Introduction / History
The Charans are a Hindu people. The Charans are a caste of people living in the Rajasthan and Gujarat states of India, and a smaller number live in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Charans are well known for their contribution to the literature of Rajasthan, Sindh, and Gujarat as well as the earliest literature of Hindi. As Akbar's historian Abul Fazl pointed out Charans are good poets and better soldiers. They were a part of the landed aristocracy in Rajasthan and Gujarat, receiving land and privileges for their literary and military services. They part of the feudal system in Rajasthan and Gujarat as landowners and tax collectors. Charans were poets, soldiers, merchants, horse traders, caravan protectors, and cattle breeders. During the Partition of India in 1947 many Hindus left Pakistan and moved to India. Many Muslims in India relocated to Pakistan.
The two primary languages of the Charan in Pakistan are Sindhi and Dhatkt. College educated Charans also speak English. They live in western India and southern Pakistan.
At present, many Charans are engaged in government services at administrative positions. Others are employed by the Pakistani military. Many Charans own land and have lower castes work the land for them.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Hindu Charans in Pakistan practice monogamy, marriage to one’s spouse. Families and young people choose marriage partners. Charans like to marry within their group. Sons inherit property and take care of elderly parent and grandparents. Charan parents encourage their children to attend and graduate from universities.
What Are Their Belief?
Almost all Charans 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 as Christians do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
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.
Charans pay special devotion to the goddess Hinglaj, the first avatar of Shakti, the goddess of feminine power.
The Charans must understand that their wealth and status will not gain the approval of the true God. Like people everywhere, the Charan people need to allow the loving Savior to direct their lives. They need his forgiveness for their sins and the gift of eternal life.
What Are Their Needs?
Pray the Charan people in India and Pakistan would put their trust in Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side.
Pray for loving workers to go to the Charans of Pakistan.
Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in the communities of the Charans in India and Pakistan.
Scripture Prayers for the Charan (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan.
Kamphorst, Janet (2008). In Praise of Death: History and Poetry in Medieval Marwar. Leiden University Press. ISBN 978-90-8728-044-4.