Vaishnavism of Manipur

Vaishnavism of Manipur, an east Indian state, has extended history.

While there are records in the Puranas as to account of the pre-historic forms of Vaishnavism or Bhagavatism in the area of present state, the modern history of Vaishnava practices in Manipur started with a king of the Shan kingdom of Pong gifting a murti of Vishnu chakra (the symbolic disc of Vishnu or Krishna) to Kyamaba, king of Manipur, so since 1470s the kings of Manipur started worshiping Vishnu. Many brahmana priests from the west, main areas of India, came to Manipur and settled there. The account of the arrival of the members of brahmanas is found in the records of the book Bamon Khunthock. King Kyamba (1467–1523) built a Vishnu mandir in Vishnupur, a notable architectural monument. In 1704 King Charai Rongba was initiated into Vaishnava tradition and since then Vaishnavism became the state religion. This consolidated the cultural contact with India even further. King Gareeb Nivaz was ruling from 1709 to 1748 and he was initiated into Vaishnavism of Chaitanya tradition, by followers of Narottama Dasa Thakura, who worshiped Krishna as the supreme deity, Svayam bhagavan. He practiced this religion for nearly twenty years. Preachers and pilgrims used to arrive in large numbers and cultural contact with Assam was maintained. Its believed that the wave of devotion that turned the entire kingdom Krishna conscious took place during the reign of Gareeb Nivaz’s grandson Bhagyachandra.

The Manipuri Vaishnavas do not worship Krishna alone, but Radha-Krishna. With the spread of Vaishnavism the worship of Krishna and Radha became the dominant form in the Manipur region. Every village there has a Thakur-ghat and a temple.

Read more about Vaishnavism Of Manipur:  King Bhagyachandra, Geographical Isolation of Manipur, Impact of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Impact of Other Local Traditions, See Also