Mythology of Me-Dam-Me-Phi
As per the Ahom beliefs, mentioned in the Ahom chronicles, the God of Heaven known as Lengdon had sent his two grandsons namely Khunlai and Khunlung to earth by the way of a golden chain. During that time the God of Knowledge known as Gasingpha had suggested them to perform Rikhan, Me-Dam-Me-Phi, Phuralong and Umpha worships on different occasions in various months. This event marked the beginning of the celebration of Me-Dam-Me-Phi by the Ahoms.
History of Me-Dam-Me-Phi
Historical records have confirmed the celebration of Me-Dam-Me-Phi by Ahom kings. Ahom chronicle mentions that Suhungmung Dihingia Raja had performed this festival after defeating the Kacharis and capturing Dhansiri valley along with the northern part of the Kolong River. He commemorated his victory through this festival and prayed for the well being and longevity of his subjects. Sukhampha performed this ceremony after making a successful alliance with the Koch king to combat the danger from the Koches. It was performed thrice by Susenghphaa, twice after defeating Mughals and the third time for seeking the blessings of his ancestors after facing defeat from Mughals. Apart from this, several other Ahom rulers had also celebrated Me-Dam-Me-Phi on various occasions for either honouring their victory, desiring longevity or preventing forthcoming dangers.
Rituals of Me-Dam-Me-Phi
During Me-Dam-Me-Phi worship is offered to three deities namely Me Dam Me Phi, Grihadam and Dam Changphi. Ahom priests known as Deodhai and Bailung perform the worship following the sacred codes, called Bidhan, mentioned in Puthis or books such as Banfi and Phralung and by chanting Tai mantras. According to Ahom beliefs, after death a man remain as ancestor just for a few days and then becomes God. It is also believed that the immortal soul of a man unites with the supreme soul and acquires the virtues of a spiritual being. In this form it always blesses the family. Thus to worship the deceased, every Ahom family establishes a pillar opposite to their kitchen, also known as Barghar, which is called as Damkhuta. The departed are worshipped near the pillar along with offerings such as mah-prasad, rice and other food preparations.