Monday, January 14, 2008

Rebirth- A Buddhist Idea?

In many cases, the informations provided by the ‘môsēra’ about the wanderings of the Karbis find parallels in the ‘kechārhé’ as well. The names of the hills, mountains or rivers referred to in the dirge narratives are bound to undergo changes as is wont with any oral literature. Elaborating on the use of the word ‘chōm’ in Karbi as the corruption of Sanskritized ‘yama’[27], Lyall and Stack described the Karbi belief of a departed soul that ‘gains admittance’ to ‘chōm ārông’ only through the ritual performance of ‘chōmkān’ and that of gaining rebirth. Lyall and Stack believed this concept of rebirth to be borrowed from Hinduism (Page 29). But, Prof. Kosambi asserts that the ‘large succession of rebirths….is characteristically Buddhist’.[28] It may therefore be not very inappropriate to guess that the Karbi idea of rebirth may have been a Buddhist influence considering the specific mention of ‘Dukpa’ in the migration memories of ‘môsērā’ as a Karbi neighbour thousands of years ago in their wanderings through the ‘White Mountains’ of Himalayas before they crossed to Burma.
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