Gangtok, Dec 21
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Tika Maya Chamling have extended their warm wishes to the people of Sikkim, especially to the Limboo Community on the holy festival of Teyongsi Sirijunga Sawan Tongnam, the birth anniversary of revered saint and patron, Teyongsi Sirijunga.
Teyongsi Sirijunga was born in Tellok Kuchintar in Limbuwan in 1704. His real name was Rupi Haang, the name Haang indicates a family of aristocratic or royal origin. He was formally known as Sirichongba and even more popularly as Sirijonga II. Sirijunga is credited for being the legendary historical figure , who preserved and revived the ancient Limboo script. A popular belief among the people is that he was the incarnation of the 9th century historical figure, Sirijonga Haang.
Teyongsi Sirijunga revived the old Limboo script and taught the language among the people of Limbuwan. It was this literary propagation that brought him to West Sikkim. It is believed that he used to carry a box with him and sit on a huge rock at Martam, West Sikkim. The Limboos firmly believe that this box was hidden in a cave in the jungle situated below the huge stone.He travelled far and wide, even to the most remote region and his research methodology was like none other of his time. He even studied with the local Tibetan Buddhist Lamas, who then were the only means of connecting to a learned tradition in the region. As he went on empowering himself with spiritual philosophies and education, he also set up various centres of Limboo learning.
He died in 1741 at Hee-Bermiok. After his death, his body was packed and immersed in the Kerek river. It is believed that a bird flew out from the shroud and promised to return one day. All Limboos believe this in strong faith , and hence every year they celebrate it with great gusto, singing devotional songs of Yuma Mangsewa. Prayers are offered and people dress in their traditional attire and visit “Yuma Mangkhim,” which is the most sacred place of the Limboos.
Teyongsi Sirijunga Sawan Tongnam,a state holiday is celebrated with zeal and passion. Various cultural programmes are held throughout the state. Awards and felicitations are conferred on those who contribute to the literary and social development of the community.
The Chief Minister has said, “It is a day for us to remember the contributions of the great Limboo scholar, historian, educator, linguist, leader and philosopher of the 18th century. A multi-faceted personality, Sirijunga played a crucial role in the development and promotion of Limboo language and literature.”
“Let us imbibe the determination and the sincerity of Sirijunga and work towards building a community that dwells on peace and harmony,” the Chief Minister added.