MEIDINGU SENBI KIYAAMBA (1467-1507 A.D.)
compiled and sent by P.Lalit.
Comments to: P.Lalit
Meidingu Senbi Kiyamba, the son of Meidingu Ningthoukhomba, born by Meitei Leima (Queen) Lingthoingambee ascended the throne at the age of 24 years. He invaded Senbi-Louthengyang, which was also known as Kabo-Kiyaang in Burma, sometime during 1470 A.D. Senbi Louthenyaang also known as Thengyaa was a place where Chingkhong Poireiton (a ruler of Manipur from Kham during 34-18 B.C.) saw the burning of a dead body by one Chakpal. According to the custom of Chakpa at that time dead body by unnatural death was cremated, not buried. The said boy of Chakpa died of falling from a high platform. Being afraid of the burning of human body he asked his wife Leima Linthoingambee to leave the place quickly, which was expressed as Kina-Yaangna, or later shortened to Kiyaang. Since the place was inhabited by the people of Senbi, it was also known as Senbi-Kiyaang. Meidingu defeated Senbi-Kiyaang. So he was called Meidingu Kiyaang-Ngamba, which was later shortened as Meidingu Senibi-Kiyaamba. Kina Yaangna also expressed as (Kiba) Thengna Yangna, was shortened to Thengyang. Therefore, Kiyaang and Thengyaang were the various names of the same place where Senbi people were inhabited. Chaosengba, the king of Senbi-Kiyaang was defeated and captured by Meidingu who collected all the properties of the king and also captured the queen of Senbi-Kiyaang, who was the daughter of Mutu, the worrior. Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba on his way back brought varieties of flowering plants, small horses known as ponies, etc.
In the year 1474 A.D., Chaopha Khekhomba, the king of Pong (Shan Kingdom) proposed to marry a daughter of the king of the Meitei. The proposal of the king of Pong was accepted by the king of the Meitei. Accordingly Sanna Langmeirangbee, a princess accompanied by a girl, the daughter of Haoroksu being maid-servant was sent to the king of Pong. The party was escorted by Chao-Laang-Hi, who was sent by the king of Pong to the king of the Meitei. On their way to Mongaung, the capital of Shan Kingdom, the Manipuri bride i.e., Sanna Langmeirangbee, was carried away by Chao-Seng, the Chief/King of Khambaat in revenge sometime during 1475 A.D. The reason why the king of Khambaat vowed revenge was that previous to Khekhomba, the king of Pong promised to marry his two daughters, one to the Chief of Samjok (Thaungdut) and the other to the Chief of Kiyaam-Khambaat. Both were subordinates to the king of Pong. Accordingly the two brides were brought to their respective destinations through Samjok. The bride who was promised for Khambaat changed her mind and refused to go further when she reached Samjok. So with the consent of her father she was married to some other man. So the king of Khambaat felt disgraced. He vowed for revenge. He got the opportunity for revenge sometime during 1475 A.D.
Immediately after the incident, the combined forces of Pong and the Meitei attacked Khambaat and reduced the fortresses of Khambaat. Chao-Seng, the king of Khambaat fled away riding on an elephant. Sanna Langmeirangbee the bride and the daughter of Haoroksu were rescued. Then Khambaat was transferred to the king of the Meitei. A demarcation line between Chaopha Khekhomba, the king of Pong and Meidingu Senbi-Kiyaamba, the king of the Meitei was cordially agreed upon. The area on the west of Samjok (Thaungdut or Ksawnghsup) was of the Meitei and the area on the east of Samjok was of Pong and also the area covered by Mingkhong and Muwai was of the Meitei according to the agreement. As per R.B. Pemberton (Report on the Eastern Frontier of British India, p.118) the said area was described as "A tract of country was then made over to the Raja of Manipur by the king of Pong, extending east of the Noajeeree, a range hills running between Mao (Mu) and Kyendween (Chindween) river, which was then established as the boundary between the two countries, south, the limit extended to the Muyatoung of Muya hills, and north to the celebrated mango tree near Moonghkum, between the Noajeeree hills and Kyendween river." At the time of meeting between the two kings somewhere near the bank of Chindwin rivier (Ningthi Turen), Chaopha Khekhomba was 47 years old with 30 years on the throne whereas Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba was 27 years old with 3 years on the throne. Both loved each other. They crossed the Chindween river (500 ft. wide) over a bridge, they sat on the same seat, ate in the same disc and drank from the same Li i.e., an earthern pot for drinking water.
The king of Pong presented a golden box containing stone image of god, a litter (Dulai) and a sacred spear to the king of the Meitei. These presents have been rolling down for sometime from King to King and were insignia of royalty. But these presents disappeared since they were carried away with Raja Debendra Singh, who ruled for 3 months before Chandrakirti Maharaja, in 1850 to Cachar. The exact imitaiton of these were used as an insigna of royalty thenceforward. When a King left his palace, these presents including the golden box were accompanied with an insignia of royalty. Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba built a brick temple at Lamangdong some 27 kms south of Imphal to keep and worship the stone image presented by Chaopha Khekhomba, the king of Pongs of Shan Kingdom of Upper Burma (Moguang) in the year 1475 A.D. In fact this was a great landmark.
It is said that the king of Pongs visited Manipur Valley and suggested to abandon the old form of Naagaa House and to construct like the one what is called Sanggai Punshiba (long-lived house) in its place.
The historians have correctly detected that among the presents by Chaopha Khekhomba to Senbi Kiyaamba, the stone image in golden box was actually called PHEIYA meaning Almighty. The said Pheiya was of stone having divine power. It was kept in a temple specially constructed with bricks for the purpose of not knowing by that time. Later, one Brahmin migrated from Cachhar (Assam) identified the said PHEIYA as Bishnu and further stated that the rice boiled in the cow milk should be served for the deity, then only the name, fame and prosperity of the kingdom could be achieved. So, Meidingu Kiyaamba appointed the said Brahmin for the service of the said deity. Thence-forward Bishnu for the deity and Bishnupur for the place became to be the usage of the people. The followers of the said Brahmin were known as Bishnupriya i.e. lover of Bishnu. In fact the word Bishnu originated from the Hindu mythology cannot be connected with Shan of the time.
Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba or Leima-Phaabi, which means the capturer of queens and princesses, invaded Amchi-Nongmaikon near the river called Iyeibee which runs towards the west by the side of the present None Bazar along New cachhar road in the west. A group of army on horses by Kaamba from Cachhar was destroyed at Amchi Nongmaikon by Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba. Hence the said place was known as Kaamba-Langairok (a narrow place where the army of Kaamba was dispersed).
He invaded Chingsong village also in the east and captured Haonu Taangja Saaphabee, the queen of Chingsong village and also the cheif of Hongkhu village, etc. He also invaded Chaapung village in the east and captured Kaarengkham Maipak, the worrior of the village. Besides this, he further invaded Tangkhul Machipung or Thawai Lamhal, destroyed the village and captured Mende and Konde, etc. who were the leaders of the village/place.
Khayoiron Senbung Lokpi of Khuman clan, the daughter of Thingkonkhuba, the king of Khuman was married to Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba. So she became the Meitei Leima. She was also a brave Meitei Leima. She defeated Sanaahongba, the king of Senbi Mungkhong and further raided Panlu, which was also known as Sasen in Kabo (Burma). Panlu in Kabo was the place where once Chingkhong Poireiton, the king of Poirei Meiteis at Poireilam, the name of Manipur at that time, cried for their lost daughter and son. When they cried they used to mention the names again and again. To mention was expressed as Panba and Luba means at the depth of mind. The work Panlu is derived from the compound word Panba-luba. Hence was the name of the place. Meitei Leima Senbung Lokpi got a son known by the name Chingkhong Lamgai Ngamba alis Lam-Kiyaamba after the conquest of Kiyaang and Khambat. Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba lived for 64 years and reigned for 40 years. Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba was also married to Leishangthem Chanu. Koiremba and Nongthonba were the two sons born by Leishangthem Chanu.
One of the most important inventions of Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba was that of Cheithaaba system meaning years were named after the persons who came forward to accept all the sorrows and sufferings which might befall the king and kingdom during the ensuing one year. Cheithaaba means the person is taken into account. Hiyaaangloi was the first person in the history of Manipur, who was taken into account for the year 1485 A.D. Naamou for the year 1486, Khuraiomba for 1487 and so on. In this way any particular year can be easily remembered by the proper name even by the illiterate persons.
The Shans had their own scripts since long. The Meiteis also had their own scripts from time immemorial. The best use of the Meitei scripts commenced since the time of Khui-Yoi Tompok (153-263 A.D. according to the chronicle, Cheitharol Kumbaba). A Manuscript known as Kaangbarol (the study of King Kaangba) was written in the Meitei script from his scriptorium by Thongaak Kurumba. Both the scripts viz., Shan and Meitei were found to be quite similar. It might be because of the reason that both scripts - Shan and Meitei - might have been evolved from a common stock which has now become extinct. It is also suggested that there might be intermixture of alphabets between Meitei and Shan because of the resemblence, during the time of Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba, since there were good communications and matrimonial relations between the two kingdoms by the time of Meidingu Senbi Kiyaamba and Chaopha Khekhomba.
[Reproduced from the book "An approach to the History of Meiteis
and Thais" by K.C. Tensuba (1993), pp195-199, with minor corrections
for spelling and printing mistakes.]
Comments to: P.Lalit