Traditional Purification Rite of The Chakmas: Madha Dona

 

By Elbee Chakma

The Chakmas traditionally believe that one does not suffer or die without a cause. Those cause may be humanely or divine. So they observe and maintain certain rules to ward off such suffering, misfortune, ill luck, accident etc which they call Phee, Balā and Dajhā as stated under:

Phee : The unusual happenings are phees.The following incidents are known as Phee:
(1)Mang Phee : It is the entry of a king in a common mans house. In such a case it is believed that the common man cannot bear the weight of the king since the king is god sent one. So to bear his weight the common man should be promoted to Kheejhā or the expenditure of Bola Kada rite (to cut the Bola (misfortune) should be borne by the king.
(2) Nāga Phee: It is the entry of a poisonous snake in a dwelling house.
(3) UI Phee: It is the entry of black termites in a dwelling house.
(4) Lo Phee: It is finding of blood from unknown source in a house.
(5) Gui Phee: It is finding of a dead monitor lizard.
(6) Dur Phee: It is finding of a dead tortoise. It is also finding of a water turtle roaming on the ground during day time.
(7) Chil phee : It is sitting of a kite on a dwelling house.
(8) Sigira phee : It is sitting of a hawk on a dwelling house
(9) Byah Phee : It is after marriage Phee.
(10) Biani Phee : It is after child birth phee.
(11) Marā Phee : On occurring death in a family.
(12) Bak Phee: On being attacked by a tiger.
(13) Kugur phee: On climbing by a dog on roof top.
(14) On laying of tender.egg, small eg, pair egg by hen.
(15) On death of parent on New moon day.
(16) Undur phee: On biting of clothes by rants/mouse.
(17) Barmhā phee: for house burning.
(18) On finding unusual things like flowering by a plantain tree from the side etc. The number of phee is said to be thirty three kinds.
(b) Balā: The witness of un usual happenings are Balā.
(1) Seeing a dead body while going for a journey is a Balā.
(2) Dying of any person in the house is also a Balā.
(3) Seeing a dead monitor lizard, tortoise, etc. is also a Balā.
(4) Crossing road by a cat while going is also a Balā.
(5) All the phees mentioned above are Balās.
(c) Dajhā: A Dajhā is a misfortune caused by planetary position. If a Dajhā is foretold by a foreteller it is called a Phārhā. The Dajhās are the planetar affects known as Rāhu Dajhā, , Kedu Dajhā, , Nabagraha Dajhā, Mātri Dajhā,and Pitri Dajhā. Due to Graha dujhā (planenory affects).
To get rid off such Phee and Balā (misfortune)and Dajhā the Chakmas perform the rite called Balā Kādā ( cutting the misfortune) or Mādhā Dhwa (literally washing the head) Bur Pārā (offering in exchange). Some even perform Chumulang along with Bur Para.
BUR PĀRĀ KRENJĀ: For performing Bur Pārā/Mādhā Dhwa/Balā Kādā, the following rules are observed :
On performance of Bur Pārā in the month of Vaijhākā, observing the year and the time, one get relief from Suni Dajhā, Rāhu Dajhā, Kedu Dajhā, Guru Dajhā, Mātri Dajhā, Pitri Dajhā Chandra Dajhā etc.
(a) If performed in the month of Jet, on the fourth or fifth day after new moon, one remains happy.
(b) In the month of Ājhār if performed on the third or sixth or seventh day after new moon he remains happy and the Dein or the Bhoot cannot touch him.
(c) In the month of Shāghon, if performed on the first or second day after full moon, happiness is restored.
(d) In the month of Bhādho if it is performed on the fifth or seventh after full moon, remains happy.
(e) If performed on the seventh day after new moon in the month of Ājhin, remains happy.
(f) On the third, fith or ninth day after new moon if performed in the month of Kādi, all misfortune goes away.
(g) On the second or ninth day after new moon if performed in the moth of Āghun, remains happy and misfortune goes away.
(h) If performed on the fourth or seventh day after new moon, longigiblity is gained.
(i) If it is performed on the second, fourth or full moon day in the month of Māāk, Mātri Dajhā, Pitri Dajhā and all other Dajhās go away.
(j) In the month of Ph≠gun if performed on the third or fourth day after new moon, all Dajh goes away. and
(k) In the month of Chot, if performed on the first day after new moon, all misfortune goes away.
(l) On Sunday - Kor phool leaves, seven numbers.
(m) On Mon day - Jhāndāl leaves, seven Nos.
(n) On Tues day - Jaganhā leave, seven nos.
(o) On wednes day - Kāli Banghal leaves, seven nos.
(p) On Thurs day - Sree phal leaves, seven nos.
(q) On Fri day - Patda leaves, seven nos.
(r) On Satur day - Padanā leaves, seven nos

In case of Phee/Balā/Dajhā, the family will perform the rite Mādhā Dhwa/Balā Kādā/BurPārā by engaging an Ojhā (priest/exorcist). In this rite the hairs of the head is wetted hence Mādhādhwa(washing of head), the misfortune is inactivated by performing the rite, hence Balā Kādā (cutting of misfortune) and the misfortune is rid off by exchanging life for life/ by offering something hence Bur Pārā (exchange). For performing Balā Kādā rite, the head of the family or any member of the family will go to an Ojhā with flower or a cup of wine and invite him to perform Balā Kādā for his family on a appointed day. The Ojhā will take the wine and sleep keeping the empty cup under his pillow. Before sleep he will light lamp in the name of God and pray to foretell the future of the family in dream. On the appointed day he will go to the family and there the familymembers hand over him the provisions of the rite ie.the flowers, oil lamps, Ābedhi Sudho (thread spun by a girl who has not attained puberty), Gheelyā –Kojoi Pānhi (water of Gheelyā-Kojoi, rice, turmeric, gold, silver etc which is treated as secred water) and chicken. Now he will assemble all the family members and hovering the chicken above them chant prayers – “Oh, the devas! I am going to perform the Mādhā Dhwo /Bur Pārā / Balā Kādā rite of such and such and his whole family to day, as per the procedure taught by my gutularities. If there is any irregularities in the performance of the rite, please pardon me since I am a foolish and ignorant human being. You kindly accept the offerings. They might have offended you for being ignorant by doing certain prohibited things/ and you wanted to take action against them. I, such and such Ojha do hereby seek your pardon on their behalf with the available flowers, lamps, and chicken/goat.They are offering these not for having excess or by selling the grass of their roof for not having anything, but with respect. I am offering you life for life, blood for blood, flesh for flesh, skin for skin, liver for liver, head for head, stomach for stomach, wings for hands, legs for legs (etc. etc) you kindly bless them and spare them and accept this offerings. Some even perforrm Chumulang in addition to Mādhā Dhwo. Some Ojhā performs it with Pujo called Phoole Pāghore (literally with flower and petals and means with flowers, lamps etc) and some Ojhā do it with sacrifice of animals at the river ghat. Where all members of the family is lead to the river and their hairs are wetted with mantra chanted water.
Bur para rite is performed for the purification and also to wash away the ominous thing like on acquiring Phee on seeing something or happening, prequent illness in the family, absence of peace in the family, death of family member, poorness, biting of clothes by mouse, and also to drive away misfortune, ill luck etc. It is done for the whole members of the family. And if any member is absent from home, it is not performed. It is generally performed on Tuesday or Saturday. In Bur Pārā, the deities Biātrā, Bhoot and Gangā are worshipped with sacrifice of animals. Gangā is offered one pair of chicken (one cock and one hen). Sometimes, a goat is also sacrificed additionally, a cock chick to Biātrā and a cock to the Bhoot ie.three chicken and one goat is required and the following medicines.
Medicines: Gheelya, Kojoi, Ijhing, Holot, Sona, Ruba, Chol, coin and the medicine fixed for the day ie :-
At first a tree should be woke up (invoked life) on the previous evening of the performance chanting with folded hand –‘Ung kuthi gāch, jāk rhei gāch jāk;. On the next norning a branch of it shout be taken with bushes (leaves) and posted on the bank of river the the performance is to be held.
On the next day the medicines is to be invoked by chanting the following mantras :
1.Pittimhi utpanna holo Gheela kojoi Jarma nilho. Gheela kojoi koi dip ? Gheela kojoi pol padalot, ludi udilho agajhot. Ei gheela kojoi porhai abhuch manei sutdho gar. Ujoni chhora gang lamoni dhar, abhuch manei reh sutdho gar. – Gheela kojoi porha.
2. Ung sadali porbode gheela kojoi-or jarma, Rame bule Lakkhan Bhair, anoghoi gheela kojoi parbat bere berai. Kon parbade gheela kojoi, kon porbode jeim ? Na-haley gheela kojoi ki lohiya eim ?
Pobon beda Honumaney Longga puri gollhyo chhei. Annyoghoi gheela kojoi Honuman bir. Goira Gonga hoi gelho thir. – Gheela kojoi porha.
1. Ijhing ijhing udilho Ijhing dubo banhi. Ei Ijhinghor jarma Bormhapuri. Deboghoney ragilho Berhi.
2. Ijhing Ijhing udhilho Ijhing dubo banhi, Tin kun pittimhir phadilo madi. Ei Ijhingor jarma Bormhapuri. Deboghoney raghilo berhi, Indroi anhilho Ijhing swargapuri. Ta hotte Raboney anilho Longgapuri. Longgar Ijhing Rabonpuri, Honumaney anilho lengure berhi. Rame lagelo Ijhing Sidai dilho jal, Sat kamachchya lwalho, gheela kojoiye, Ijhinge, Holode, Sat padaloi, Sona Rubaloi, Gonga Ma panhiloi abhuch manei sutdho gar.Sutdho gorhi padhand ghar, Mor nang Ship Sanggar.
3. Bormhai anilho Ijhing, Himaley anilho holot, Kube anilho Sona Ruba, Borune anilho Gheela, Indroi anilho kojoi. Sat kamachchya lwalhoi Gongiye dilho jal. Phee, Bola kada jok, Phara Dojha kada jok – Ma Gongi sutdho gar.
4. Uri dejhar Sona-Ruba, Puri dejhar mur, Sona-Ruba dui Bhai, Gheela Kojoi bur. Hemantari udhi bole Bajhantari Jage. Goira Gonga dollyo tul, Abhuch manei pallyo bur.

All these medicines are to be put in a bamboo cylinder and chanted with the following mantras :
1. Padumutessa pubbayang, Akgni disenang, Gurupur disenang, rakkheni disenang Jugini swaha.
2. Pitthimhi dilho jaga, brikkhoi dilho chhaya. Ki kade ? Phee kade, Bola kade, ki phee ? chil phee, sigira phee, ui phee, gui phee, debo phee, manei phee, lo phee, hejhak phee, kejhak phee, chang phee, mang phee, seloch phee, bamhoch phee, bach pada phee, byah phee, bela phee, Undur phee, kugur phee, . Phee Bola kada jok,Phara dojha kada jok, man dojha kada jok, Suni dojha kada jok, Rahu dojha kada jok – Longa par.
3. Ung theilhak theilhak, Maha theilhak theilhak, Phee theilhak theilhak, Ung Hung kar. Phee Bola kada jok, Phara Dojha kada jok Ung swaga phwa.
Now, if all provisions are ready, the Ojhā will hover the chicken and hairs from the goat above the family members with the prayer that he is sacrificing the animals on behalf of the mebers of such and such family. That being ignorant human being ignorant they donot know the activities of the devas and spirits. They might have unknowingly offended the devas. Hence they might have acquired Phe, Balā, Phārā and Dajhā. The devas and spirits should release their holds, if any in exchange of sacrifice of animals and flowers, lamps, popped rice, sweetmeat. That he is offering blood for blood, life for life, skin for skin, hair for hair/feather, head for head, meat for meat, hand for hand/wings, legs for legs, liver for liver, gizzard/stomach for stomach,intestine for intestine. That the devas/spirits should spare the lives of the members of such and such family. That all their misfortune, ill luck, illness, poverty should be inactivated and bless them for a prosperous peaceful life. All the angers on them should be cooled down like the water of Gangā. All their ill luck, misfortune, accident, Phee, Balā, Phārā, Dajhā should be flown away beyond seven lankās (islands) and seven seas. After the hovering is over he will ask all to go to the river at the worshipping place. At last he will sweep the house, first at the middle main post with a sweeping broom. The broom is to be .chanted with the following mantra before sweeping :
Ung sat Suni ek Mongol Bar, Phee Bola Kada jok, Phara Dojha kada jok, maran dojha kada jok – Longga par. Ung swaga phwa.
He will go out at the last from the house after sweeping it and also put down the Sāngu (the climbing ladder of the house) so that no one enters the house in their absence.

Now at the river ghāt a Gangā ghar (sacrificial platform) will be constructed. There the animals will be sacrificed. First Biatrā will be offered by cutting the chicken from the back. Biatrā is said to love intestines of chicken, Then Bhooda under the branch which have been posted in the morning, at last to Gangā. At the river ghāt he will construct a three cornered platform called Gangā Ghar. Above it he will spread plantain leaves where he will place a lump of soil above which he will put one Mālei/Mārei (decorated bamboo chip with downward bristle). Now he will put prayer as earlier and also test whether the sacrifice was accepted or not by throwing two tips of thick leaves. If the leaves fall one up and one down, it is believed to have accepted. If both falls face up, it is believed the deity is loughing. If both fall face down, it is believed the deity is angry. In that case he will pray more for acceptance and at last sacrifice the animal by slithing the throat and staining the Mālei Keim with the blood and the sacrifice is over.

Now prayer should be made before filling the medicine filled bamboo tube with water of the river/stream chanting this mantra :
‘ Ung juro chhora, juro panhi, de rhei Gonga Ma de rhei panhi; Abhuch manei sutdho gorhi padhang ghar. Mor nang Debir put Ship Sangghar’.

Now fill water chanting this mantra :
‘ Ung sil bhanghi patthor garhang, Patthor bhangi dorjya garhang, Dorjya panhi kojei tulhong. Sujhuk nalhe bhorey panhi, de rhe Gonga Ma de rhei panhi, Abhuch manei sutdho gorhi padhang ghar. Mor nang Ship Shangghar.

When the water is filled, the Ojhā will ask the members of the house to come one by one in front of him. He will keep one feet on the ground and other feet in the water and the medicinal bamboo tube in the left hand and wet the hairs of left side for male and right hairs for the female with the right hand, three times pouring water on the finger and chanting the following mantra :

Reyonhi Mā sudho kādey, nāl sudho phire, Mui Balā kādi dyonghor Suni Mangal bāre. Jok Balā Jok. Phee Balā Kādā jok, Phārā Dajhā Kādā jok, Maran dajhā kādā Jok, Suni dajh kādā jok, Rāhu dajhā kādā jok – Langgā pār.
De re Gonga de re panhi Give Gonga give water
Abhuch manei sutdho garhang let me purify the ignorant human beings
Sutdho gorhi padhang ghar send them home purified
Mor nang debir put Sipsanggar I am Devi”s son Siv Shankar..
Juro chhora juro panhi Cold streamlet, cold water
Suron garhan Urhong Muni I take the name of sage Urhong
Sujhong nalhe bharang panhi I fill the water from the right flow
De re Gonga de re panhi Give Gonga, give water
Abuch manei sutdho garhang Let me purify the ignorant human beings
Sutdho gorhi padhang ghar I send them home purified
Mor nang devir put Sip sanggar My name is Siv Shankar son of Devi.
Sil bhangi patthor garhang Breaking rocks I make boulders
Patthor bhangi dorjya garhang Breaking boulder make the sea
Dorjya panhi khujhe tulhon I bring the sea water on palm
Sujhong nalhe tulhong panhi I fill the water fron right flow
Abhuch manei sutdho garhang I purify the ignorant human beings
Sutdho gorhi padhang ghar I send them home purified
Mar nāng Debir put Sip Sangghar. I am Devi’s son Siv Shankar

It is a rule that one should not look back while coming from the worshipping till entry in the house.
After the Bur Para is over, some families also perform the Chumulang rite as in a marriage. But such chumulang is called Grichthi Chumulang. Some families even bind/bury protective writings called Āng (magical writing with some peculiar figures) to protect the house from any attack by spirits, Bāān, Tonā, Chāllān Etc Wher Medicines Like Horse Dung, Iron, Skin Of Mulugo Bāndor etc. are also added.

He will then call the family members elder to younger or younger to elder to come to him one by one and put one foot under water and another above water on the ground and wet their side hairs with the mantra chanted water with the prayer of “Oh mother Gangā! please take away all his//her misfortune, ill luck, diseases, phee and Bhalā along with these drops of water beyong seven seas and thirteen rivers and purify them. He will wet the right hairs of male and left hairs of female and at last ask them to go home and never look back. It is believed that means invitation of the misfortune again. On reaching the house the Ojhā enters it first and after chanting some mantra he will ask all to enter it. It is also a rule that no family member should sleep out side the house on the day of Bur Pārā and no guest should also be allowed in the house on that night.

Now a days these rites are seldom performed. Instead the monks are invited at home and listened to religious discourses in the form of parittās called ‘Mangal Sutra sunona’.

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