Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey
Introduction / History
"If I had such a beautiful woman in my house, I would cheerfully perform the most menial offices for her." This was definitely the wrong thing to say at the wrong time. This wise-crack was supposedly uttered by a Bhuimali man who was attending a feast hosted by Parvati, the beautiful wife of the Hindu god Siva. Impressed by her beauty and grace, he made this remark, and incurred the wrath of her husband, who is also the Hindu god of destruction. Siva gave this Bhuimali man a beautiful wife, and made him spend his days as her sweeper. Becoming a sweeper meant that the Bhuimali people were demoted, so to speak, from the low caste Sudras, to being outside the caste system. That is their traditional explanation for why they are now a scheduled caste.
Where are they Located?
The Bhuimalis are mainly a landless agricultural group, though some work for government agencies. They are from the Bengali cluster of people groups. Most of them live in India's West Bengal state, though others live scattered throughout the smaller northeastern states.
What are Their Beliefs?
The Bhuimali people are Hindus who focus their worship on Hindu gods. Surprisingly, Siva is still one of the gods they worship. Local priest perform rituals and sacrifices for them.
* Pray for the Kingdom of God to come to the Bhuimalis, and give them the understanding that they have the dignity of being created in the image of God.
* Pray that they will soon worship the God of Creation only, and put their full trust in Jesus Christ.
Some information from "The Scheduled Castes" K. S. Singh, ed. Oxford University Press, USA (1994)