campaign of King Lohang Sen from West Nepal to East Nepal in the 15th century AD and the diplomatic campaign of King Prithvi Narayan Shah from West Nepal to East Nepal in the 18th century AD. The rise and fall of the Koch Empire in North Bengal and Assam prove how the Kirat people even as far back as in the 17th 
83 and 18th century AD could manifest abilities to consolidate power and suffer its loss.
Beside this, I have attempted to document every military tribe in Nepal and a detailed account of the Tamang tribe and the legendary Gurung tribes are given in the following pages.
The Tamang Tribe
The Tamang tribe of Nepal was brought to Kathmandu Valley by King Srong-sen Gampo of Tibet in the 7th century AD as a cavalry division. Their own tradition also says that their original habitat was in Southern Tibet in a place called Uichang.
Tamang folk tales reveal that during the early days of resettling in the Kathmandu valley, a public sport to prove the physical as well as spiritual might of the Twelve Tamang leaders was held to prove themselves worthy as military officers. Moktan, the chief of them all, took the initiative and brought a heavy iron beam and twisted it. Seeing this, the Bal leader brought a long pole and drove it against a precipice and pierced the innermost part of the precipice with so much force that water oozed out in a current. Bomzan then weaved a golden basket and collected this magical water without allowing even a single drop to leak from the basket. Ghising by the dint of his magic vaporized a lake and transformed it into a massive cloud. Pakhrin then brought a bronze plate and stared at it so hard that the strength of the glare broke the plate into pieces. Yonzon in turn suddenly produced a raging hailstorm while Syangdan created fire and the Thing leader extinguished the fire by pouring rain over it. Not daunted by such magical prowess Goley revealed a skyful of stars in broad daylight and Giaba spread a thick blanket of haze over it. Then Mikchan transformed a stick into a poisonous viper and Bozu made a vulture swallow it. Although, these folk tales now sound highly fictitious, it proved that the twelve vying Tamang leaders were skilled occultists and qualified as worthy Tibetan military officers.
84 Now, the Twelve Tamang officers made Central Nepal their permanent settlement and settled around the Kathmandu valley and renamed villages after their names. Their villages were respectively called Moktan kipat, Bal kipat, Bomzan kipat, Ghising kipat, Pakhrin kipat, Yonzon kipat, Syangdan kipat, Thing kipat, Goley kipat, Giaba kipat, Mikchan kipat and Bozu kipat in the Chatara and Dhading districts. They ruled these villages till the Gurkha invasion in the west. Their kipat lands were annexed to the Gorkha Kingdom during the reign of King Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768 AD.
Adoption of Nationality
All offspring from a Brahmin, Kshetri and Thakuri with a Tamang woman would be included in the Tamang tribe with the family title of Gothar or Godar Tamang of the Atharah jat. In the olden days, prior to the Gorkha conquest the progeny of a Tamang woman with a Khas used to be called Gothar or Godar Tamang. However since the Gorkha conquest, they have been called Khattris*.
The Ngarba Tamang was the term used for the progeny born of a Newar with a Tamang woman. Similarly, Sangri Tamang for progenies of either Gurung, Magar, Limbu, Rai or Sunwar through a Tamang woman. Although this was a good policy for nation building, the tradition of its usage came to an end since the children retained the family titles of their father.
Tamangs as Soldiers
All the Tamangs belong to the Kirat tribe and were recruited along with the other Kirat tribes of Limbu, Rai and Sunwar, Surung and Magars in the 10th and 7th Gurkha
* Gurkhas by E. Vanasitart, page 142 85
Rifles and were identified as being a part of the the brave Gurkhas of Nepalese nationality.
Their Language
Tamang language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman or Kirat group of the Himalayan region, and has a close affinity with the Gurung or Tamu, Thakali or Tamang and Yolmo or Kagatey Tamang languages. Buddhism is their main religion The Sherpas, the Walungeys and the Shingsabas also belong to the Kirat group.
Tamang Classes
Barah Tamangs are divided into Bal, Baju, Baltong, Blan, Bomjan, Chepenkor, Chumi, Dong, Dongba, Dumjan, Glan, Gomden, Ghising, Gaiba, Goley, Gongba, Grangdan, Hopthen Jimba, Jongan, Jumi, Khani khor, Khiungba, Kitung, Kulden, Lama, Gongju, Lamakhor, Loho, Lopchan, Lungba, Marnumba, Mikchan, Moktan, Neki nesur, Pakhrin, Palchokey, Rumba, Sherba, Khor, Syangden, Singar, Syangbo, Suktel, Toishin, Thing, Thokor, Titung, Tungba, Waiba and Yonjan classes.
The Atharah Tamangs are divided into Gothar or Godar, Ngarba and Sangri classes.
The Gurung Legend
Ghyabring lama, a priest of the Gurung Kirat people in his songs laments the loss of Gurung literature and recounts that in the beginning when the creator distributed literature to various tribes of mankind, he was invited to be a part of this great congregation. The messenger however did not give him the stipulated date and time for the receipt of such a boon and failed to receive the distribution of literature from God. On enquiring, other priests participants of the assembly informed him that there had been one
independent script for Ghyabring Lama which had been thrown into a corner since he was absent during the distribution. The literature on being found thrown on the ground was burned into ashes, pounded he was then shown the place where the ashes of the burned Literature was deposited. Ghyabring Lama wept for the loss of his Literature and he took the ashes pounded it into powder and drank it with water invoking prayers to the Gods beseeching for the gift of good memory so that he would be able to remember all the contents of the burnt Literature. Folklore has it that special powers were granted to him by the spirits and thus the Ghyabring lama even today can recite all the legends of the Gurung tribe without reading from the pages of a scripture.
This often mentioned and much believed folklore of the Gurung tribe bears striking similarities with the folklore of the Limbu tribe who before the invention of their script by King Shirijunga believe in the remembrance of cosmogony after drinking the sacred powder made from the Ashes of Literature given to them. These interesting highlights prove the close affinity of oneness shared by the two Kiratis the Limbus and Gurungs.
Though I have not been able to touch upon the colourful and more interesting history of the Khasi, Naga, Kukie, Mikir, Mismi, Mijo and Mithie Kirat people inhabitants of Assam. I should like to say that by a thorough study of this book, a reader will certainly have the pleasure of enjoying intimate glimpses of the vibrant and chequered history of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and Assam .
Iman Singh Chemjong
In the beginning of the 7th century AD, a second batch of Shan Mokwan people under the leadership of Mung Maw Rong came to East Nepal from Nam Maw, Tai Tembe and Namgam Tembe of Mokwan locality of Unan province of South China via North Burma. It is said that there were only 700 families in that group77. They crossed Assam and reached North Bengal. They cleared the dense forests of the Himalayan Terai and made their permanent settlement there and named the locality after the name of their Leader Maw Rong, which later on became the famous Morong Terai. In the Tai language, Mung Maw Rong means the chief of the Maw country. Mung = country; Maw = name of place; Rong = chief or king.
The first fort or palace which Mung Maw Rong built in the Maw Rong Terai was called Rongli, which means the palace of Rang or king. After many years the same word Rongli became Rongli which is found situated in the east of Biratnagar of East Nepal.
But, in those days, the forest land which he cleared and established his kingdom was under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government of Limbuwan. Therefore, as soon as the establishment of a new kingdom in their territory was heard by the Ten Limbus, they sent a composite force of ten different districts to drive away the new invader. Mung Maw Rong could not endure the might of such a powerful force and fled away towards Tibet and took refuge in Khampa Jong, blending in with the natives of Khampa Jong and becoming one of them However,
77 Kirat Itihas by I. S. Chemjong, 1948 page 7
continued to keep a close watch and was waiting for an opportunity to strike back and invade Limbuwan.
This was the time when his contemporary Srong-Tsen Gampo of Tibet was consolidating his kingdom in the east, west, north and south. Assisted by the clever tact of Mung Maw Rong, he managed to gain the confidence of all the Bhutia tribes of Khampa Jong; ultimately, he was elected the Phipon or Headman of the Khampa Jong village under King Srong-Tsen Gampo of Tibet.
During this period, Senje Lungma or Kathmandu Valley was under the rule of a Kirat King called Hangsu Deva who ruled from the fortress at Koli78 or Kori Drang. Kirat MSS indicates that while he led a self indulgent life and spent a major part of his time hunting, he reigned a peaceful kingdom with happy subjects and had embraced Hinduism although he did not attach much significance to religious instructions. King Hangsu Deva had a council of ten ministers who were called Karthaks, his chief minister Karthak Wookdey was himself a Buddhist. When Karthak Wookdey observed the king's habit of ignoring religious instructions, he made an effort to convert the king into Buddhism. Convinced by his Chief Minister and his council of ministers King Hang-su Deva permitted the teaching of Buddhism in the kingdom and Karthak Wookdey successfully converted him into a Buddhist.
Some of the king's arguments given in the Kirat MSS are translated thus:
Hangsu Deva79: Is it proper that you, being a chief minister, always desire to enjoy happiness?
78 Koli Drang or Dang or Palace was situated on the spot where Babar Mahal stands at present.
79 Hangsu Deva of Kirat MSS is supposed to be the famous Angshu Varma of Nepalese history. 89
Karthak Wookdey : Yes my Lord! There are various interpretations to understand the meaning of enjoying happiness. For example, the cattle enjoy happiness when they find a grassy land. When a king's glory is revealed, his subjects enjoy happiness. If Your Majesty will walk on the path of religion, all the subjects of Your Majesty will enjoy happiness.
Hangsu Deva: What you have said is wholly profound.
Karthak Wookdey: Yes my Lord! There are different meanings to your words "great things� for instance, parents are a great thing. To be a learned man is also a great thing. The religious book is also a great thing. Education is also a great thing. The question of Your Majesty's sin is also a great thing.
Hangsu Deva: You have uttered a proud word!
Karthak Wookdey: Yes my Lord! If we think deeply enough we will find many layers of meaning in the word "proud". For example, if a foe becomes too proud and arrogant, he will die soon. If a soldier shoots his arrow proudly, he will not be able to hit the target. If a rider rides proudly, he will fall down from the horseback. If Your Majesty continues to commit sin with much pride then the outcome is death for you, Your Majesty. Your Majesty will be dragged into the gates of hell by evil spirits and put into a great flame of fire. If Your Majesty is not ready to mend your ways and walk in the path of righteousness during Your Majesty's life-time, then Your Majesty's soul will never attain the highest place of immortal peace.
Hangsu Deva : Now I am tired of your words. I have committed a sin and that makes you ever prepared to respond to any question I put before you.
Karthak Wookdey : Yes my Lord! If one dares to search for a fish in one�s own mind it will be found in one�s brain. If one seeks the true meanings of religious books, he will find it among saints. If the bad consequence of the sins committed by Your Majesty is sought it will be found inside your head, Your Majesty.
Therefore, O King! A man lives in a mortal world and has to suffer untold misery and death. However, the cause and effect of birth and death is written in religious scriptures and there are religious instructions in the holy religious book. So, if one pays heed to such instructions and repents his sins committed in the past and walks in the path of righteousness and righteous work, then he will certainly be redeemed from sin and attain eternal peace of mind80.
Subsequently Kirat King Hangsu Deva of Kathmandu Valley became a Buddhist king, his name, fame and glory extended far and wide such was his grandeur that even the Tibetan King Srong Tsen Gampo asked his daughter Dichum81 to become his queen and allied himself with the great and noble Kirat king.
The year 640 AD saw the death of Kirat King Hangsu Deva and the ascension of his son-in-law, King Srong-Tsen Gampo of Tibet on the throne of Koli or Kathmandu since the king had no male heir to the throne. Srong-Tsen Gampo ruled Nepal valley for a year82 and it is during his reign that he brought twelve divisions of Tamang force and kept them round the Kathmandu Valley for its protection. Tamang force means the cavalry division of Tibet. Ta = horse; mang = war (pronounces mak) and mangmi = soldier; mang = war; mi = man; man of war. Similarly Tamang means for war i.e. a man who fights from a horseback.
80 Rong Kirat MSS
81 Dichun is called Tara or Bhrikuti in Nepalese history.
82 Nepal by Perceval Landon, Vol. 1, page 30
91 The period that proceeded the death of King Harsha Vardan of North India saw one of his ministers Arjun usurp his kingdom with Kanauj as its capital. He insulted a Chinese Ambassador Wang-Heuen-Tse by attacking his mission to Kanauj. The Chinese Ambassador Wang-Heuen-Tse set to retaliate assisted by King Srong -Tsen Gampo of Nepal and Tibet and the Kirat King Bhaskar Varma or Kumara of Assam. King Srong Tsen Gampo dispatched a powerful military force of six Tamang divisions from Nepal for his aid and king Kumara joined forces with the Chinese Ambassador Wang Heuen-Tse waging a war against Arjun, the adversary was defeated in the battle that ensued and was taken as a prisoner of war to Peking.
King Srong-Tsen Gampo, then ordered his vassal Maw Rong of Khampa Jong to invade India through Limbuwan. Maw Rong of Khampa Jong restructured a gigantic army of the fearless Bhutia soldiers and invaded the Federal state of Limbuwan entering through Hatia, Walungsum and Tokpey passes and defeated the Ten Limbu forces in fierce battles that waged on. The Ten Limbu Chiefs sued for peace and surrendered on condition that they would accept King Maw Rong as Over Lord and contribute forces during wars and begged to rule their own districts.
Their terms of peace was accepted by the King bringing an end to the period conflict between the Ten Limbu chiefs and King Maw Rong. This was followed by the formation of a powerful military force comprising of Tibetan as well as Kirat soldiers and the subsequent invasion of the Mithila province of North India and which they also occupied83.
Mung Maw Rong went on to become a revered and celebrated ruler and Hang of Kirat land soon encompassed the areas between Khampajong of Southern Tibet to
83 Decline of the Kingdom of Maghada by B.P. Sinha, page 277
92 Mithila province of Northern India. Pandit Rahul Sankrityayan mentions in his book called "Kumao", page 35 that Tibetan history has recorded that all the chiefs of Himalayan country were under the Tibetan King Srong-Tsen-Gampo in the 7th century84. A record of Shasinath Chaudhary of Mithila in his book called " Maithili Sahitya," claims that Mithila was under the administration of Tibet during the 7th century AD,.
B.P. Sinha also supports and writes in his book,"The Decline of the Kingdom of Magadha", page 277 that Tirhut or North Bihar or Mithila province of North India had been under Tibetan sovereignty for a certain period of time in the 7th century AD85.
After the successful conquest of all the Kirat land of the Eastern Himalayan region, King Maw Rong Hang divided his country into four major provinces namely the Khombuwan, Limbuwan, Lapchan and Mawrong and ruled this state in accordance with the feudal system of the times. The land between the Kathmandu valley and river Dud Koshi was called Khombuwan. The Libhuwan state extended from the river Dudh Koshi in the west to river Mechi in the east. The district of Khampajong was situated in the Libuwan state and became the capital. The Lapchan province lay between river Mechi and river Teesta in the east. Mawrong was the name assigned to identify all the plain lands that he had invaded and subjugated.
The town of Radok near Khampajong became the capital and Shanguri or Jhamaguri near Bijaypur of East Nepal was named as the Winter capital He divided his army into four divisions and was commanded by the four Karthaks. The lower military officers were called Kabos and were responsible for the appointment and removal of common soldiers, whom they called Veeks. Tasos were appointed to govern the Provinces and the Phipons looked
84 Kumao by Pandit Rahul Sankrityayan, page 37
85 Decline of the Kingdom of Maghada by B.P. Sinha, page 277
93 after the village welfare. He even allotted small plot land sans revenue for the use of palace servants, these were called Nongzen.
The council comprised of Hang or king, Tummyang or minister, Karthaks or military officers and Tasos or governors. He introduced writing among the Kirat people and called it the Rong Chhyo86. It was during this era that Rong or Lapcha class of the Kirat people asserted their right of residence in Eastern Nepal87. The two castes intermingled and fused to such a degree that Limbu tradition mentions that the Ten Limbus or Tsong kati and Ten Lapchas or Rong kati are progeny of a common ancestor.
Being a Buddhist king Maw Rong Hang translated many Buddhist scriptures into Rong Kirat language. Karthak Wookdey Sung, the Timi Kanden Sung, the Lingebu Sung, the Guru Chhyo Ong Namthar, the Tasey Sung Namthar and Nangshe Sung Namthar are translations of Tibetan literature. Almost ten percent of the Tibetan language was amalgamated in the Rong Kirat language Although king Maw Rong Hang preached and practiced Buddhism to his subjects he did not discourage them from following their own Kirat culture of Munlom faith.
It was king Maw Rong Hang who introduced a festival among the Kirat people called "Namband" meaning New Year which literally meant Nam = year; band = to carry; i.e. to carry a new year. It was an occasion when people throughout the province rejoiced the end of a successful harvest and worshiped the good spirit God, �Tukbo Thing Rum," by offering libations in the form of new crops and was accompanied by exhibitions of archery, tug-of-war, stone throw and dance. The festival generally took place in the last week of December, presently it is observed by the Kirat people of Dhankuta, Ilam, Darjeeling,
86 Himalayan Journal by Sir Joseph Hooker, page 95
87 Ibid, page 57
94 Kalimpong and Sikkim. (Here Kirat people include the Athabrey Rais and Lapchas as well ) and is referred to as "Losung" in Bhutia language and observed by Bhutias of southern Tibet and Sikkim.
The Rong or Lapcha Kirat people originated from three sources. The first group who claimed its origin from the west or Elam of Southern Persia to Eastern Nepal was called the Elammu or Elamite family. Arammu were residents of Aram land, or Syria. The second group of Khamba Lapchas, migrated from Kham of Eastern Tibet or Suchuwang province of China. The third group, Rong Lapchas who belonged to Nam Maw and Tai Tembe, Nam Gam Tembe of Mokwan locality of Unan province of Southern China, had entered Nepal via North Burma with their leader Mung Maw Rong. All three groups settled and intermingled in East Nepal and claimed themselves to be Rong or Mutan Chi Rong- a distorted version of Mung Tai Chi Rong. The term Lapcha was coined by their close neighbors the Bahing Rai tribe of Khombuwan for their residence was situated in the eastern corner of Kirat land of modern Nepal.
King Maw Rong Hang had no male issue and he bequeathed the kinship to one of his able Tumyangs or ministers called Mokwan Shan after his demise88. The latter ruled the country for a brief period and was overpowered by the invasion of king Uba Hang of the Lasa dynasty.
88 Gurkhas by Col. Vansitart, page 101
The Mun or the female priest of the Rong Kirat populace instructs her people about the existence of Rum God or Tukbo Thing, one of the most powerful and celebrated good spirit. Her abode is Bo-inda or heaven and she dwells in the midst of a bright light and Moong or Chhuge-Moong-Pano the malignant king of evil spirits or who permanently dwells in Nyok or hell. They are the two powerful spirits of protection and preservation and the deity of destruction. Folklore has it that the human beings who dwelled on earth were distressed by Moongs or the evil spirits and God Tukbo Thing Rum came to their rescue by sending forth a Bung-Thing or male priest to protect and wrench them away from the harmful clutches of evil spirits. When Bung-Thing, the heavenly priest stepped on earth he saw innumerable evil spirits had taken refuge in the trees, caves, streams, hills, valleys, water and marshy lands from where they troubled mankind. He informed all of them that he had been sent by God for mankind�s protection but there were so many evil spirits that he would be unable to save mankind. He would go back to heaven and report on the trouble and misery that evil spirits had wreaked upon the earth dwellers. The evil spirits requested Bung-Thing not to return to heaven, and instead asked him to agree upon a convenient arrangement. They told him that if they started troubling humans Bung-Thing, they would be offered blood sacrifices of birds and animals and they would stop troubling humans victims. They would take the breath of life of birds and animals and leave the carcass for Bung-Thing to eat assuring that humans suffering from the possession of evil spirits would be cured. Bung-Thing made them pledge a promise and thus taken
96 under oath the malignant spirits vowed by spitting on the surrounding hills, water and trees. After which the hills slipped down and the water and trees dried away. Bung Thing was finally convinced and therefore, agreed to live on earth and started to appease the evil spirits by offering blood sacrifices for the deliverance of earth dwellers however he never taught people about righteousness. God Tukbo Thing Rum was not satisfied with the turn of events and decided to send forth a Mun, the female priest to spread among mankind the message of righteousness as the only path to a heavenly after life Mun, therefore, came and spread the word of righteousness and the religion that she preached became to be known as Mun-Lom. Mun = the priestess and Lom = the way. The religion preached about God, the way to heaven, the dwelling place of God Tukbo Thing Rum. everybody was asked to worship and believe in the God of righteousness, the wonderful king and protector of all animate and inanimate objects saying that man was after all mortal and should follow the holy religious rules as laid down by their priest or priestess. He must think of an everlasting life after death.
There are some people believed in righteousness while some did not and the latter who fail to understand the consequence of righteousness may be compared to birds of feather and animals of fur, creatures who never realize the difference between the good and evil. Therefore, man must study and truly realize righteousness he must read books of religion and closely adhere to instructions imparted in them and listen carefully to the instruction of righteousness. Feed a hungry and thirsty person, help the helpless deal kindly with neighbours. The Mun says that, a mortal never heeds religious instruction and when death arrives man's mortal remains becomes a corpse and the soul craves for righteousness hovering above the corpse. The spirit thinks of the world he has left behind his wife, husband, children, domestic birds and animals. Although his spirit can be incarnated into his child or grand-child he
97 himself will never come back to life again since death is eternal.
Therefore, one should practice abstinence from sin and abide by the religious instructions this will help man walk towards the path of God or Tukbo Thing Rum. He can meditate to reach the dwelling place of God or Tukbo Thing Rum. A good and religious, man will never be born again and even if he does he would not be condemned to roam earth in a lowly birth. Sinners have to dwell on earth as swines and fowls however if a good and pious man dies he will be able to meditate and reach the holy abode of God Tukbo Thing Rum, and will never want to come back to earth again. He will find a place in the highest place of righteousness where his soul will reunite with the souls of his ancestors. In this land of the blessed or Bo-Inda, or the place of infinite peace and happiness there is eternal life and no pain
Bo-Inda is divided into four parts of bright light, bright dark, bright yellow and bright blue, colours of the rays of God Tukbo Thing's power. Words cannot describe the degree of joy and happiness in Bo-Inda. It is the dwelling of all righteous souls, abode of God Tukbo Thing Rum and his saints89.
KING UBA HANG (849 - 865 AD)
After the death of King Maw Rong Hang, Uba Hang rose to prominence in East Nepal. The Sikkim gazetteer mentions Uba Hang as one of the most powerful king of the Limbus who introduced a new faith among them.
The Kirat Mundhum mentions that King Uba Hang's ancestors came from the province of Muna Khamna, now known as Suchuwang in China, Tibetan history calls it the Kham and is referred as Kham-Minyang in Sikkimese
89From an Old Lapcha MSS
98 history and in the ancient days was known as Shin-yuk. Long before the times of king Uba Hang, there was a great Queen who supremely reigned over Shin-yuk and was known as Su-yen-no-su-nu-Hangma. One day she ordered a congregation of all her military officers and ordered the consolidation of her empire by a series of invasions in the east, west, north and south and asked them to rule the invaded districts and spread the faith of Yumaism or the worship of the most powerful spirit, Yuma Sam among the conquered subjects. Thus a successful series of invasions in all four direction of the Shin-yuk country was initiated. "Towards the close of the second century BC, major campaigns were carried on by successful generals.Chinese arms were carried far into Central Asia, Khotan, Kokand and Pamir became part of Chinese Empire90. Military leader Su-wang-Hang advanced in the south-westerly direction while his son Mu-na-phen-Hang invaded the country of Hor or Horu people of Northern Tibet or Mongolia and taught them Yumaism91. The Hor, Horpa or Horu people of Kirat Mundhum or Northern Tibet or Mongolia were descendants of the Tyurk or Turk race whose patriarch was Japhet, the eldest son of Noah92. Being of a bigger physical structure than the people of Southern and Eastern Tibet, they were called "Khachhe" which literally meant a man of big face while the Chinese called them "Kawche93.
Tibetan mythology has it that there were no human beings in Tibet. Only, animals and birds inhabited the land and among them was a massive giantess. One day an ape attacked her and mixed its blood with that of the giantess leading to the conception of a race of humans who lived
90 History of Nations - The Chinese by Prof. H.A. Giles, M.A. LL.D.P., page 77
91 Kirat Mundhum by I.S. Chemjong, page 86
92 The History of Central Asia by Tahul Sankrityayan, page 248
93 Journal of the Tribhuwan University; "The Origin of Thakuri" by I.S. Chemjong, 1961, page 56
99 and eventually spread all over Tibet and became followers of the faith imported from foreign countries.
Tibetan history claims that the first Tibetan king descended from the Sakya family of the Lichhavi race of Northern India and his name was Nathi-champo. Sikkimese history also mentions that, "Although there are several different stories to the identity the name and caste of the prince, who came upto Tibet from India, yet all invariably agreed that a prince of the Sakya family of Lichhavi race of India actually went upto Tibet and became the First King of Tibet94. He was called Nathi-Chanpo which means enthroned on the shoulders". It was he who built a palace and named it Wumbu-Land-Khar.
The 27th king in descent from him was Lha-Tho-Tho-Ri, Nyen shal who reigned for eight years. The fourth king in descent from Lha Tho Tho Ri Nyen shal was Namri Rong Shan. During his reign astrology and medicinal science were introduced into Tibet from China. Salt mines were discovered in the north. His son was Srong-Tsen Gampo, born in 629 AD. He consolidated the Tibetan Empire and helped the Chinese ambassador Wang Huen Tse with his Tamang cavalry force to fight against Arjun, the usurper of the kingdom of Harsha Burdhan of North India. King Srong-Tsen Gampo ordered his vassals to invade and conquer as much land as they could and the Himalayan as well Mithila province of North India regarded him as the sole monarch95. He established friendly and diplomatic ties with the Kirat king Hangsu Deva or Angsu Varma of Li-Yul or Koli or Kathmandu Valley and married his daughter Balzah Lha-Ching-Khri- Tsun or Bhri-kuti according to Nepalese history. As king Hangsu Deva did not have a male heir to ascend the throne, king Srong- Tsen Gampo of Tibet succeeded him on the throne of
94 Unpublished Sikkim History by H.H. the Maharaja Thutob Namgyal, page 2
95 Kumao by Rahul Sankrityayan, page 35
100 Kathmandu and kept Tamang soldiers around the Kathmandu valley to defend the capital city96.
Although King Srong Tsen Gampo�s reign lasted for a year he did not take his Tamang cavalry force back to Tibet which led to the permanent settlement of the tamang soldiers in and around the valley. The Tamangs soon intermingled with the old Kirat nation and spread from Central to Eastern and Western Nepal. They were under 12 chief officers namely Baju, Bal, Bomjan, Ghising, Giaba, Goley, Mikchan, Moktan, Pakhrin, Syangden, Thing and Yonjan. Five generations after king Srong-Tsen Gampo, king Khri -Srong- Deus- Tsan was born and it was in his reign that Guru Padma Sama Bhawa, Shanta Rakhita and Bimala Mitra were invited to Tibet approximately in the year 749 AD.
King Khri-Srong-Deus-Tsan had three sons called Mune-Changpo, Murung-Changpo and Mu-Khri-Changpo. Four generations after Khri-Srong-Deus-Tsan, Mngahb-Dag-Khri-Ral-Chen (Na-Dag-Thi-Ral-Chen) king of Tibet was renowned as a religious and pious leader he regarded all Buddhist priests as gods a policy that continually offended his ministers. So great was his religious zeal and fervor that to express his veneration and esteem for the buddhisst priests it is said that he divided his hair into plaits and having spread them on the ground let the priests sit on them to show that he held priesthood in the highest esteem as high as the crown itself97.
Although southern Tibet was influenced by Buddhism, northern Tibet still retained the original faith of Yumanism. The apostate ministers of king Na-Dag-Thi-Ral-Chen of Southern Tibet and the king of Northern Tibet conspired an assasination. King Muna Phen Hang of North Tibet had grown old and his son Lasa Hang ruled Northern
96 Late General Lobzang Dhondup of Tibetan army mentioned that king Srong Tsen Gampo came to Nepal with Tamang force, but while returning he did not take them back to Tibet.
97 Tibetan History in Tibetan MSS by H.H.T 101
Tibet he instigated the apostate ministers of Southern Tibet to murder the Buddhist king Na-Dag-Thi-Ral-Chen. Accordingly the year 833 AD saw the assasination of the king and Lasa Hang of North Tibet was placed on the throne of Southern Tibet and came to be known as Lang-Darma in Tibetan history.98 Lasa Hang became the monarch of Northern and Southern Tibet and the land under his rule was called "The Phey". the word Tibet owes its origin to The+Phey=The+Bey; Ti + Bey = Tibet. Lasa Hang made Upajong (meaning the fort of the residents of Northern Tibet ) the capital of his state and ruled Tibet for six years.
Some scholars believe that Tibetans believed in Bonism. But, Lama Lobzang Jivaka refutes this belief by saying that Bonism was not the faith of the of the Tibetans and was Animist-Shamanism and had made its way from either China or Central Asia.99 Tibet had no faith of its own and did not believe in the existence of God and they were taught to believe in the faith after the advent of foreigners from northern and eastern directions and the intermingling that took place with the tribes of Tibet. King Lasa Hang of Tibet was a devout Yumaist and made an effort to propagate the faith to Tibetans, although Buddhism has already been introduced in Tibet by Thonmi Sambota, who had widely travelled from Tibet to India and reached Kashi Banaras studied Buddhism extensively and had learned Indian scripts of Hlencha and Wartu and on his return to Upajong had started preaching Buddhism. However, king Lasa Hang, was not in favour of this foreign culture.
Lalung Paldor, one of the followers of Thonmi Sambota began to preach Buddhism actively in Upajong. But was soon ordered by king Lasa Hang called to his Jong
98 Tibetan History in MSS by HH the Maharaja Thutob Namgyal of Sikkim
99 The Indo Asian Culture, October 1961; Introduction of the Vazrayana by Lobzang Jivaka, page 259 102 (palace) where he was told that it was good to study a foreign religion, but to disregard one's own faith was worse, adding that religion is the study of one's own civilization and to study other's religion and to reform one's own existing culture is the greatest progress and improvement. Lalung Paldor disagreed with the king,s theory and began preaching Buddhism with much more fervour than before.
King Lasa Hang expressed his displeasure by the suppression of Buddhism in Upajong100. The Tibetan Lamas instigated by Lalung Paldor opposed the king leading to the murder of the ruler and the naming of king lasa hang as "Lang Darma" or the Bull headed man. Queen Yum was given the royal seat of Upajong and they began to administer the land by holding the second office in the state the word Upajong became Lhasa, the land of Gods.
The assassination of Kirat King Lasa Hang of Tibet in Lhasa in the year 839 AD101 was followed by the disintegration of the Tibetan sovereignty and every hamlet and province claimed their own king.
Uba Hang and Changba Hang sons and rightful heirs of King Lasa Hang referred as U-Sung and Yum-Ten in Tibetan contended for the throne and after a bitter dispute between the two the Lamas of Lhasa decision to elect the youngest Prince Changba Hang as monarch prevailed. Sikkimese history mentions that although Yumten or Changba Hang was the older of the two he was not the son of King Langdarma or Lasa Hang102.
The Kirat Mundhum mentions that, some time between 841-854 AD, the senior Prince Uba Hang disheartened and disgraced by the partiality of the Lamas, launched a succession of attacks on all the Jongs or forts
100 Tibetan MSS
101 Kirat Mundhum by I. S. Chemjong 1961, page 86
102Sikkim History in MSS by HH the Maharaja of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal
103 of Southern Tibet and occupied Changpa jong, Pao jong, Samye jong, Tanak jong, Tingkyejong and Khampa jong of southern Tibet103.
Under the spiritual guidance of his familiar powerful spirit, Yumasam, Prince Uba Hang was inspired in the last week of April and led his campaign southwards. This practice is still observed by the Kirats (Limbu, Rai and Yakkha) today and is accompanied by paying homage to goddess Yumasam or Lasa Hangma( Udhauli in Nepali language).
Uba Hang led his Tibetan force towards southern Tibet and invaded several forts of Kirat land of Mt. Himalaya which was under the sovereignty of Kirat king Mokwan-Shan, the successor of the famed King Mawarong Hang.
The Kirat soldiers fought bravely but were subdued and the Kirat forts of Taplijong, Agyajong, Pomejong, Mapejong, Yashokjong, Miklajong and Chhempowa of Kirat land were overtaken and the victorious conqueror marked the boundaries of his empire on the borders of Mithila provice of North Bihar which was then under king Vigrah Pal of Pal dynasty104. As Dharma Pal, the king of Magadha had taken back the administration of Mithila from the hand of Tibetan or Kirat king in 770-815 AD. Uba Hang became the second Kirat king who ruled a kirat land that encompassed Southern Tibet. He fixed his Northern boundary at Changpajong in Tibet and Southern boundary near Mithila province of North India105. He followed a policy that encouraged fraternising with aborigines and adopted Kirat nationality.
He constructed Chhempo Jong106 or big fort or castle an enormous fortress at the foothills of Ilam district of East Nepal. He introduced a script and taught subjects
103 Kirat Mundhum by I. S. Chemjong 1961, page 87
104 Kumao by Rahul Sankrityayan, page 35
105 Kirat MSS
106 Kirat Itihas by I. S. Chemjong, 1941,
104 the faith of Yuma-Sam or the incarnated spirit and ruled for sixteen years (849-865 AD). Buddhism which was introduced by introduced by king Mawrong Hang was supressed during his reign which resulted in the migration Kirat Buddhists, the Lapchas and Doyas, famous Kirat Buddhists immigrated to Sikkim and Bhutan and the Monpas went further east and settled in Ta wang of Thak-yul107.
It was King Uba Hang who introduced a festival for Kirat people called Tong-Sum-Tong-Nam. held in the last week of April after every three years. It celebrated King Uba Hang's successful campaign over Upa Jong or Lasa Jong of Tibet to Mithila province of North Bihar. After the conquest of Southern Tibet, Kirat land Terai land of Himalayan reign, King Uba Hang gave a great feast to his ministers and officials in the fortress palace of Chhempo Jong and decreed that that since it took him three years to conquer the territories from Tibet to India a celebration should take place once in every three years to mark the day and event of this triumphant victory. The literal translation of the term Tong-Sum-Tong-Nam is the three years festival, Tong �Sum meant three years while Tong-Nam means festival. He taught the worship of his guardian deity and the powerful spirit of Yumasam and asked his subjects to venerate the spirit by offering fruits and flowers since this unique spirit did not eat flesh and alcohol blood sacrifices were taboo. Yumasam or Tagera Ningwa Phuma meaning the Omnipresent God of Knowledge, creator of the universe and spiritual guide of all who revered and believed in his sacred power. This festival is currently observed in Pancthar district of Limbuwan and is called the Trisala puja.
107 The present NEFA district used to be called Tahk-yul in those days
105 KING MABO HANG (865-880 AD)
Uba Hang was succeeded by his worthy son Mabo Hang in 865 AD he ruled Kirat land for fifteen years with the title of Thakthakkum Mabo Hang. An able ruler who was widely respected and celebrated as an incarnation of God Yumasam, the great kings name is evoked in prayers even today in the Yuma Sam festival of Kirat land in East Nepal and addressed by the name of Hangba Raja in Nepalese.
Light has been thrown in his significant place in the annals of Kirat history as an incarnate of god Yumasam, the creator of the universe. It is said that when king Mabo hang moved his capital from Chhempo Jong to Yashok Jong, although a great devotee of Yumasam he was tempted to hunt the musk-deer. The Kirat Mundhum mentions that Khojum a minister in his court counseled the king to hunt the elusive musk-deer in Namphu Kokma(yok) a high mountain range The king set forth on a massive hunt accompanied by four ferocious hunting dogs, Chijingna, Takadong, Takedong and Paraden. On reaching the high dwelling place of the deer the dogs spotted a deer and pursued it closely followed by the band of royal hunters accompanying the king a short while later the deer as well as the dogs disappeared.
The band of hunters exhausted after the pursuit rested on a glade minister Khojum108 then chanced upon the sight of a beautiful lady, weaving a silken cloth, telling the king of the good fortune of finding such a beautiful lady in the midst of such solitary and wild surrounding suggesting that she should be taken as booty to the king's palace.
The god-fearing king Mabo Hang answered"The dogs and the deer have disappeared and at the same time
108 Kirat Mundhum by I. S. Chemjong, 1961 page 88
106 an extraordinary sight has been revealed today, certainly there is a significance in this No one should think ill of her. I will approach the lady and inquire.�
Picking up some flowers and leaves as offering for the celestial being, kneeling before her with folded hands and offering prayers he asked her of her identity saying that human beings could not discern truth and her appearance in the midst of wilderness had brought wonderment and puzzlement at the truth that lay hidden behind this, asking her whether she was a goddess or a human.
The beautiful being replied that she was the spirit of Yumasam and had appeared there in the form of a weaving girl saying that she had appeared to test the king. Adding that she was pleased to receive the king's daily devotion saying that the great king himself would in time come to know who she actually was uttering these words she vanished from the king's sight. As he was pondering on this marvelous spiritual experience his followers heard the dogs barking and saw them chasing the deer in hot pursuit the band of royal hunters and killed it.
Upon his return to the palace of Yashok Jong king Mabo Hang found himself puzzling over the true identity of the lady in the vision he continued praying and begging Yumasam to give him the meaning of the vision of the forest.
After his regular prayer and a fasting that lasted for seven days, one evening, the same apparition appeared before the king in the shape of an old lady and vanished without talking to the king. The king greatly confused and bewildered and so he meditated thinking deeply on the significance of this vision t and then miraculously the spirit of Yumasam possessed him and he was inspired to narrate oracles. He began to recite Mundhum he cited the beginnings of the universe and the existence of God. He recited Yumasam's guidance to his ancestors in the past days. The oracle said that the spirit Yumasam would help
107 everybody who worshipped her she would gift him strength, knowledge, wisdom, power and wealth. She said she was Ningwaphuma, the power that creator preserves and destroyer the universe. She had the power to make a man wise and make fool out of him and that everyone should worship her.
Amazed at this remarkable and marvelous spiritual blessings, his subjects regarded him as the incarnation of spirit Yumasam. The spirit left his body of the king but he continued to preach the faith of Yumasam to subjects.
Since this time of the first inspiration of the spirit of God Ningwaphuma in the form of Yumasam from the palace of Yashok Jong, all people began to address Yumasam by the name of "Yashokyeni". Indo-Aryan languages influenced the Kirat people, they began to address Yumasam by the name of Yashokyeni Maharani.
Even unto this day Kirat people and other Nepalese worship Yumasam by the name of Yashokyeni, Maharani, Buri Boju or Thakthakkumma Mabohangma, Hangba Raja Hangma Rani. And otherwise called the Limbu Deota or the Limbu God - a belief currently prevalent in Eastern Nepal.
1 Yakthung sase khepsamme, O !
Heni choitangba masam
Tagerago Ningwa Phuma
Siwadinggo khahun allo
Mettungba kak husingma ro.
�Listen and Learn yea children of Kirat people. I am he, who is the Principal spirit of God Yumasam, the
108 Omnipresent Ningwaphuma, who is imparting sacred instructions."
2 Aphne laji pokma den-go
Kelerummang tha tha Laji
Kepherisang kima menlo !
Yongma sima chokma men-lo !
Theang- phelle tho Lajisang
Yo Lajisang Ingain lo
Heni kerek Ingain lo
�Although you have come to a far away land forsaking your original dwelling place, fear not, or have no doubts in your mind for all the land, the upper or lower belong to me and you are all my people.�
3 Anden anden torokdinggo
Tangsang hopte,iksadinggo
Kambek hopte, khahopsanggo
Mushop nesse, misumdinggo
Mirak lumnu, khasumdinggo
Khasang lumnu inga tyang- ro
Amuk samnu nawa choit
Chogunganggo, asikkumle
aningwale menchham yapmi
chogung-anggo, iksa khambek,
Mikki phungwa chogung-anggo
Asasephang nanurung �lo.
�In the beginning of creation, there was no sky, no earth and not even light solitary darkness prevailed.
109 Appearing from the flames of fire and rays of light, I created and through my sacred power of knowledge and wisdom, I created human beings who dwelled on earth like flowers and I bestowed love on them as I would to children of my own.�
4 Anden thikleng menchham saha
Layo lasot mejogulle
Huneha kak meksung desung
Menchham saha Choitangban
Mellesun go, Choitangbal
Kak amek-lo
Samjik mundhum kesabaha
Siwadinggo Khahun piru
Kekhembaha mehinge ro
Mengkhembaha memasing-lo
�In ancient times humans committed a great and unpardonable sin and I destroyed them. If human beings do not care for the master creator, he is sure to be doomed, people who listened to their religious instructors were saved. However those who did not abide by them were condemned to doom and destruction.�
5 Yamye yamye menchham saha,
Siwadinggo khahun pima
Tagerago Ningwaphuma,
Muhigumgo ongsi lengsing,
Chapa yapmi lengsing-anggo,
Yapmi lummo meda meyung,
Siwadinggo khahun huru,
110 Menchham saha kusingnipma,
Kunasama husingmaang,
Okhedinggo tacheng khemma,
Singsing pongma, yek yek pongma
Chappa pongma, Ningwaphuma,
Sewa chokma, chedo chokma,
Samyo yambok chokmalego,
Menchham saha kak mehing-ro,
Layo yambok chokmalego,
Menchham saha mesi memek-lo.
�From time to time God Ningwaphuma appears among mankind in the guise of wise men who preach religious instructions. The Humans should listen, understand and believe in them you are advised to be wise, clever and ambitious. Humans should worship and believe in God for those that are righteous will be saved and those who commit sin will perish.�
6 Shinyuknugo inga tarung,
Amuk sammlle thong-o pharung,
Shinyuk Muden Lochha chogung,
Mudennugo koyo tarung,
Suyennugo Sunu Hangma
Inga pokkhang kon samyoin,
Shema chogung , siwadinggo
Khahun pima mura mettung.
�I delivered your people from Shinyuk and assisted you in the battle.It was I who made Shinyuk and Muden into one country and led you from Muden to this place. I
111 took the form of the great queen Su yen no, Suno Hangma and ordered you to preach this faith among your people.�
7 Upajongnu Changpajong tarung,
Tama lammo lamlo chogung,
Yokkha kerek nandung desung,
Temen laji indok yukhung,
Amukkille chyasang chogung,
Chyasang chokma kak suktung-lo.
�I delivered you from Upajong to Changpajong in Tibet and during the course of your long journey became the leader who conquered forts and marked the boundaries of your land in the plains. It is with this power that I attained the unattainable. I did whatever I thought best for your people and I am capable of achieving anything that I wish.�
8 Heni inga tarungsing -lo,
Heni inga hingkhungsing -lo,
Heni kerek ingain lo,
Kima okma theang men-lo,
A-sewago nurik chogo,
A-pan kerek khepsamme o,
Yumasamgo inga-a ro,
Ningwa Phuma inga-a ro,
A-muk tagang hasang thesang,
Chokma metma menchhuktun-lo.
�I have led you and I will save you for you are mine, fear not and do not hesitate. Be devout and worship
112 me well and obey my instructions for I am the God Ningwaphuma. No force in the world can subdue and face the strength of my divine power.�
9 Mukkum samgo inga-a ro,
Numa tama inga pine,
Sikkum ningwa yapmi muee,
Hangsam mangsam pinening-lo.
Inga aming mebotemme
Kesingdinggo manu mangphang,
A-phoktang yo yungemme o,
Hekkeanggo inga missung,
Hangwa phungwa pinening-lo,
Kheni mitma mebongnen-lo,
Sa-menchhahanang mebo mebek-lo.
�I am an indomitable and powerful spirit. I will bestow prosperity and happiness on you and gift the spirit of knowledge, wisdom, leadership and bless you with longevity. However do not forsake and forget me. .Regard me as your parent and abide by my religious doctrines. You will enjoy happiness and love and be blessed. You shall not repent, your sons and descendants shall be great among all people.�
10 Neha tappa neha nappa,
Thong kejokpa thong kesakpa,
Hang kepiba hang keteba,
Samyo layo kak keippa,
Yumasamgo inga-a ro,
Layo lasot inga chittung,
113 Samyo ningwa inga missung
Ningwa nurik ittemme o !
Ningwa sangsang chogemme o !
Shey shey sangsang pokhemme o!
Tumba mangsam phoba mangsam,
Togang mangsam egang mangsam,
Yuma sammang inga-a ro,
Sikkum ningwa, kegottumgo,
Inga sorik wayemme o !
Yangsa-yechha me-eptenno,
Wesma hingkho wesma pharo !
Wesma hingma wesma phama,
Aphe hingma aphe phama,
Nuba lamphang kusingnitto,
Kusingnipma yomba muk lo.
�I am the principal spirit of Yumasam, the cardinal force that ushers in and drives enemies away, makes and stops war; ordains and expels kings; who considers right and wrong. Sins make me sad and I love those who are blessed with good mind. So pay heed and keep your mind pure and enlightened. I am Yumasam, the superior spirit of all spirits. If anyone desires knowledge, he shall receive it, by being beneficial and saving others you will safeguard yourself To acquire understanding of this great power is to attain great and deep knowledge109.�
Amendment of the Religious Rites of
1. King Mabo Hang encouraged his subjects to worship Yumasam with offerings of flowers and in
109 Kirat Mundhum by I. S. Chemjong, 1961, page 91-95
114 the absence of natural flowers her ordered them to spread a piece of red cloth on the altar decorated with artificial flowers of reeds called Muktuphung on a leaf of Banana asking them to refrain from blood sacrifice of all kinds even Toto110 was not permitted in the altar asking the faithful to worship Yumasam with Totophung111 in place of Toto.
2. The bride and bridegroom were recognized as blossoming human flowers and during the marital ceremony they were not allowed to adorn their body with any kind of flower except a particular kind called Chomenaphung112 and Sesephung113 flowers used to make the garlands of the bridegroom given by the bride during the marriage ceremony.
3. Mikjiriphung, a wild flower was used to adorn dead body and in the absence of thse special flowers, its leaves could be used.
4. In the absence of Phedangba or shaman of the Kirat people, king Mabo Hang decreed that womanfolk were allowed to conduct religious function as male priest. She was given the authority to perform any sort of religious rites during ceremonies and a female priest was called Yema.
5. In the absence of any male or female priests while undertaking a religious or social function any member of the community who was well versed
110 Toto means a fried meat of any bird or animal including the pieces of their heart, liver, lung and kidney.
111 Toto Phung means flowers of various colours and size.
112 A flower garland of small pieces of the top of wild bamboo of high altitude called Pokmik and Jasmin is called Chomena Phung.
113 Sese Phung is a wild plant from the fruit of which a red powder is produced. After receiving the flower garland from the bride, the bridegroom makes a red mark on the forehead of bride.
115 with religious rules and regulations and social custom was allowed to conduct the function.
6. A priest or priestess was to be assisted by assistants during religious ceremonies and they were called Yakapsiba and Yakapsima.
Feudal Antagonism
The king ordered all subjects of kirat land to pay their land revenue in kind instead of cash. He ordered as by way of revenue one pound of fish brain was to be paid to the king's court. An order that caused widespread unrest in the country and the Chilikchom people refused to pay the tax to the king. The king punished the Chilikchoms, they left the kingdom choosing to migrate to the land of another feudal king called Nahang. His kingdom was situated to the east of King Mabo Hang's country and was called Daramden, presently in Western Sikkim.
The Chilikchom people incited king Na Hang of Daramden against their old king Mabo Hang of Kirat land. A firece battle ensued between the two kings along Mabung(Mabu) situated to the east of present Ilam town the region that formed the boundary between the two kingdoms. A war was fought and the feudal king Na Hang brought his Lapcha military force. King Nahang was defeated and driven back from his country and the Chilikchom tribes were forbidden to reside within his kingdom for many generations.
The king ordered all subjects of kirat land to pay their revenue in kind instead of cash. As by way of revenue he demanded a pound of fish brain to be offered to the king's court. A decree that caused widespread unrest in the country with the result that the Chilikchom people refused to pay the taxes. The king punished the Chilikchoms and they left the kingdom choosing to migrate
116 to the land of another feudal king called Nahang. His kingdom was situated to the east of King Mabo Hang's country and was called Daramden, presently in Western Sikkim.
The Chilikchom people incited king Nahang of Daramden against their old king Mabo Hang of Kirat land. A fierce battle ensued between the two kings along Mabung situated to the east of present Ilam town the region that formed the boundary between the two kingdoms. A war was fought and the feudal king Nahang brought his Lapcha military force. King Na Hang was defeated and driven back from his country and the Chilikchom tribes were forbidden to reside within his kingdom for many generations.
All the descendents of King Mabo Hang and his followers claimed Lasagotra.
The Anarchical period
King Mabo Hang of Kirat land was succeeded by his son Muda Hang. Being a weak ruler his feudal chiefs revolted against him. All the ten Limbu chiefs declared independence in their own districts and began ruling independently.
The Khambo chiefs also stood against King Muda Hang and began to struggle for their independence. The Khewa Limbus who consisted of Maden, Tumba, Tegla, Chong bang, Anglabang and Mangyak among whom Tumba hang was the leader. The Naga chief Chhyongden Hang of Tokmiden, called Hati Kharka in the district of Dhankuta also fought for independence from Tumba Hang.
In the battle that took place Naga chief Chhyongden Hang was defeated and left his native land
117 and migrated to Assam. Descendants of his tribe are found even today in the district of Dhankuta in Limbuwan. Some old historians believe that the Athaprey tribes, the Tamkul or Agengmi tribes are descendants of the Naga Kirat people. Many old graves unearthed in limbhuwan contained a kind of earthen beads claimed by the Naga people of Assam as their tribal relics and called Manimala and referred to as Ma-icchi by Limbus.
Tumba Hang, Chhotharia chief of the Khewa tribe occupied the land, formerly occupied by Naga chief Chhyongden Hang and known as Kipat land of Chhyongden Hang is still under them.
A contemporary of the same era Khokya Hang ruled from Hastapur fort of Yangwarok and hailed from the Angbo Hang tribe. During the same period Kirat chief of Li Yong Khong village, Yongyahang, raised a force and led an aggression on Hastapur. In the battle the Angbo Hang chief was defeated and fled to Athrai Thum and established a small kingdom there. They were altogether eight tribes called Angbohang, Ingnamphe, Kondongwa, Loktamba, Yokshoba, Sendang, Ewa and Waji.
Khombowan itself was divided and ruled by five chieftains. Chief Mapey Hang's followers were Khalings, chief Kortap Hang was the chief of Nachereng, Dumi and Kulung tribes, Dyortap Hang was the king of Thulung, Sotang and Bahing tribes, Chepta Hang was king of the Chamling tribe and lastly Namdung Hang was the king of the Bantawa and Sangpang tribes.
History states that these chieftains fought against each other for the boundaries of their districts.114
The country of Lapcha Kirat people was divided into four districts. The four districts were Ilam lyang, San gut lyang, and Tamsang lyang and Mayel lyang. Each
114 Subedar Bir Bahadur Rai's information.
118 district was ruled by chiefs called Karthaks 115 involved in a long and continuos fight for their frontiers.
Likewise, the Panchtharia Limbus comprising of Mabo Hang116, Papo Hang, Thegim Hang, Nembang Hang117 and Makkhim Hang tribes were battling against each other. The Pap song tribe revolted against the Papo Hang, Nembang Hang fought with Mabo Hang and Thegim Hang fought the Thamsuhang tribe. The latter originated from Sikkim chief in fact Sikkimese history documented by HH the Maharaja Thutop Namgyal mentions that at the arrival of his forefather Kye-Bum-sa in Gangtok, the land was largely inhabited by Lapcha Kirat people. The name of the Lapcha village was Tashi-Tengka and was ruled by chief Sambar Kye Bum-sa had three sons, Kyao-rap, Langmo-rap and Mipon-rap. One day, Kye-Bum-sa summoned the princes and questioned them in turn about their ambition. Kyao-rap had promised to become the ruler of a foreign land and had migrated from Gangtok having settled in Paryangbung in Panchthar district. He fought against Hangdip Hang of Thegim Limbus. Thamsuhang was defeated, so Thegim Hang occupied Paryangbung village.
Similarly, Phedapia Limbus consisted of six chiefs. They were Tumbangphe, Sodemba, Pongyanggo, Ninglekhu, Pongyangbo and Songbangphe. They fought the aged chief Phedop Hang and overthrew him.
In Panchthar district Nembang Hang fought King Muda Hang. The latter had a son called Wedo Hang, the Mundhum claims that he had been gifted with extraordinary strength and blessed by the power of a spirit called Muksam and when under its influence no human could confront him in battle.
115 Ilam is in East Nepal; Sangut is in Darjeeling; Tam sang is in Kalimpong and Mayel is in Sikkim.
116 The Chemjongs are descendents of Mabo Hang tribe.
117 Tumbapo, Tumrok Angdembe, Laoti, Sherma, Kurumbang, Songbangphe are Papo Hang tribe.
119 When Nembang Hang failed to defeat him in battle, he plotted an intrigue, offering the hand of Dalima his sister to Wedo Hang in marriage. The extraordinary Wedo Hang had his palace at Hellang and the new bride was asked to find out means by which the inspiring spirit of Wedo Hang could be removed from him. Wedo Hang accepted her as his wife and did not care for the conspiracy of his enemy.
King Wedo Hang besotted with love for princess Dalima, on one such occasion when embracing Dalima she asked him about the powerful spirit entreating him to reveal the secret of the spirit, how it entered, possessed and how it left him. Wedo Hang deeply intoxicated with love for Dalima revealed that if the tip of his long hair were to be cut and his naval pierced by a bamboo spear called yen pha, then the powerful spirit would be unable to inspire him and he would be rendered powerless.
One night while king Wedo Hang lay in a deep slumber his enemies entered the palace and enquired Dalima about the removal of the powerful spirit, dalima disclosed the secret and the king was murdered by clipping away the tip of his hair and piercing his naval by the wild bamboo spear.
Chief Pathong Hang was elected and placed on the throne of Hellang. Lady Dalima was pregnant; Wedo Hangs�s foes asked her to inform them as soon as she delivers a male child threatening to murder the male child of King Wedo Hang.
Lady Dalima left for Chemphujong, the ancestral quarters of the late king in the district of Ilam situated near the Terai. She soon delivered a male child and dreading the murder of her new born, informed the enemies of King Wedo Hang the birth of a female child, successfully deceiving them by showing a neighbour�s female child.
His mother kept him in disguise by shaving his moustache and beard and dressing him up as a girl. When the young prince perplexed at his guise enquired the reason to such deception he was told that his father�s
120 enemy would destroy him if they were to discover his true identity. Informing him that his father�s followers hailed from northern countries and the old residents of the land ruled the district.
The young boy matured to be a wise and strong individual and under the guise of a girl secretly met the followers of his late father. He studied the strength of his people and the strength of the aboriginal chief of the district and decided to attack them by camouflage. And in a marvelously clever plot decided to marry the son of the district chief. Endowed with a fair complexion and a pleasing appearance the chief�s son happily accepted the young disguised prince as his wife.
In accordance with the matrimonial ceremony of the times the young girl was taken to Hellang palace, while a retinue of disguised soldiers were kept outside the palace for four or five days who then secretly concealed weapons underground in the palace premises. After the solemnization of the wedding ceremony and an aftermath of revelry and merry making that lasted for four days when the entire kingdom was immersed in jubilation the disguised bride signaled her followers to battle. Though taken unaware, soldiers of the aboriginal king put up a brave fight whoever they were soon overcome and the aboriginal chief perished in the hands of his foes The aborigines orphaned and left without a ruler conceded to live under the rule of the of the disguised bride. Hellang Palace was reoccupied by the disguised bride its rightful lord. After winning the confidence of the villagers the disguised bride made known her true identity, however having spent a lifetime without a name and in disguise his followers assembled in the palace and declared that a Hang or king had been born in the old fort of Chemphujong and unanimously assigned him the name of Chemjong
121 Hang.118 He extended his kingdom from Panchthar to Choubis and Terai districts of Limbuwan.
During this period, the Buddhist Kirat King of Thak-yul who had migrated there from Limbuwan was Chonajong and his capital was called Tawang in the east and Tamba Lama.119 was his religious priest
At a time marred by conflict and feuding feudal lords of Kirat land for boundaries of their own, an able feudal chief, Shrijunga of Yangwrok district proved himself powerful enough to subdue all the Feudal chiefs under his control. Belonging to an illustrious lineage of Kirat kings who had ruled Kathmandu, he influenced all the chiefs of kirat land to regard him as they�re Over Lord and eventually got elected as their king. Chief, Shirijunga constructed two big forts in Phedap and Chainpur and named them Shrijunga Fort. The structures still stands today bearing testimony to the greatness of Chief Shrijunga who was known by the name of Shrijong in Phedap and Chainpur Valley thousands of years ago, he was the grandson of King Galijunga of Yangwarok district. A pious and religious man he depended upon one powerful God whom he believed to be the root of all knowledge and wisdom. The Mundhum mentions that once he was asked by Nisammang (goddess of learning) to accompany her to the base of Mt. Phoktanglungma (one of the five peaks of Mt. Kinchinjunga) and enter a big cave. He followed the goddess to the innermost regions of the cave was offered a slab of stone with writing on its surface. It is said that at the base of this mountain and in this particular cave he was granted the boon of knowledge and was taught how to read and write the script and was asked to take the knowledge and instruct his people. On learning the art of reading scriptures, King Shrijunga Hang returned to his people and palace accompanied by goddess Nisammang,
118 Kirat Mundhum by I.S. Chemjong, 1969 page 101
119 Language and Religion of Nepal by F. Hudgson, page 66-67
122 the goddess of learning. The Kirat Mundhum relates that it took three months for Shrijunga to study the Kirat script. On reaching his palace he called forth a congregation of his able ministers and noblemen and recounted his spiritual journey with the goddess and the way in which he had been gifted with the knowledge of science of Kirat culture and entreating them to devote themselves to the all powerful God Ningwaphuma who roamed the earth as Yumasam and who would be instrumental in enlightening all humans through the blessing of Nisammang. He encouraged learning and wisdom among his subjects guiding them towards a disciplined life. Calling upon all scholars and learned men to study existing ancient literature of the time of King Mawrong Hang and to refine them.
His major achievements include the book �Kirat Khahun Sapla" or the book of instruction and "Kirat Samlo Sapla" or the book of Song.
The Land Reformation of King Shrijunga Hang
King Shrijunga Hang divided his country into districts according to the number of feudal chiefs. Each feudal chief exercised full power over his land or Kipat and was expected to extend absolute military allegiance to the sovereign during his reign no feudal chief or subjects were allowed to buy or sell their land to any other Kipat landholders. Their judicial power was also limited to their own kipat. A chief�s orders were executed within the boundaries of his own kipat and did not extend to subjects of another feudal chief. The system of the partition of parental properties was also revised and refined imparting every male member of a family the right to claim equal parental property among brothers. An unmarried female member of a family would also enjoy the right to claim equal share of parental property even among brothers.
123 A council called Chumlung, which consisted of four members called Pasisng Padang, assisted the chief to rule the villages and the Feudal chief presided over meetings as the chairman of the council and his decision was considered final.
King Sirijunga Hang introduced a title of Muhigum Ongsi to a learned priest who lived a life of celebacy and devoted his life to God and served the needy unlike the Phedangma or Yaba. The Muhigum Ongsi did not offer blood sacrifices during religious ceremonies.
An example of his religious instruction is as follows:
King Shrijunga Hang's Instruction
1< clTg' g'u clTt]Ig]
2< jfg'g'u jfg]g]
3< jfof]g'u xof] yfI
4< ;lI oDg'u ;af, yfI
5< o'Sm'I g'u o'Sgf nf]
6< o'Sm'I m[+Ddf dlGb] yfI
7< vfDwS g'u tS;l nf]
8< n[IxI g'u ofIjf nf]
9< d+]TtlG g'u xfIu[T nf]
10< d+]TTtlG m[+Gdf of ofS nf]
11< kfGafT g'df n'IyfS nf]
12< kfGafT m[+Ddf v[df nf]
13< clIdl g'u kFG sfDnf]
14< clIdl m[+Ddf t'/f nf]
15< dlSrf] g'u yf],/'/f]
16< nfIa[G g'u jfo[D nf]
17< mStfI tIu\ ;lI kInf]
18< clItI g'u r'Dn'I nf]
19< x[gf g'u gfDg' nf]
20< cLTt'Da[Iu tfn,n,nf]
21< rf]u'Da[Iu g'/f] n,nf]
22< t[D;'Da[Iu gFGb'' n,nf]
23< kFTtDa[Iu v[K;'n,nf]
24< xS;'Da[Iu vf];' n,nf]
25< ;ldf nf]df vf];' n,nf]
26< gfu'Da[Iu kl/' n,f]
1. It nu nugo ittengne
2. Wanu nugo wanene
3. Wayo nugo Hoyo thang
4. Sing yom nugo saba thang
5. Yukphung nugo yukna lo
6. Yukphung phenma minde thang
7. Khambek nugo tokshi lo
8. Leng-hong nugo yang wa lo
9. Metten nugo hanget lo
10. Metten phenma ya yak lo
11. Panbat numa lungthak lo
12. Panbat phemma khema lo
13. Ingmi nugo pan kam lo
14. Ingmi phenma tura lo
15. Mikcho nugo thoru ro
16. Langben nugo wayem lo
17. Phoktang tonggo singbong lo
18. Ingtong nugo chumlung lo
19. Hena nugo namnu lo
20. Ittumbenggo talo lo ro
21. Chogumbenggo nu ro lo ro
22. Temsumbenggo nandu lo ro
23. Pattumbenggo khepsu lo ro
24. Hoksumbenggo khosu lo ro
25. Sima loma khosu lo ro
26. Nagumbenggo piru lo ro
If the family is good, friendship becomes all right. If the river is broad, its shallowness becomes good. If the waterfall is short the fish jumps over it. If a tree is spacious enough monkeys make it their dwelling place. Good sanitation makes a village worth living and if the village is dirty, epidemic will surely break out. If the soil is fertile and
127 rich it is apt to yield a good harvest. When the trade is good, income improves. If a wife is wise, her husband prospers however if she is vile and wicked she becomes a witch. Crude talk gives way to quarrels while kind words lead to a good and sound relation. A good mediator compromises a quarrel while a bad one adds fuel to fire. An upright and virtuous man enlightens other people. If the legs are strong one can cross a running river and if shoulders are of equal height, it shoulders the weight of logs on them. In the same way if opinions in a meeting is one, the resolution and its outcome becomes strong one similarly service towards mankind always yields a good reputation.
So, may desired objectives be fulfilled. Let tasks undertaken be successful. Let responsible work be victorious. Allow the words spoken thus be heard by all. Let things sought for be received. Let the gift of knowledge of life and death be obtained by all and may aspirations be rewarded.
???? 128 ...

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