Mahtam (Hindu traditions) in India

Mahtam (Hindu traditions)
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Mahtam (Hindu traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 164,000
World Population: 170,900
Primary Language: Punjabi, Eastern
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The traditional occupations of the Mahtam Sikh were farming, hunting wild boars, fishing and liquor distillation. They were associated with rope making, since ropes were used by them with their hunting efforts. They have been known as cultivators and clearers of the jungle, and there are many differing stories of their origins. This community is scattered all over India. The Mahtam or Rai Sikh speak Punjabi and read and write in Gurumukhi. The term Mahtam is usually for Hindus or Muslims, so Rai Sikhs might be a more accurate description of this community.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today they are primarily farmers, but many are engaged in other trades as well. In Rajasthan the Rai Sikh are mainly landowners. Many hold either blue or white collar jobs. They maintain cordial relationships with the scheduled castes and other artisan and service castes of the nearby villages. A committee settles social disputes for them. They have the All India Rai Sikh Welfare Association to put pressure on governments to address their needs. They allow for divorce and remarriage. Sons inherit the family property. Upon the death of the father, the oldest son becomes the family head.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The word Sikh in the Punjabi language means disciple. They are disciples of their founder, Guru Nanak (1469) and nine other successive gurus; the final one died in 1708. They believe there is only one God and he is the same God for all people and all religions. They condemn rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, and idol worship. They believe that salvation is achieved through meditation, the guru's grace, and service to a guru or service to people. Some later decided to follow the teachings of Radha Soami. His teachings have led to less alcoholism and less meat consumption.

What Are Their Needs?

The Rai Sikhs need to seek and find the Lord of lords who alone can forgive sin and offer life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for workers and intercessors. Pray for spiritual hunger that will lead them to the only Savior. Pray that Indian believers will lead the Rai Sikh to begin their own movement to Christ.

Text Source:   Keith Carey