Mahanta in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Mahanta people live in northeast India and Bangladesh. A mahant is a religious leader who is a chief priest or the head of a monastery. A Mahanta can be the keeper or guardian for a holy site for Hindus or Sikhs. The Mahanta people are members of the Kshatriya caste, the second highest caste of Hinduism. The Kshatriya claim to be descendants of rulers, large landowners, military officers and royal officials.


Where Are they Located?

Most of the Mahanta people live in the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha or Jharkhand.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Today there is a great variety in the occupations of the Mahanta. Those who are educated serve as physicians, politicians, government administrators, businesspersons and entertainers. Less educated Mahanta labor in the fields and work in factories. The primary languages of the Mahanta are Odia and Bengali. Educated Mahanta also speak Hindi and English.

The Mahanta marry within their caste. Elders arrange marriages. The bride often goes to live with the groom's family when she reaches puberty. Child marriages are becoming less common than they were in the past. Monogamy, marriage to one spouse, is the rule. Sons inherit property with the eldest son receiving the father's title and home. Caste councils consisting of elders settle legal disputes and promote their interests. Some better educated Mahanta live in large cities while many others live in rural villages.

The Mahanta are not vegetarians, but as Hindus they will not eat beef. Rice, wheat, vegetables, fruit, and dairy products are their main foods. The social use of alcohol is forbidden but many Mahanta drink to excess.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mahanta practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They pay particular allegiance to Shiva, Durga, Hanuman and Vishnu. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Mahanta visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods. The main yearly holidays of the Mahanta people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.


What Are Their Needs?

The Mahanta need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. Different methods of sharing the gospel will have to be used depending upon the educational level of the Mahanta person. Rural Mahanta would benefit by learning new job skills and in applying modern methods of agriculture to their farms.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Mahanta in India.

* Pray for a movement of Mahanta households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for the Mahanta people to understand and embrace Jesus who wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
* Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Mahanta family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
* Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Mahanta communities.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahant
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudumi_Mahato
peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/kurmi/


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Mahanta
People Name in Country Mahanta
World Population 92,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
Alternate Names Baba; Gosain; Goswami; Mahanty; Mahat; Mahatar; Mahato; Mahto; महानता
People ID 17408
ROP3 Code 112808
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 5
Largest States
West Bengal
46,000
Odisha
37,000
Jharkhand
7,500
Andhra Pradesh
700
Andaman and Nicobar
80
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  West Bengal 46,000
  Odisha 37,000
  Jharkhand 7,500
  Andhra Pradesh 700
  Andaman and Nicobar 80
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Odia (44,000 speakers)
Language Code ory   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Bengali
43,000
Hindi
2,000
Primary Language Odia (44,000 speakers)
Language Code ory   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Bengali 43,000
  Hindi 2,000
People Groups Speaking Odia

Primary Language:  Odia

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1811-1956)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1809-2000)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1815-2004)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Odia
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible: ODIA - Oriya
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Gerald Roberts 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.