Introduction / History
Starting in the 5th century, there was a massive attack by the White Huns in what is now northern and northwestern India and Pakistan. About a century later the reigning Hindu-based Gupta Empire broke up, leaving the Subcontinent vulnerable to Muslim invaders from the north. As time went on, invaders took over land and integrated with the settled peoples of this region. Tribal leaders, especially those involved with defense, were accepted as Kshatrya, the second highest varna (major type of castes) in Hindu society, while their followers became Shudras, the fourth and lowest varna. Priests became the Brahmins, the highest of the four varnas.
Where Are they Located?
Rajputs are concentrated in India's northwestern state of Rajasthan, though there are Rajputs all over the country. Pakistan has Rajput communities, mostly in Punjab Province.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Though Paik Rajputs are still in the armed forces or own land, many have moved on to other livelihoods. Wealthy Rajputs now own impressive hotels in Rajasthan where tourists can be introduced to their history and culture. Rajputs who aren't so fortunate work as small businessmen or wage laborers.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Rajputs try to marry their daughters into clans of higher rank than their own. The Rajput clans in Rajasthan have the highest status, so families want their daughters to marry men from that state. Unfortunately, Rajputs often marry their daughters off while they are very young.
Forward caste Hindus often become devotees of a couple of gods. Typically, Rajputs worship Shiva (the destroyer), Surya (the sun god), and Durga (the mother goddess). They also have patron gods to turn to for protection. They celebrate Dasahara, a festival dedicated to Durga. During this festival, they sacrifice a buffalo to celebrate this goddess' victory over a buffalo demon. To find spiritual answers, Hindus often turn to gurus.
What Are Their Needs?
Paik Rajputs are going through an identity crisis. They can no longer depend on land ownership or military careers, especially with the Indian government reserving prestigious jobs for "backward" (ie, underprivileged) castes. Believers with the right skills can help them during this time of transition.
* Pray for the Paik Rajput community to increasingly grow in awareness of Jesus, his life and his sacrifice for them.
* Pray the Lord will give Paik Rajputs a spiritual hunger, then satisfy that hunger.
* Pray that these Rajputs will understand the value of becoming part of God's royal family.
* Pray for a Holy Spirit led humility for all Rajput communities to fall at the feet of the King of kings.
* Pray for a disciple making movement among every Rajput community.