The Rajput Rathor or Rathore ruled small to medium sized kingdoms in western India from 1197 to the Partition of India in 1947. The region of Marwar in southwest Rajastan was their original home. The Rathor are proud of the history of their dynasties and military conquests. At times they fought against the Muslim Sultanates and at other times with the Muslims. Rajput means son of a ruler in Sanskrit. The Rathor say that they are descendants of Rama and the sun god Surya. As Kshatriya, the second highest caste in Hinduism, they serve in positions of government and military leadership. Some Rathor own businesses and others own land that is worked by lower castes. Rathor who are less wealthy work as small businessmen and farmers.
The two principle languages of the Rathor are Hindi and Marwari. They also speak other regional languages of India.
Where Are they Located?
The Rajput Rathor live in the Indian states of Rajastan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Smaller groups live in other areas of India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Rajput Rathor live at the highest level of Indian society. They are wealthy and powerful in the sections of India where they live. They encourage their children to pursue higher education. The Rathor are patrons of Hindu temples and give generously to Hindu causes.
Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Brahmins perform important life rituals at births, weddings and funerals. Sons inherit property from their fathers with the eldest son gaining his father's title and home. Some Rajput Rathor are vegetarians while others eat meat except for beef.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Rajput Rathor are Hindu, the ancient national religion and culture of India.
The Rathor worship and serve the many gods of the Hindu pantheon. They pay special attention to Shiva whom many consider the supreme god. Durga, the warrior-mother goddess and wife of Shiva, is worshipped in her many temples.
The Rathor celebrate the Hindu holidays such as Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of light, Navratri, the nine-day celebration of autumn and Durga Puja, the festival which commemorates the goddess' victory over the evil buffalo spirit.
What Are Their Needs?
The Rajputs must see themselves as sinners and in need of a Savior. They need to hear a clear presentation of the gospel in a way they can understand. They must realize that Shiva and Durga will never save them from their sins. They need to see the love and mercy of Christ lived out in a real way before them.
* Pray the Lord humbles the Rajput Rathor and that they hunger and thirst for the spiritual truth given only in the Bible.
* Pray God sends Indian and other Christians to befriend the Rathor and share the good news with them.
* Pray that God wins many Rajput Rathor to Himself and churches begin in this significant people group of India.
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