Sunday, December 13, 2015

138. Megh: kabirpanthi of chhatisgarh

Unfolding Pages from history: Megh and kabirpanth of chhatisgarh
130. Religion prevalence of dissent in chuteesgurh-
        Chuteesgurh to orthodox Hindoos is not only hateful as the land of the Dasyas and witches, but as the head quarters of religions dissent, as it is to its secluded  wilds that all those who opposed to the prevailing tenets fled to escape from their persecutors, and consequently Hindooism sits lightly on most of the people, while large numbers are avowed dissenters belonging to the Kubeerpuntee and Satnamee sects.  
   131. The orogion of Kubeer puntee and Satnamee sects-
            These two sects are said to have arisen about the same time and both evidently, like the older Buddhism, owe Origin of  their origin to a reaction against Brahminical  tyranny. Their respective founders, Kubeer and Raidass, are said to have both been disciples of Ramanund; and Kubeer is said by his followers to have first commenced preaching in Rewa, where their first Gooroo, Dhurum Dass, was installed in Sumbut 1,520, 1,4 63 AD. It is said that during the life time of Kubeer, but most probably after his death, Dhurnum Dass was driven to take refuge under the Ruttunpore Princes, and since then his descendants have always lived in Chuteesgurh. About Raidass, tradition has less to tell, as his mission was principally to the Chumars, and never Seems to have much influenced the higher classes, at all events in late Years. Now he is almost forgotten, his fame being eclipsed by Ghasee Dass the last Sutnamee apostle.
132. Point of similarity between the two sects-
        The two sects agree in their rejection of images, their veneration for life, their objection to strong drink and tobacco, and the sign of initiation in both is a necklace of wooden beads : but while the Sutnamees worship one God under the name of Sut nam. “ the true name," and have never distinctly deified either Raidass or Ghasee Dass, though there are signs that the apotheosis of the latter is not far off, the Kubeerpuntees distinctly regard Kubeer as an incarnation of the Deity, though they do not profess to address their prayers to him.
133. Points of difference between the two sects-
     The chief difference between the sects arises from the more aristocratic proclivities of the Kubeerpuntees,  and may probably be traced to the different social position occupied by their respective founders, Kubeer being a weaver by caste, while Rai Dass was a Chumar. Hence, the Kubeerpuntees, making their converts from a higher class than the Sutnamees, received many who were unwilling to give up their caste distinctions(these being preserved among the former sect), while the more democratic Sutnamees ignore all caste differences among the members of the sect. Similarly, while the Kubeer puntees pay Brahmins a. certain degree of reverence, some having their marriages performed by them, though the more orthodox employ a Kussondee Bunnia, the Sutnamees abhor all Brahmins, hatred of the race being almost an article of their creed. The sects difi'er also in that the Kubeerpuntees fast once a month, while the Sutnamees do not. Both sects bury their dead.
  134. Classes holding Kubeerpantee doctrines, and internal administration of the sect-
      The Kubeerpuntees include a large number of Bunnias, Kayeths, Telees and Koormees, as well as other castes. while the Gandas man belong to the  sect. Their principal Gooroo lives at Kuwardha in Belaspore, but he only exercises jurisdiction over the Kubeerpuntees in the north of the District, the office in the south having been many years ago delegated to a younger branch of the family which is settled at Dhumturry, and which is now represented by Kumod Dass. The Dhumturry Gooron is said to have all the poster of the chief Gooroo at Kowurdha, while he is not subject to the disagreeable necessity of dying 25 years after he has assumed office as the Kowurdha Gooroo must, if he has a proper respect for tradition, do. But at the best, either Gooroo has very little to do with his disciples, their intercourse being restricted to yearly visits made by the Gooroo to his followers in the cold Weather, while he is only sought by them when they want- their children to be invested with the sacred necklace. Their only distinctive festival in Raepore is that held at Koora. Bungolee, in the Simgah Tehseele, on the last day of “ Magh" each year, in honor of Seoree Narain, a Kubeerpuntee Mohunt of great sanctity, who is buried there. The concourse of pilgrims forms the nucleus  of the annual fair, which is one of the largest in the District.
  135. Internal Administration of Sutnamees sect-
       The Sutnamees on the other hand, at least all who have not been led away by the charms of tobacco, and become choongeeas or tobacco smokers (a name  which to an orthodox Sutnamce implies a state of unpardonable vice), visit their Gooroo regularly twice every year at Bhundar, in the Raepore Tehseelee, where the temple of the Sect, an empty building without an image. is situated. These visits take place in “ Magh" and “ Bhadon,” and each votary brings his offering. The present Gooroo is the grandson of Ghaseedass, but as he is a minor, his uncle Agur Dass acts for him.
136. Morality of Kubeerpuntee is superior to that of Sutnamees-
    In morality, if common report is to be trusted, the Kubeerpuntees are very much superior to the Sutnamees, though it must be remembered in justice to the latter, that their antagonism to the Hindoos exposes them to calumny. After a great deal of close inquiry, I must, however, say I think there is good ground for imputing some of the worst of Observances of' the Maharaja sect to some at least of the Sutnamees.
137.  Dissenters from Sutnamee and Kubeerpuntee sects-
        Both sects have suffered from the “dissidence of dissent.” _ The Choongcea 0r Sutnamee dissenters have  been already mentioned  and Kubeerpuntee have divided into two bodies, one acknowledging and the other disallowing, the Kowurdha Gooroo as a genuine “ Avatar” of Kubeer. The dissenters however are not numerous. Their Gooroo lives in Nandea in the Khoojee Zemindaree.
138. Thakoor Deo- The real object of worship of all the chuteesgurh-
        But these sectarian differences, though going deeper in the ease of the Sutnamees, have for the most part  little influence on the people,  which is concentrated  in their devotion to Thakoor Deo. Without a sacnfice to him no agricultural operations can be performed. The seed sown and the first shoots of the young rice must be presented at his shrine, and he must be invoked to bless the field before the crop is cut, while it would be the height of reckless impiety- to tread out or winoow the grain on a threshing floor where some offering had not been made to the great Earth god. Thakoor Deo’s power does not extend only over the crops, but over the whole surface of the Earth, and hence his protection is efficacious against Wild beasts, and an offering made in his honour at the commencement of the year infallibly prevents a tiger from taking up his abode within the precincts of a village. If he should do so in Spite of the offering, it is, as an old Malgoozar told me, a proof that the sacrifice was not costly enough and that it must be repeated, a doctrine which at all events benefits the “ Bygas."   Pages 47 to 49

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