Introduction / History
War can have far-reaching consequences. The Bajania Nat people of Gujarat, India know this very well. At one time they all lived in Rajasthan and fought for Rajput kings. But when Islamic armies defeated them, some Bajania Nats moved east into what is now Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. For a time, they suffered poverty. To gain even daily food they resorted to doing acrobatic tricks, dancing and prostitution.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Bajania no longer practice prostitution. They still do folk dances and acrobatic tricks for anyone who will pay them. The men will beat drums to attract a crowd, and their women will do dances involving ropes stretched between bamboo poles. Many Bajania also work in agriculture on land owned by others.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Bajania tend to marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Families arrange marriages. The Bajania have large families. Rural Bajania often lack access to modern medicine and clean water. As a result, child mortality is high. Their children frequently quit school after a few years to help their family make a living. Sons inherit their father’s property and take care of elderly relatives. Some young people are leaving the villages and moving to Indian cities in search of a better life. Some Bajania have received a college education and now work in government jobs and in the professions.
The Bajania people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
The Bajania who live in villages need the benefits of modern medicine. They need good schools for their children. Most of all the Bajania must hear and respond to the good news about Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Bajania communities.
Pray for the Bajania people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Ask the Lord to send Holy Spirit anointed workers to the Bajania.
Pray that Bajania tune to Gujarati radio programs and learn about Christ.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers Bajania disciples to make more disciples.
Scripture Prayers for the Bajania in India.