From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sanamahism (or Sanamahi religion), also known as Lainingthouism (or Lainingthou religion) or Kangleism (or Kanglei religion) or Meeteism (or Meetei religion) or Meiteism (or Meitei religion), is a traditional ethnic religion of the Meitei people of Manipur, Assam, Tripura in India, as well as in parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Named after deity Lainingthou Sanamahi, it is animistic, polytheistic, shamanic, spiritualistic in nature. Its liturgical language is the Classical Meitei language. It forms the basis of the Meitei civilization (Kangleipak) since ancient times.

Sacred symbol for Sanamahism, depicting 5 classical elements


  • Apart from their roles of priestesses and priests, the maibas and maibis also function as oracles and custodians of the tradition thereby performing the sacred duty as intermediaries between the divine spirit (umanglais) and the common masses. The maibis, in this case, exercise greater authority in being involuntarily 'possessed' by the spirit, and also representing the female spiritual power-so widely venerated within the animistic faith of Sanamahism.
  • Sanamahism, the ancient religion of the Meiteis, is named after its central hero, Sanamahi.
  • Sanamahism is relatively egalitarian in its value system. With the ascendance of Vaishnavism, egalitarianism took a drubbing. Ethnic, gender and class differences took on sharper contours.
  • The monarchical state is said to have explicitly pursued goals of collective growth and even-handed justice-principles usually traced to Sanamahism, which is inherently opposed to casteism, women's subordination and degradation of human beings.
  • Sanamahism of Manipur is a counterpart of Shamanism in Korea. Sanamahism is a pre-Hindu religion of the Manipuris.
    • Sushila Narsimhan, To-yŏng Kim, India and Korea, Bridging the Gaps. India: Manak Publications, 2008. p. 189
Find more information on Sanamahism by searching Wikiquote's sister projects
Encyclopedia articles from Wikipedia
Dictionary definitions from Wiktionary
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Source texts from Wikisource
Images and media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews
Learning resources from Wikiversity