Bairagi (Hindu traditions) in India

Bairagi (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Bairagi (Hindu traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,263,000
World Population: 4,768,000
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

During the British period the Bairagi were known as priests, rulers and landowners. As Brahmins, the Bairagi are the highest caste in the Hindu system. Many Bairagi men serve are priests and teachers of Hinduism to the lower castes.

The first language of the Bairagi is Hindi. As an educated people, they also speak English and the local languages where they live.

Many resources are available in Hindi including a complete Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs. There are few if any known Bairagi believers.

The Bairagi people live throughout India. Smaller groups live in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Brahmins are the keepers of Hinduism. When one of the three lower castes has a wedding, funeral, or birth, they hire the services of a Brahmin priest to officiate the ceremonies. The Bairagi own land which is frequently worked by lower castes.

Parents strongly encourage their sons to attend university while their daughters might only have a primary or secondary education. Many Bairgai women stay home, rear children and take care of domestic concerns.

Marriage to one person is the norm. Families and young people choose their spouses. Bairagi marry within their group or with other Brahmins. Besides working as priests, Bairagi work in the professions, in government and in finance. Many prominent gurus, religious leaders and politicians in Indian history have been Bairagi.

A mark (tilak) on the forehead and ear are identification marks of the Brahmin Bairagi.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bairagi people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. A proper Bairagi is one whose principal deity is either the preserver god Vishnu or any of his incarnations, like Rama and Krishna. They worship Gouranga as their family deity.

At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among Brahmins like the Bairagi.

Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.

What Are Their Needs?

The spiritual pride of the Brahmins can often keep them from coming to Christ. To follow Christ is to risk disturbing family harmony within this Hindu community. Much sustained, focused prayer is needed to prepare the hearts of the Bairagi community to understand and receive the good news of Jesus of Nazareth.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send Holy Spirit anointed workers to the Bairagi.

Ask the Lord to create a spiritual hunger among the Bairagi and that they might read the Hindi Bible and tune in to radio programs.

Pray that the Lord raises up a growing church among the Bairagi in this decade.

Pray for the Hindu Bairagi community to make schooling for both boys and girls a priority.

Text Source:   Joshua Project