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The Identity of the Indus people : Part 3

Author Rajshree Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2017 (14:05 IST)
The Realm of the Gods
 
The seals that have been found in the Harappa region, almost 70% seals have the unicorn motif, and almost 4% have rhinoceros and elephant motifs. Some seals have ritual scenes and some have only geometric motifs. 
 
Seals with ritual motif and their relation with the Karen : 
 
"Mu khe" (mu: the sun, khe: heavenly body) and "Thi ksa kaw ksa” (thi: water, kaw: earth, ksa: lord) are the supreme Gods who control the destiny of humans and events. Offerings that are required to appease them come in this order — a buffalo, next, an ox, and finally, a chicken and finally a pig. 
 
Lord of the water and earth: ‘thi ksa kaw ksa’ and the great sacrifice of a bull ‘thi ksa kaw ksa’ is the lord of the water and earth and the protector of the law and order. He is the punisher and forgiver. It is to his powers that the Karen tribes make a periodic sacrifice or the great sacrifice of bull, ordinarily once in three years. The sacrifice serves the double purpose of honoring the lord and purging the people of their carnal sins. 
 
The Gods of the Seasons and the Horn deity seal
 
‘Law Phu’ and ‘Khu De’ are the gods who regulate seasons. The "Law" is a fructifying power of all plants and trees. Before sowing seeds, a Karen seeks divine signs and makes offering to the ‘Law’.
 
Sign : Second from the left: Chicken bone divination sign
The Spirit of the Banyan tree and the rhinoceros Seals
 
"Mu Khe Khlu," is the guardian spirit of banyan(fig) tree . According to the Karen legends, the guardian spirit rides rhinoceros when searching for the K’la of a person who commits a sin against the tree or the rhinoceros. 
 
Sign : Second from the left: Chicken bone divination sign
The Great Elephant and The elephant seals
 
Karen performs a ceremony to the Great Elephant ("Ta do k' the, ta do k'saw") for a sick family member’s recovery. There is also an occult where a figure of an elephant in wax with a land-leech for a proboscis is made, and placed on another person's premises for the purpose of drawing lightning to destroy his property.
 
Water-witches ("Na thi") and the ghosts of tyrants ("T're t' kha")
 
There are water-witches and the ghosts of tyrants who are always in a mood to steel the K’la. They can take any form they want. They give nightmares of beasts and vultures. There is a race of giants, known as "Daw t'ka," and "Ta na," that too feed on the "k'las" of mortals. 
"Bgha" the protector of the house and the K’la and: The Tiger Seals.
 
*Bgha is called Bagh, Nahar, Vagh in many parts of India. 
 
The Mukhe are eternal, celestial beings. The Mukhe preside over births and marriages and they do not maliciously injure mankind. They can render themselves visible to men, by assuming a human or other form, as they please. Offerings and prayers are made to the Mukhe to obtain their favor and add in averting evils. They are addressed by the title of parents. Good people or those of superior merit supposed to become one of the Mukhe after death. The Mu Khe can’t be portrayed.
 
However, the Mu Khe, in the form of the family spirit- the Bgha, is the protector of the house and the K’la. The Karen believe that fornication, adultery, and incest anger the family spirits - the Bgha more than any other offenses. Such acts of immorality incite the Bgha to curse the soil, blight the crops, and send epidemics among the people. Once aroused, the Bgha will assume the form of a tiger or snake to destroy the K’la of the offender and other members of their clan. The family must unite for an earnest prayer and make sacrifice. The Karen do three kind of ceremony for Mu Khe that are called the Bgha ceremony. The Bgha is supposed to be satisfied with the "K' la" of the sacrifices.
 
The most familiar kind of ceremony is performed when a family member fall sick, and divination shows that the sickness is due to his or her having offended the Bgha. In such a case the family must at once join in a feast.
 
The second kind of feast is observed as a prevention of possible sickness, and as a means of keeping on good terms with the Bgha. This is known as "ta aw bwaw a' tha" (eating to strengthen one's heart). 
 
In the third kind of feast, all members of the matrilineal clans must participate. This is the most elaborated ceremony with many lengthy rituals that goes for couple of the days. The grandmother or the eldest female in the direct line of the family is the high priestess at the Bgha feast of the whole family. Number seven is very important. It represents seven Kala, seven generations of ancestors, seven havens and earths. 
 
(The Mu Khe is probably a goddess. for detail rituals see Appendix: table:1)
 
Cats have a nick name “masi-aunt” may be because it is a younger form of the Tigress Mother”.
[ Photo creadit : Biplov Bhuyan / Indus Images ]
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