CREATION OF UNIVERSE
The Creation Theory of Universe among the
Tripuri philosophy is same as that of Main stream Hinduism. In fact it surprises
whether the theory was taken from the ancient Kiratas vis-à-vis the Tripuri
people. One of a great Tripuri philosopher Sri Alindra Lal Tripura had inscribed
the creation of Universe in his famous book "TRAIPUR SAMHITA" as follows.
to the Hindu view of life, there does not exist any unbridgeable gulf between
mind and matter, human and non-human beings. The universe of matter and spirit
is governed by one fundamental law which, in the physical world, operates
through scientific law and, in the spiritual world, through religious law. It is
through reason that scientific law is discovered, while
introspection-examination of the self-helps in the attainment of spiritual law.
Hinduism denies the ultimate reality of the phenomenal world and emphasizes the
reality of the spirit. In the long run, therefore, a seeker of truth must
completely renounce attachment to the physical world. But a beginner regards the
physical body and the universe as real and therefore when he tries to reach the
sole reality, he does it through matter-animate and inanimate objects of nature.
Plants as well as animals, mountains as well as rivers are therefore believed to
be endowed with supernatural power. It will be wrong to say that Tripuri faith
in attributing a living soul to inanimate objects and natural phenomena (i.e.
animism) is something opposed to Hindu religion. As the main stream Hindus also
worship all the natural objects, like Sun, Moon, Water, River, Earth, Snake,
Monkey, Elephant, Tiger, Birds, Stone is similar to what Tripuri people are
worshipping. Indeed, far from this, the Tripuri faith merely represents a
particular approach to seek truth from a particular level of experience.
The Hindu methods of philosophical investigation consist in the study of
Sruti (Vedic evidence); Yukti (reasoning ) and Anubhava (experience)
The last, one that is, Anubhava, is emphasized much by Hindu philosophers.
philosophy or way of life is based on one's own experience or anubhaba.
Tripuri philosophy or way of life is no exception to this. Hinduism known for
its catholicity and a spirit of accommodation, does permit the study of reality
from different stand points based on different levels of experience. The
conclusions arrived at may be different but they will be different aspects of
the same reality. As Swami Vivekananda put it, man does not proceed from error
to truth, but from truth to truth-from lower truth to higher truth.
Thus in the Tripuri way of life, one may find less emphasis on reasoning and
more on experiences. Essentially religion is based largely on intuition and
emotion and not always on purely rational attitude of mind. It is often fed and
inspired by faith and belief rather than reason and argument.
The worship of tree, fire and water and the figures of various animals might be
symbols or carriers of deities who were the real objects of worship.
3. Therefore, a change in emphasis does not entitle one to say that their
religious faith is born out of fear only andlor is full of superstition: The
point is that our concepts are often coloured by our own imagination, feeling
that is so, we get a distorted view of the subject. But whether the view is a
distorted one (or, what the Hindu philosophers would call illusory reality) or
not, would depend on the level of experience. An illusion like seeing a
ghost (or a lover) in a tree, snake in a rope is the observer's inner feeling
for the time being and, therefore, transitory. One can only get rid of such
illusion by reasoning which can only negate it but we should remember that to
negate, it requires a higher level of experience.
The point is
that Hinduism has various ramifications, all derived from common roots-the Vedas
and the Upanishads. "Hinduism is not...a single religion with a creed to which
everybody must subscribe, although each individual cult offers its allegiance to
the Vedas and the Upanishads as the source and origin of Indian religion and
religious experience. Hinduism is thus a federation of different kinds of
approach to the Reality behind life. That is the unique character of Hinduism."
at from this angle one would find adequate justification why our Tripuri
brethren in Tripura, like other Hindu peasants elsewhere in the country
celebrate pujas which arc directly related to cultivation. Or, why the Tripuris,
like other Hindus in the rural areas propitiate gods by sacrificing something
which they hold dear so that members of the community (or family) can keep good
health. According to Rig-Veda Samhita, the idea of definite gods comes as
a normal evolution from the striking phenomena of nature. "The Samhita
shows that the development of the Aryan religion and philosophy proceeded along
two well-marked directions. On the one hand, we find the idea of propitiating
the different gods by means of worship, which led to the religious sacraments
known as yajna or sacrifice. On the other hand, there developed a more
philosophic concept about the nature of these gods, which culminated in the idea
that all these gods are but the manifestations of a higher spirit. The Brahmanas
developed the ritualistic side by elaborating the mechanical details of the
yajna, while the philosophical ideas were developed in the Upanishads."
Thus, shorn of very minor details the dividing line between the Tripuri
religious faiths, and beliefs and those of the non-Tripuri seems to be extremely
Bose observed, "All men have their hopes and fears, and to single out a few
elements of Tripuri religions and to say that the latter are born only of fear
is doing great injustice to them." In Tripura one finds an expression of some of
the highest qualities of the Indo-mongoloid people under Hindu inspiration. The
Tripuris, like other Bodo groups, had their Tripuri religion modified by
Hinduism. At the same time, under the patronage of the Tripura rajas, a
good deal of their religion and its rituals are preserved as a part of their
religion. The Cantais (Priests-in-Chief) and the Deodais
are regarded as the custodians of the Tripuri religion, and still occupy as
exalted a position in society as the Brahmins in Hindu society.
overwhelming majority among the important tribes in Tripura-the Tripuris, that
is Tipras, Reangs, Jamatia, Noatias and Halams-are, to all intents and purposes,
Hindus, and practise all the Hindu religious rites like any other Hindu. Certain
rituals connected with even those pujas which are confined exclusively to
them bear close similarity to those of the other Hindus. Similarly, the worship
and festivities connected with the harvesting of the new crop by the Reangs have
a close resemblance to the navanna festival of the Bengalees. The Halams
and the Noatias are generally the followers of the Sakta cult, but most
of the people belonging to the Kalai and Rupini sections of the
former tribe follow Vaishnavism. The form of worship practiced by the
abovementioned tribes is akin to that of other Hindus. At the same time, they
are animistic, and believe in the existence of God in all elements of nature.
God is one and omnipresent. They believe in the existence of spirit possessing
supernatural power of doing harm. All places are holy as they are the seats of
either good or bad spirits and, therefore, have to be appeased separately. The
appeasement of the spirit is necessary (sometimes with sacrifice of animals held
dear to the devotees) so that people are saved from a calamity in the form of
failure of crop, famine, flood or epidemic.