Introduction / History
The Hindu Rajput Ponwar or Panwar live in the north and central states of India. Rajput means "son of a ruler" in Sanskrit. Ponwar means "descendants of the Paramara" dynasty. This middle-sized kingdom flourished in the late medieval period in north central India. All Rajput Ponwar or Panwar were originally Hindus. With the coming of the Muslim sultanates, some Ponwar converted to Islam for spiritual and political reasons. However, most Ponwar stayed Hindu.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Ponwar take pride in their warrior history. The British recruited them as soldiers during the colonial period. The Ponwar became landholders of large estates. Some Rajput Ponwar are wealthy landowners who have other castes work their land. Some are less wealthy and till the soil themselves. Their military tradition continues in the Indian Army. They hold positions of leadership in government.
The primary language of the Hindu Ponwar is Hindi. As educated Indians they also speak English and other regional Indian languages.
The Rajput Ponwar enjoy a high status in Indian society. They encourage their children to pursue higher education. Families arrange marriages within the Rajput caste but not within the near clan members. The ancient practice of child marriage is no longer followed. Sons inherit property with the eldest son inheriting his parents' home and father's title. Ponwar are non-vegetarians but as Hindus they do not eat beef.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Ponwar practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon especially Vishnu, the preserver and Shiva, the destroyer. 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 Ponwar visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of the Ponwar people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
The Ponwar need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to understand they are sinners and must have a Savior to forgive their sins. Ponwar need to see the love and mercy of Christ lived out before them in practical ways.
* Scripture Prayers for the Rajput Ponwar (Hindu traditions) in India.
* Pray the Lord sends believers to befriend the Rajput Ponwar and show them the love and grace of God.
* Pray that Rajputs living outside of India would become believers and return to India to share the gospel with their people.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit leads many Rajputs to Christ and that growing
churches are planted among them.