Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies, Volume 5, Issue 2, November 2019, pp. 905-921.
An Overview of the Association Between the Myths and Proof of Lepmuhang Mundhum and Matsya Purana
Nawa Raj Subba
Abstract: In many societies, the deadliest flood marks are common learning with different interpretations, preserved in myths like Kirat Yakthung Limbu’s Lepmuhang Mundhum and Hindu’s Matsya Purana, compared to substantial evidence. Matsya (fish) saved Manu, and disciples like fish saved Lepmuhang and Mundhum followers and taught them how to survive by farming. The Lepmuhang Mundhum is an oral sacred Kirat text; Matsya Purana is also a sacred text of Hindus. The article seeks to find out the possible locations and dates of the flood and compare and contrast cultural myths. The study, for this reason, gathers myths and compares them with shreds of evidence from various studies and books. By revisiting the myths and evidence of the deluge and related archeological, linguistic, and genetic studies, the essay compares different perspectives to give way to a better understanding of Lepmuhang.
Keywords: Kirat Yakthung, Lepmuhang, Lepmuhang Mundhum, Matsya Purana
 Ph.D., Freelance Researcher Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Limbu (Yakthung or Limbu) is one of the ethnic groups living in Eastern Nepal, North-East India, Bhutan, Burma, and Thailand. They have a traditional belief system called Mundhum, which is an oral text and cultural lore that represents a distinct culture and performance. The word Mundhum is made up of two Limbu language words -Mun and Dhum. Mun literally means “mouth” (mura) or “oral,” and Dhum literally means “strong enough.” So, the word Mundhum means a tradition of powerful and meaningful oral text moving from the place- to- place and generation- to- generation. Another literal meaning of Mun is moving things around. It indicates that the character of Mundhum is to transmit texts orally from one person to another and from generation- to- generation. Iman Singh Chemjong (1961) described Mundhum as a strong power or knowledge. He compared Mundhum with Veda, which is Hindu literature. As Veda literally means knowledge of Aryan literature, Mundhum is also a knowledge of Kirat literature. Kirat belongs to the Mongols and the Tibeto-Burman family of languages. This knowledge gives insight and power. In other words, it is a religious Kirat cultural narrative text constructed by mythological stories, legends, prehistoric accounts, and practical and philosophical encouragements in oral forms. Mundhum is considered a great knowledge and philosophy of Kirat. It gives us a perspective of the overall creation of the universe, birth, death, and rebirth. Mundhum consists of rituals of birth to death, marriage, and purification. It also includes guiding principles and a code of conduct for society.
Among many other Mundhums, Lepmuhang Mundhum tells the story of human destruction by the deluge, the cause of existence, and the tale of world ruin. It also informs about social customs, seasonal worship of the god, and purification rituals during childbirth and death. Yehang Mundhum guides the practices of its people by rules for marriage, births, and deaths. Mabohang Mundhum begins with the story of the world’s creation, and most parts include the story of King Mabohang’s war victory and guidelines for subjects to follow Yuma’s religion and abide by his rules and regulations.
Kirats regard places mentioned in Mundhum as “living in their ancestors.” The names of those ancient areas, however, do not resemble the name and place of the present. Listeners and readers interpreted the spots in their own perspectives. Samba singing Mundhum mixes allusion, hyperbole, and euphemism to make epic poetry as perceptible and pleasant as folk literature. Kirats living in different places make these Mundhum texts change over a long period of time and are different from each other. Lepmuhang, however, is confined in Mundhum‘s mythical story. The questions may arise as to whether this story is merely a myth if it has any meaningful signs of history, or whether it is linked to the historical evidence of Kirat. This writer, therefore, attempted to look at mythologies and evidence from other cultures to observe if Mundhums are linked to other cultural myths and evidence. This work created more connections for Mundhum to become an important knowledge source and opened space for further studies. In brief, by revisiting the myths and evidence of the deluge and related archeological, linguistic, and genetic studies, the essay compared different perspectives to give way to a better understanding of Lepmuhang.
Iman Singh Chemjong (1961) rewrote a book about Kirat mythology and philosophy, Kirat Mundhum (1961), and Mundhum education titled Mundhum Khahun (1965). Bairagi Kaila rewrote a Mundhum mythology book about creation called Cha-it Mundhum (Kainla, 2003). In a book called Yumaism, the Limboo Way of Life: A Philosophical Analysis, Jash Raj Subba (2000) described Yumaism as a Mundhum philosophy, but with a modern perspective. However, the researcher pointed out the inclusion of Christian elements, such as self-screening, communicating, internalizing, and focusing on mind and soul, claiming Christianity to be a great religion, and borrowed Christian terminology in the modern texts of Yumaism (Gustavsson, 2013). Chaitanya Subba (1995) wrote a Limbu religion and culture book (1995) showing Kirat’s traditional religion and culture. Chandra Kumar Sherma collected Kirat myths and wrote a book describing the Limbu mythology Kirat Gatha, Katha Ra Lok-Kathaharu (2009) and Kirataka Karma Sanskar Vidhi (2000).
A Mundhum linguistic study has been conducted by Mohan Kumar Tumbahang (2013). The Limbu language, Tumbahang said, is a kin of the Tibeto-Burman family (pp. 2-13). Mundhum is one of the dominant languages in Nepal, a religious scripture. Linguistics shows that China’s Sichuan Yunnan was the center of Sino-Tibetan languages from which Tibetan-Burmese speaking people brought low-land rice civilizations and shifting southern cultivations. They mostly descended along the Brahmaputra river to North-East India, the Ganges plain, Burma, and Nepal. Limbu language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family, and it is considered to be one of the members (Hazarika, 2006). Another scholar who studied cultural representation and performance in Mundhum, Ramesh K. Limbu (2010) has described Mundhum as a set of oral religious texts consisting of mythological stories, legends, and prehistoric accounts. Gautam and Thakur (2007) conducted a Limbu sociolinguistic survey in Nepal and submitted a report to the Tribhuvan University of Nepal; the survey focused on areas of social and lingual. Socially, Limbus are shamanistic who worship nature, and like the Bön, Shaman, and the Mundhum guide them. We seek Yakthung ritual experts such as Samba, Phedangba/Phedangma, and Yeba/Yuma to worship their supreme deity, Tagera Ningwabhu Mang or Tagera Nungwaphuma.
The study in Limbu consists of an abundance of linguistic and descriptive ethnographic studies, but less attention has been paid to a comparative and critical approach of revisiting a particular story and character of Mundhum. The writing started because of a lack of epistemological analysis comparing and linking character, place, and date with myths and facts. The writer, therefore, finds room for comparing narratives and evidence, and linking evidence to give a holistic interpretation.
Revisiting Myths and Pieces of evidence
“Human history” is a popular phrase, so it is the world’s past. It feels like an autonomous discipline, but multidisciplinary disciplines such as archeology, anthropology, linguistics, genetics, etc. complement it. The writing invention made it possible to record history as literature and history in documents. Studies, documented history, and secondary sources are significant sources today. Oral literature, however, is the inevitable support for pre-history figuring.
Mundhum from Oral Texts to Written Texts
Up to 4000 BC, all literature was oral. Writing developed in Egypt and Mesopotamia in 3400 BC. After that, in composing written literature, Asia, North Africa, and Mediterranean lands developed rapidly (Kafle, 1984). Mundhum is an ancient inherited oral scripture. The presence of Shiva worshippers was found in archeological evidence in Indus Valley. Hamilton believed the Sumerian 4000 BC script was similar to the Kirat script (Hamilton, 1819). Kirat King Mawarang revived the traditional Kirat Rong script where Colonel Menchering noted that it mixed with the Babylonian script (Chemjong, 1956). The Tibetan King Thisong Dishan called India’s scholars Pandit Padma Sambhav, Shanta Rackchit, and Bimal Mitra in the 8th century to make Tibetan Buddhist literature and scholars. King Sirijanga (880-915) went to Tibet to consult them for three months and in the 9/10th century developed new script kin to the Tibetan-Burman language family, Srijanga. For the first time in the 9/10th century, these pandits and scholars in Tibet documented Mundhum‘s oral tradition in writing (Chemjong, 1948; Subba, 2004). For a long time, however, there has been no evidence of further development of Mundhum in writing. So, initiatives for written texts have almost been lost.
Tye Angsi Sing Thebe restored and reconstructed the Srijanga script based on the King Srijanga script and literature after a millennium in the 18th century. He built it by crossing the language and teachings of Sawa Yet Hang and Susuwa Lilim. He wrote a Srijanga script book called Mundhum Sapla (Limbu, 2017). Due to belonging to the Sen family, Kirat Senehang Limbu Genealogy called him Tye-Angsi Sen Thebe (Sen Chobegu, 2007). This is the second Mundhum writing in history’s Srijanga script. However, written texts did not get well-disseminated. After a long time, in July 1925, a meeting under Maita Singh Thegim’s chairmanship in Kalimpong decided to write Mundhum by collecting manuscripts from various areas. The Limbu Chumlung (meeting) decided to write Mundhum and then asked 84-year-old Lal Shor Sendang widely known as Sendang Lama, Sikkim’s Mundhum specialist to do so. Sendang rewrote the Mundhum (Chemjong, 1956), for the third time in 20th century history. No one can ignore the fact that Khas-Aryan culture and the Shah regime had discouraged and influenced the indigenous Limbu culture. The outcome of Kirat Mundhum‘s end, vocabulary, literature, and the script was a conscious move (Limbu, 2017). Indigenous people, including academics today who are concerned with the political approach of that state and excellent religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, dominate their culture and influence it.
“Om” in Mundhum Texts
The first word referred to in the Mundhum texts is “Om.” Chemjong (1967) began texts in the book Kirat Mundhum by pronouncing the word Om. Publisher Kirat Yakthung Chumlung wrote on the book a note of disagreement stating that Om is not native but instead, a Hindu word used in the book. The publisher claimed that Hinduism favored a religious leader, Falgunanda Lingden, who had probably influenced the writer. However, Chemjong (1948) clarified that both Hinduist and Buddhist mantras consist of ancient Limbu handwritten texts. He pointed out that Limbuwan people used to go to study in the 7th century in Mithila, where teachers taught Sun god Om Naam Siddham to write down at the opening of the text. Kirats used to write and pronounce Om Naam Siddham at the beginning of the texts with that cultural effect. Chemjong (1956) also referred to Mundhum where a Kirat king, Munaphen Hang, carried out Chinese civilization from China’s Sichuan Yunnan to Tibet. His kin, Lassa Hang, disseminated Yumaism in Tibet, and his descendent, Ubahang, further passed on it to Eastern Nepal. However, a Hindu scholar took up a philosophical argument, saying Kirats are Hindu. His logic is to declare the texts of Mundhum as Om! Chaphat Sukkum Hikke Iksa Tarrak Laya Namme Aasewaro! and Om Agni, Indra, Sabita, Vayu, Varuna Namo are the same as his philosophy (Pokhrel, 1983). Narad Muni Thulung, a Kirat scholar, said Kirat’s ancestors belonged to Shiva’s faith in Persia where sandalwood burned to do Hom. The civilization in Sindh Harappan also left the sign of Lord Pashupati’s existence (Thulung, 1985). The tone of Hom and Om is the same thing. The priest called Home /hǝmeI/ in Kirat Rai’s family spoke of a literal meaning belonging to Hom. Most likely, the word Om derived from the ancient ritual of Hom in Persia related to Shiva or Sabians. It is a word that was used before the Aryans came to India. Also called Thebasam, Om belongs to Kirat Shiva. With this historical evidence, although Hindu made this word their own, no credit goes to Vedic literature.
Synopsis of Lepmuhang Mundhum
One day, Lepmuhang went to the river as usual before worship to bathe in the morning. A little fish came near him when he was ready to bathe and said, “Save me Lepmuhang! I got a big fish,” Lepmuhang took the fish and put it in a water vessel. None of the containers, however, became enough to keep the fast-growing fish. He moved the fish into a pond, then into a river, and eventually into the ocean. The fish thanked Lepmuhang for giving it shelter. The fish advised Lepmuhang to prepare for an upcoming flood and make a ship. The fish advised Lepmuhang to make various rooms in the ship for various animals and plants. One time, there was a great flood disaster. During the flood, the fish appeared. Lepmuhang tied his boat to the fish’s horn. The fish swam over the floods that pulled the ship to the Mighty Mountains, rescuing the Lepmuhang and his followers. Once the flood disaster subsided, they prepared the lands for farming. Different species of animals began to procreate again. Lepmuhang thanked the Ningwabhu Mangfish (fish) for providing him the knowledge and power for a new life (Chemjong, 1967).
Synopsis of Language Ruin Story
The tale of world ruin tells how misunderstanding and fighting took place because a language misinterpreted. Once the deluge was over, people decided to build a tower for future flood shelters. They began to build a high tower up to the sky. For the foundation, some people dug into the ground, some made bricks, some made the mud, and so on. Their united strength succeeded in building a tower high up to the sky. Suddenly, though, no one knew what was going on with them. They began misunderstanding the spoken language or misinterpreting it. They distorted the order given to the base-level workers from the tower’s high level. When people from the high tower asked to send more bricks and mud, the low-level people understood as to destroy the tower base. This was almost the end of the tower’s construction. Only by connecting the base to the top could it be saved, and they needed to place a ladder from the top of the tower to the sky. Combat broke out at the end, and the tower collapsed. When the tower collapsed, a lot of people were killed. Afterward, the living people gathered together. They were grouped by the languages they understood. Many groups then left that spot (Chemjong, 1967). Narratives are a classical sign of natural disaster in the distant past where a god has played a heroic role and has taught morals or teachings. Besides Mundhum and Purana, ancient texts from the Bible and Greek literature mentioned the deluge and existence. Mundhum‘s tale of Lepmuhang is comparable to that of other literature. It also opens rooms where it is possible to link scientific evidence.
Comparing Lepmuhang Mundhum with Matsya Purana
The Matsya Purana is one of the Hindu myth’s 18 Purana Roshen Dalal (2014) said it is one of Sanskrit literature’s oldest and most well-preserved examples. This text was regarded as Vaishnavism. It is named after Lord Vishnu’s semi-fish and semi-human avatar (p. 167, 267). Rocher (1986) pointed out that the Sanskrit scholar of the 19th century, Horace Hayman Wilson, called it the work of Shaivism. The text praises different Hindu gods and goddesses, so it’s not just that. Ramachandra Dikshitar proposed ancient dates of composition of the Matsya Purana text, as it probably began in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BC, its first version completed around the 3rd century BC. (Rocher, 1986). The demon Hayagriva appeared to steal the Vedas once the deluge had finished. Matsya killed the demon, recovered the Vedas, and delivered them to Brahma. Manu also collected seeds and planted them on the ground. Manu and their people began farming again and began to proliferate men and different species of animals (Agrawala, 1953).
Matsya Purana‘s story resembles the Lepmuhang Mundhum. Both include taking a fish out of the river and a rescue by a fish, the conversation with the fish is almost the same. The fish rescue, the method that connects the vessel to the fish horn, is the same. They both rescued people and animals by placing them on the mighty mountain. When the flood was over, they both began farming in the fertile lands. Lepmuhang‘s story also indicates that by cutting the jungle, agriculture started. It shows someone forced to move to a new land.
Another story of misunderstanding is about a tower collapsing and killing people. On the other hand, Matsya Purana talks about a Hayagriva demon who was trying to steal Veda, then killed him and recovered the Vedas. After the deluge, the Lepmuhang Mundhum reflected a conflict of interest, fighting, and separation of groups. The presence in the tales of symbol, metaphor, and simile shows signs of comparison and links them to each other. Evidence has shown that Manu and his offspring are now known as Aryas, and the descendants of Lepmus or Lepmuhang are now known as Limbus.
Meaning of Myths
The theory of social construction suggests that people and society create reality. People started thinking logically and created models. They shared with each other and through languages realized these models (Leeds-Hurwitz, 2009). People learn roles set by society according to the theory of symbolic interaction. To grasp shared perception and communication, they interacted and built symbols such as words and gestures (Blummer, 1969). These theories are useful in understanding the values and perceptions of mythology found in different cultures and literature.
Folk literature is a traditional folk or oral tradition/lore with traditional cultural knowledge and beliefs. It is oral, not written, transmitting through word of mouth. It consists of narratives of prose and poetry such as verse, poems, songs, myths, dramas, rituals, proverbs, puzzles, etc. (Koirala, 1999). The concept of folk literature in itself is more or less clear. It’s a traditional and cultural carrier. It’s an ancient and modern world complex. It is written literature of earlier form (Koirala, 1999). There are certain specific characteristics of folk literature: the author is unknown, it’s traditionally oral, it reflects a holistic tradition and culture of society, it is available in a non-artificial decoration natural version, it doesn’t always say ideal things, and it carries different words of historical and cultural choices (Koirala, 1999).
Mundhum and Purana fulfill all folk literature principles, concepts, and characteristics. Samba is a trained and educated person who recites Mundhum. They have enough knowledge and intelligence in the texts to use alliteration, allusion, and hyperbole to allow audiences to easily grasp the story. We must remember that, as a myth, the surface level of both Mundhum and Purana, and the deeply rooted meanings that have denotation, shaped a system of beliefs. As folk literature, it can review the cultural background used for comparative cultural analysis.
Place of Deluge
Mesopotamian civilization attracts researchers who want to trace possible sites that ancestors of Kirats, or Lepmus, reached in ancient times. This civilization had an impact on other ancient civilizations such as Elam, Babylon, Armenia, and others. One of our aspirations is to trace in the legend of Lepmuhang Mundhum and Matsya Purana to the possible date and place of the deluge mentioned. I’m trying to revisit the archeological studies to find out where, when, and how major flood disasters in ancient history took place.
Narad Muni Thulung reviewed Bishnu Purana Samundra Manthan Prakaran and History of Persia (Vol.1.1.101) and named the place where deluge occurred. The place where Matsya Raj rescued Manu and his followers from the flood disaster was present Azerbaijan or Armenia where Shiva related sites, gold mines also existed, and Kuber had gone for a while (Thulung, 1985, p. 20). Thulung shows that in the genealogy Manu and Yama were brothers. They were the sons of Surya (Sun) and the grandson of Kashyap. Manu was an Indo-Aryan ancestor and Yama was a Rudra or Shiba or Kirat ancestor (p. 22). Kashyap shows the people from the land near the Caspian sea and Son of Sun shows people who believed and worshiped the Sun god. Thulung (1985) noted Yama as a hero during the deluge in Persian history. Yama arrived in death’s vast halls. He transformed and became the deceased king of Yamalok or Mrityulok near Barun’s Baikunthalok (p. 65).
On the banks of the rivers, there were ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Since 6000 BC, the rivers Tigris and Euphrates have played a crucial part in the growth of Mesopotamian civilization. These two rivers start in Turkey, pass through Syria, Iraq, and empty into the Persian Gulf. The length of the Tigris River is 1,900 kilometers, and the length of the Euphrates River is 2,800 kilometers. Rivers flow through long lengths throughout the year, resulting in fertile soil and irrigation source for larger areas. Mesopotamia implies the territory between the rivers. Mesopotamia was, therefore, one of the cradles of civilization in which agriculture flourished (Kafle, 1984).
The rivers of Tigris and Euphrates came into use when civilization began 7,000 years ago. Agricultural operations, such as irrigation and farming, had developed a natural fossil landscape and deserted canals. Ancient settlements on the alluvium produced elevation. Now, all the ancient towns of Babylonia, Sumer, and others are covered by hills (Kafle, 1984). Now we can compare and link the proof parts with the legendary texts from Lepmuhang Mundhum and Matsya Puran. Lepmuhang restarted farming on Armenian soil in Persia (now Iran) around Mount Ararat, boosting population growth near the Baikunthalok of Barun.
Time of Deluge
Excavation site results Ur, Kish, Uruk, Lagash, and Nineveh proposed that the deluge happened at various times. Researchers presumed that the Kurun dam was the primary cause of deluge in the Tigris River, and heavy rainfall spilling in the Euphrates River worsened the flood disaster (Bandstra, 2009; Parrot, 1955). Archeologists excavated ancient regions covered by alluvium hills. A team excavated the modern name Tell Fera in Iraq Shuruppak. The group acquired in the Kish town a layer of riverine sediments showing radiocarbon from around 2900 BC. By excavating flood strata in Shuruppak, they also found polychrome pottery from the Jemdet Nasr era (3000-2900 BC). Geologically, the Shuruppak excavation was 5.9 Kiloyear, which coincides with the end of Paron’s older era (Bandstra, 2009; Parrot, 1955). During the time of Vaivasvat Manu, the great deluge took place in 2820 BC (Sheoran, 2017, p. 73).
Lepmus, Lepmuhang, and Kirat-Limbu
History shows that Egypt, Libya, and Greece were connected by people and language. The Greek name on Libu (Ancient Greek: Líbues, Latin: Libyans) established Libya. Since the late Bronze Age, the Libu had lived in the Egyptian region (Gardiner, 1964). The ancient Egyptian religion emphasized that Manu’s land was a western land where the sun-god Ra sets in the Book of the Dead (Massey, 2014). In history, we can trace Lepmus, a Kirat Limbus ancestor. Balkrishna Pokhrel (1998) says that Lepmus is Limbus’s ancestors. He described in his research Kir (Kirat) and Gis (Kishi or Kashi). Kirgis derived from the word Kirkis in Central Asia. The ancestors of Kirat previously called Kir and the ancestors of Kashi, previously called Gis or Kahsi, was the closest branch of the Chhag (goat) belief system. The difference was that Kir had more horse mass and pressure, and Gis had more elephant mass and pressure. Both believed in Chhag, though (Pokhrel, 1998).
Mundhum claims that Lepmuhang was Limbu’s chief. They left Kirgis and came as their contestants at Hayez where they discovered Nairi (Nara). Nairi called Manyu/Manu themselves (p.157). These people from Naire lived in Armenia in Elam. Mt. Ararat was the mighty mountain that Manu positioned in Matsya Purana during the rescue (Pokhrel, 1998). Lepmu altered their belief system in Elam to Half-lion and Half-man, Narasimha. Kinner followed Chhag (goat), horse and semi-horse beliefs in three phases. Lepmus carried out Libya and Lebanon’s lion belief system. However, after socializing with the Nairi people in Elam, Lepmus embraced the Narasimha belief scheme. The contestants were Kashis (Khas’ ancestors) and Kapis (Lakhu’s, Langa’s or Magars’ ancestors). They all shifted together towards the east. From this stage of history, Dundubhi and Lulluwi have evolved. Lur now lives in Iran’s Luristhan and Lul lives in Nepal (Pokhrel, 1998).
Balkrishna Pokhrel (1998) thought the Lion belief system adherents came from Libya and Lebanon. Lepmus and Arab people’s ancestors were the same in Libya and Lebanon. When the mountain region of Zagreus arrived, Lepmus embraced the belief system of Lio-Amu and Arabian embraced the belief system of Ah-Lio-Amu. Both of these races in Libya and Lebanon are of the same origin. There are still plenty of Shiba-related sites in the Middle East and Africa and the name of Somkara in Persia, and the African country Sudan originated from an ancient Sibadan term of Sabine religion or Saivism (Thulung, 1985, pp.86-87). A Hindu text, Yoginitantra, said Shiva originated from Kushdesh (Africa) and married a lovely woman named Kankati and became Kirats (Shrestha, 1985).
There was Assyria or Ashur land in 2400-2300 BC on the East bank of the Tigris River. Ashur from Babylon engaged in the evolution of a semantic population that became a Kirataite or Kirat population (The New Biblical Atlas, 1860). Based on this, Raj Bahadur Limbu (2005) stated that Kirat’s ancestors probably stayed in communities outside the caves and constructed a campfire in Babylon to spend the evenings. They might have considered firing a god. The perception reflected in Persia’s ancient history. The ancient Greek historians referred to fire, sun, moon, earth, and water as gods (Bundahisn, 1964; Duchesne-Guillemin, 1964).
The Mongolian race is known as either Kirat or Limbus. Russian historian Anatoly Fomenko thought the Mongolian term derived from the Greek term Megalian in history. They claimed to belong to Siberians, Russians, and Mongols (Fomenko & Nosovskiy, 2015). Historians thought that ancient Greece originated from the Mongols. Narad Muni Thulung (1985) claims Saudi Arabia’s Mecca is an ancestral place where Mongolians used to pray every Friday for their religious leader Sukrachayra. Since they were offspring of the Greek Ionian Island, the Greeks knew Kirat as Kirhadai. Once Moses expelled them, the Kirats began living a nomadic existence. A branch of Kirats arrived in 2400 BC in Mesopotamia or Assyria. They blended together and created a Kirat-Ashur country. Kirat-Ashur groups extended eastward through Media (Northwest Iran) and northern Persia’s Nisa (Turkmenistan) and entered the Himalayan region. They were called Kambojas or Yavanas by people (Nahar, 1956).
Kirat was called one of the Mongolian races by Sir John Hammerton. Their aboriginal place in southern Persia or Elam in 4000 BC was Sumer or Shinar. With irrigation, they managed to cultivate the soil. They created a script from Sumer. One of the groups came west in about 3000 BC and set up a kingdom in China. Some of the teams once again came to Punjab, Kabul, and then to the plain of Ganges, where they lived. Some of the organizations headed from the Ganges plain to Nepal’s Northern Himalayas and some headed south to Ceylon. Kirat brought Babylonian civilization folktales such as the flood disaster, the ruin of language, and the history of creation (Hammerton, 1966).
Prem Bahadur Mabohang and Bhupendra Nath Dhungel (1990) referenced a land called Hemanta Bhoomi where three children Munaingba, Thoboingba, and Yoboingba were born to a Mongol woman called Satrupa. These Mongols of Chandravanshi later spread in various directions. Yoboingba’s youngest brother headed to Japan, Burma, Syam Kochin (Thailand), landing in South Mongolia. Thoboingba’s second brother headed to Northern China, Tibet, and Northern Mongolia, later landing in the Himalayan region. Munaingba’s eldest brother moved down western China to the Indian Ocean and settled in Simanta Bhoomi. This historical evidence provided an overview of Kirats’ aboriginal roots and their migration. It is now clear that one of the Mongolian races is the Limbu race. Mongol’s ancestors came from Ionian Greek islands. In Mesopotamia, they became Kirat-Ashur. They extended in Eastern Asia, Northern Asia, and South Asia in the name of Mongols or Kirat-Ashu or Shiva. The mythologies and historical proofs show the sign of the Greek, Babylon, Mongol, and Limbu connection. Sir Hammerton indicated that the impact of Babylon was the folk literature performed by Kirat.
Origins of Human Migration, Agriculture, and Philosophy
After the Ice Age, there was a drastic climate shift that had caused big floods on the Earth. One of the benefits left by this flood disaster was fertile land in a vast cultivation region. In East Asia, people faced natural food deficiencies that compelled them into farming. Both Lepmuhang‘s and Matsya Puran’s myths speak about seed collection and conservation before the great flood. Once the flood subsided, seeds planted and farming restarted. They effectively re-established the new world. During culture, it is important to understand where and when to grow distinct plants (Schmidt & Hertzberg, 2011).
Between 12,000-10,000 years ago, humans began growing crops. They began searching for fertile soil and began farming. Food production facilitated their lives, and the population increased at a greater pace (Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre, 2011). Harvard University (2006) revealed that farming started in the Near East over 11,400 years ago. They began domesticating staples like barley, wheat, and legumes in the region a thousand years ago. Researchers discovered in Jordan about 11,200 tiny figs and 313 fig drupelets. Researchers discovered evidence of paddy and millet farming in China during the Late Neolithic Period (6,200 BC), which is evidence of ancient farming. This evidence suggests that flood control and fire control measures were established in China (Xin, et al, 2012). Lepmuhang may have resumed farming in Persia where he started Nwagi, providing fresh plants and worshiping Almighty God, a tradition as stated in Mundhum.
As we check the genetics research and review the “Out of Africa” model, we discover correlated results in terms of human origin and migration. Out of Africa’s model shows that Homo Sapiens developed 200,000-150,000 years ago in Africa, reached South China before 100,000 years ago, and landed in India around 75,000 years ago. Human migration began in distinct directions from that moment on (Johanson, 2001). There was a prevalent female ancestor of humanity known as Mitochondrial Eve, who lived in southern Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago. She wasn’t the first human being, but today all people can trace back their mitochondrial DNA to her. An estimated cumulative time of the DNA mutation and projected Eve to range from 140,000 to 280,000 years (Gibbons, 1992). Millars proposed that migration could have occurred owing to complicated changes in conduct likely caused by fast changes in the environment (Mellars, 2006). These results help consider how Africa and the Near East relate to people residing in Nepal and India with their ancient lineage.
The archeological information proposed that the hominids knew how to use fire and constantly practiced this understanding over much of the Acheulian cultural era 100,000 years ago. They have domesticated the use of fire. It certainly resulted in drastic changes in diet, defense, and social interaction in behavior (Goren-Inbar, et.al. 2004). Myths also outlined the strength of fire, and its existence can associate human beings with nature and dissociate them. The outcome of cooking food is small guts and large heads in humans. The difficult Ionian principle of four components (or “continuous roots”) earth, air, water, and fire- was persuaded and managed by most philosophers. This finding indicates how, in the ancient period, the philosophical notion of development discovered in Mundhum and Veda germinated as the concepts of Ionians.
Linking Geography: Middle East, Central Asia, India, and Nepal
We can also link the wave of people to a timeline in the Near East, Central Asia, India and Nepal. In the Mediterranean region, the Bronze Age (c. 3300-c. 1200 BC) fell owing to disastrous floods/earthquakes, and draughts due to climate change, class wars between inner rebellions, disruption of trade and system, invasion by seafarers, and collapsed countries as a result of political anxiety (Mark, 2019). In search of fertile lands, they were forced to leave. In 3000-2000 BC, ancient Chinese people created their first civilization in the Yellow River. Neolithic groups left bronze artifacts at the Majiayao culture locations in the Upper Yellow River region, Eastern Gansu, and Northern Sichuan from 3100 BC to 2700 BC (Duan Chang-Qun et al., 1998). The excavated pottery, shells, and the documents of great historians belonged to the era stated that from around 2100 BC until 1600 BC the early Chinese civilization stayed (Sheth, 2017). The archeological excavation of the mature era of Indus Valley Civilization (2600 BC–1900 BC) shows Shiva, Pashupati, and Swastika religious indications. Between 1700 BC and 1500 BC, Indo-Aryans invaded the Punjab Valley. After reaching the Indus Valley, Indo-Aryans evolved Sanskrit language and wrote Vedas, epic hymns that marked the Vedic period in India during about 1500-500 BC. Finally, the Vedic religion evolved as Hinduism (Sanujit, 2011).
A writer from Kirat stated that Muna Tembe was Tamlangkan in north-western China’s Tarim basin (Sen Chobegu, 2007). Linguistics genetic researchers discovered that Tibeto-Burman speaking people came to Nepal from three paths, one from Sichuan to Nepal through Brahmaputra-Sikkim-Assam North-East of India from 3900 BC to 1800 BC, the other from Sichuan through Taklamakan/Tarim Basin, Sindhu, Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal, Uttarakhand North-West of India from 2500 BC to 1700 BC. The third-wave entered Nepal at that time crossing the Himalayas. We can claim that Limbu, one of the language families of Tibeto-Burman, rejuvenated from China through Tibet and India (VanDriem, 2005). It shows that Mundhum had been constructed on the way to Sichuan-Taklamakan-Tibet-Sindh-Assam-Nepal. Sindh and Assam’s migration wave continued to the plain of the Ganges from where some of them turned north to Himalaya Nepal (Chemjong, 1967). Mundhum states that they arrived from Muna Tembe in China (Sinyuk), meaning they came from a previous place. Thus, proof does not support Taklamakan’s hypothesis as Muna Tembe. It implies that Muna Tembe would most probably return to Africa and the Near East from a previous place to China. Therefore, Sinyuk or Sichuan or Taklamkan were not Muna Tembe, Kirat’s aboriginal site, but they were areas where civilization regenerated.
The deluge myth described in the Lepmuhang Mundhum and Matsya Purana are similar and largely comparable. Everyone thinks their respective god saved them by the fish from the flood was Ningwabhu mang for Mundhum followers and Bishnu for Purana followers. Mt. Ararat in the Armenian highland was an ancient, mighty mountain mentioned in Matsya Purana, which in the Lepmuhang Mundhum is also comparable and linkable to the mountain. Excavation findings and radiocarbon studies suggest that the flood occurred around 3000-2820 BC in Armenia or Azerbaijan. It showed that the flood left fertile land where Lepmuhang planted seeds and resumed agricultural production. Historical evidence of the role during the deluge and after and first Persian Victorian, as mentioned in Persian history and Vedic literature, showing Yama correlated with the Lepmuhang, might have been named in history and literature differently. By Sanskrit literature, Yoginitantra was Kushdesh (Africa) Shiv’s primeval land. Manu land was the western land per Egyptian literature of religion where the sun-god sets every day. Manu means man in the Iranian language. Manu also literally means man in Sanskrit the word. The literal meaning of Muna or Mana is a man in Limbu-language. This is how Manu’s land has to do with Muna Tembe. Evidence suggests that the Mundhum‘s Muna Tembe could be the current lands in Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, and Greece.
Lepmuhang was Lepmus’ chief. The Lepmus were Limbus’ ancestors. The Lepmus population was affected by Southwest Asian and North African areas. Lepmus in the Mediterranean region was synonymous with Kir or Kirata. In Kirgiz Mountain, these Kir and Gis used to live together. Both of them were followers of the belief system of Chhag (goat). With the impact of Libya and Lebanon, Lepmus became followers of the Lion’s belief system. They got together with Manu or Nairi in Elam and began to follow the belief system of Half-Lion Narasimha. Lepmus in Babylonia became involved in agriculture, started to stay outside the caves, and began to worship the fire-god in groups throughout the night to drive the dangerous animals away. Gradually, this strategy could have evolved as a ritual of putting a mixture of grain and ghee Charu in the fire, called Hom or Yagya, when they began to worship the god of fire to make him happy so life would be safe. Today, Kirat or Lepmu’s offspring are still making campfires or burning incense continually for Tongsing for 3 to 12 days and nights. The study explored the evidence of the adoption of a prehistoric campfire as the strategic defense mechanism adhered to at the beginning with the worship of their fire-god might have changed into a Hom religious ritual that involves the Charu burning, a mixture of grain and ghee on fire, and the burning and smoking of incense. Not only did Lepmuhang play a heroic part in a catastrophe, he also taught agriculture and did not forget to give fresh crops and worship his God. He resulted in the agrarian revolution and made it possible for future generations to thrive.
Agrawala, V. (1953). Matsya Puran: A Study. Banaras Hindu University, All-India KashiRaj Trust, Varanasi, India.
Bandstra, B. L. (2009). Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible.
Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Bocquet-Appel, J. P. (2011). When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333, 560-1. 10.1126/science.1208880.
Bundahišn, T. D. & Duchesne-Guillemin, J. (1964). A Form of Fire. Bombay: Unvala Memorial.
Chemjong, I. S. (1948). Kirat Itihas (Reprint 2003), Lalitpur, Nepal: Kirat Yakthung Chumlung.
Chemjong, I.S. (1956). Kirat Sahitya Ka Itihas. (Reprint 2003), Lalitpur, Nepal: Kirat Yakthung Chumlung.
Chemjong, I. S. (1961). Kirata Mundhum (Reprint 2003). Lalitpur, Nepal: Kirat Yakthung Chumlung.
Chemjong, I.S. (1967). History and Culture of the Kirat People (Reprint 2003). Lalitpur, Nepal: Kirat Yakthung Chumlung.
Dalal, R. (2014). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. India: Penguin. ISBN 978-8184752779.
Duan, C., Gan, X., Wang, J., & Chien, P. (1998). Relocation of Civilization Center in Ancient China: Environmental Factors. Ambio, 27(7), 572-575.
Fomenko, A., & Nosovsky, G. (2015). The Issue with Mongols. Delamere Resources LLC. Retrieved from: http://history.mithec.com.
Gautam, B. L. & Thakur, I. (2007). Sociolinguistic Survey of Limbu in Nepal. A Report Submitted to Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Gardiner, A. H. (1964). Egypt of the Pharaohs: an introduction. London: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-500267-9
Gibbons, A. (1992). Mitochondrial Eve: Wounded, But not Dead Yet. Science, 14 Aug 1992, 257 873-875. DOI: 10.1126/ science.1502551
Goren-Inbar, N., Alperson, N., Kislev, M.E., Simchoni, O., Melamed, Y., Ben-Nun, A., & Werker, E. (2004). Evidence of Hominin Control of Fire at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel. Science 30 Apr 2004, 304, 725-727 DOI: 10.1126/science.1095443
Gustavsson, L. (2013). Religion and Identity Politics in the Indian Himalayas: Religion Change and Identity Construction Among the Limboos of Sikkim. MA Thesis, University of Oslo. Retrieved from DUO Research Archive on Feb 17, 2019 from https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/38828.
Hamilton, F. B. (1819 Reprinted 1986). An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal, and of the Territories Annexed to This Dominion by the House of Gorkha. Edinburgh: Constable.
Hammerton, J. (1966). Early Races of Mankind, 1, 434
Harvard University (2006, June 4). Tamed 11, 400 Years Ago, Figs Were Likely First Domesticated Crop. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 12, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060602074522.htm
Hazarika, M. (2006). Neolithic Culture of Northeast India: A Recent Perspective on the Origins of Pottery and Agriculture. Ancient Asia, 1, 25–44. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/aa.06104
Johanson, D. (2001). Human Evolution: Origins of Modern Humans: Multiregional or Out of Africa?. American Institute of Biological Sciences. ActionBioscience- promoting bioscience literacy. Retrieved April 7, 2019, from http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/johanson.html
Kafle, M. P. (1984). Vishwa Ka Itihas. Kathmandu, Nepal: Tribhuvan University.
Kaila, B. (2003). Cha-it Mundhum: Shristi Varnan. Kathmandu Nepal: Limbu Sahitya Bikash Sanstha.
Koirala, S. P. (1999). Lok Sahitya: Siddhanta Ra Vishleshan. Biratnagar, Nepal: Dharanidhar Puraskar Pratisthan.
Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (2009). Social Construction of Reality. In S. Littlejohn, & K. Foss (Eds.). Encyclopedia of communication theory. (892-895). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:10.4135/9781412959384.n344
Limbu Pandhak, R.B. (2005). Vishwako Itihas Tatha Dharmik Abhilekh. Kathmandu, Nepal: Indira Limbu.
Limbu, M. (2017). Delinking, Relinking, and Linking Methodologies: A Glimpse of Kirat-Yakthung (Limbu) Language, Writing, and Literacy. Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies, 4(1), 560-593.
Limbu, R. K. (2010). Performance in Limbu Mundhum: A Study of Cultural Representation. A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the M. Phil Degree in English, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mabohang, P. B. & Dhungel, B. N. (1990). Sanchhipta Nepalko Itihas. (Reprint) Lalitpur, Nepal, Kirat Prakashan tatha Abhilekh Kendra.
Mark, J. J. (2019). Bronze Age Collapse. Ancient History. Retrieved September 23, 2019, from https://www.ancient.eu/Bronze_Age_Collapse/
Massey, G. (2014). Ancient Egypt-Light of The World. 1. 465. ISBN 3849644448. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
Nahar, R.S. (1956). Prachin Bharat Ka Rajnitik Avam Sanskritik Itihas. Digital Library of India Item 2015.551717.
Parrot (1955). The Age of Agade: Inventing Empire in Ancient Mesopotamia.
Pokhrel, B. K. (1998). Khas Jati Ko Itihas. Biratnagar, Nepal: Udatta Anusandhan Addi.
Pokhrel, C. L. (1983). Bed dekhika Dharma ra Matharu, Nepalka Anek Jaat ra Sanskarharu. Varanashi: Balkumari Pokhrel.
Pyne, S. J. (2016). Fire in the Mind: Changing Understandings of Fire in Western Civilization. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 371(1696), 20150166. doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0166
Rocher, L. (1986). The Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag.
Sanijit (2011). Religious Development in Ancient India. Ancient History Encyclopedia, Accessed May 23, 2019 from https://www.ancient.eu/article/230/religious-developments-in-ancient-india/
Schmidt, M. W. & Hertzberg, J. E. (2011). Abrupt climate change during the last Ice age. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):1.
Sen Chobegu, B. B. (2007). Kirat Senehang Limbu Bansawali. Nepal: Kirat Thegim Bansawali Prakashan Samiti.
Sheoran, S. (2017). The Science of Time and Timeline of World History. eBook v.126.96.36.199, Haryana, India.
Sheth, Khushboo. (2017, April 25). A Brief History of Chinese Civilization. WorldAtlas. Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/a-brief-history-of-chinese-civilization.html
Shrestha, S. K. (1985). Limbuwanko Aitihasik Adhyayan. Dhankuta: Ganga Devi Shrestha.
Subba, J. R. (1998). The philosophy and teachings of Yuma Samyo (Yumaism). Gangtok: Sikkim Yakthung Mundhum Saploppa
Subba, J. R. (2004). Mahatma Sirijunga Singthebe: The great social awakener. Gangtok: Sikkim Yakthung Saplopa.
The New Biblical Atlas and Scripture Gazetteer (1860). Religious Tract Society London.
Thulung, N. M. (1985). Kiratko Nalibeli. Biratnagar: Angur Kandangwa.
Tumbahang, M. K. (2013). A Linguistic Study of Limbu Mundhum. A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Tribhuvan University in Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, 2-13.
Van Driem, G. (2005). Tibeto-Burman vs. Indo-Chinese: Implications for population geneticists, archaeologists, and prehistorians. In S. Laurent, B. Roger, & S. Alicia (Eds.), The Peopling of East Asia: Putting Together Archaeology, Linguistics, and Genetics (81–106). London, UK: Routledge Curzon.
Xin, J., Dong, G. & Li, H. (2012). The development of agriculture and its impact on cultural expansion during the late Neolithic in the Western Loess Plateau, China, SAGE Journals, 23(1), 2013.