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Sangsarek: Supreme God of the Garo

Sangsarek: Supreme God of the Garo

The traditional religious system, Sangsarek, is generally described as an animist, but from the latter part of the 19th century American Baptist, and later Catholic missionaries opened schools and hospitals in the Garo Hills. Most Garos are now Christians, with the majority belonging to the Garo Baptist Convention, smaller numbers of Roman Catholics, and also some Seventh-day Adventists and Anglicans.

Traditionally their religion was a mixture of Pantheism and Hinduism. Like the Hindus and the Buddhists, the Garos believed in the incarnation of the spirit in man. The form of an incarnation depends on his sin. The Garos believed in the “Supreme God” as locally known as Dakgipa Rugipa Stugipa Pantugipa or Tatara Rabuga Stura Pantura, or the Creator. Besides the Tatara-Rabuga, who created this earth, there are the deities of Chorabudi (Protector of Crops), Misi Saljong (God of Fertility), Goera (God of Strength), Susime (Goddess of Wealth), etc.

In all religious ceremonies, sacrifices were essential for the propitiation of the spirits. They had to be invoked for births, marriages, deaths, illness, besides the good crops and welfare of the community and for protection from destruction and dangers.

Like the Hindus, the Garos used to show reverence to the ancestors by offering food to the departed souls and by the erection of memorial stones.

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