Pancham Bania in India

The Pancham Bania have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from Vaniji, which means "trader" in Sanskrit, an ancient South Asian language.

Of the four major varnas (caste clusters), Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business and money lending. Throughout history they were traders of grain and spices.

Despite their high incomes, the Banias have only modest status in the Hindu caste pyramid. They resent the higher two varnas, the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas, and thus Banias have often been leaders in caste reform movements. Mahatma Gandhi is one example, but there have been many others throughout India's long history.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Members of the Bania caste are among the wealthiest people in India and even the world. Today they are still involved with businesses and money lending. A Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He often owns the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers or engineers.

Pancham Bania fathers teach their children business skills. From an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions. Bania parents often teach their children to "never give; always bargain and make money." This attitude can make them unpopular with other communities. Other castes often resent them because they lend much needed money at high interest rates. A pre-literate farmer might take a loan from a Bania only to find that a high percentage of his harvest will be taken away as interest. Customers often must put their farms or their gold up for collateral in case they cannot pay back their loans.

Floor painting and folk songs are a major part of the Bania's art and culture.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Pancham Banias claim the Hindu religion, but as merchants they have chosen gods that reflect their profession. They worship the god of wealth, the god of good fortune and the god of money. The rupee (Indian currency) is sacred with the Bania, and they use old coins for religious ceremonies. Ganesh (the god who helps overcome obstacles) and Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) are among their favorites. Many are devoted to Vishnu and Shrinathji. Some are Jains, a reform movement of Hinduism.


What Are Their Needs?

Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus and abandon the old ways that leave them spiritually empty.


Prayer Points

Pray that the Pancham Banias will see that the only true wealth are the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pray that Christ's disciples will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.

Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania community, blessing them for eternity.

Pray for the Lord to give Pancham Bania leaders dreams and visions that will draw them to the King of kings.


Scripture Prayers for the Bania Pancham in India.


References

India Missions Association, Edited by Philipose Vaidyar, Copyrighted © Used with permission

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste)

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/LIA5OcknCv3zQw2hJi0GDN/The-peculiar-pedigree-of-the-business-class.htm


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Bania profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Bania Pancham
People Name in Country Bania Pancham
Natural Name Pancham Bania
Population this Country 44,000
Population all Countries 44,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Panchal; बनिया पंचम
People ID 21470
ROP3 Code 118286
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 3
Largest States
Maharashtra
43,000
Karnataka
1,300
Goa
100
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
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 3
  Maharashtra 43,000
  Karnataka 1,300
  Goa 100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Kannada (28,000 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Marathi
9,300
Hindi
200
Konkani
100
Primary Language Kannada (28,000 speakers)
Language Code kan   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Marathi 9,300
  Hindi 200
  Konkani 100
People Groups Speaking Kannada

Primary Language:  Kannada

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1812-1988)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1823-1995)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1827-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible General / Other
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Oral Bible Stories Story Runners
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Kannada Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
16.06 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
83.94 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more