Bania Mahajan in India

Bania Mahajan
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Bania Mahajan
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 230,000
World Population: 230,000
Primary Language: Hindi
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 Forward Caste - Bania
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Their name is Mahajan, a Bania subgroup of north India, meaning "great people." Maha means "great" and jan means "people." Most of the Mahajans come from present-day Rajasthan. Historically, they are a people who fled into the foothills of the Himalayas during the Mogul Era to escape cruel Islamic rulers. Most Mahajans today speak Hindi, but Marathi, Punjabi, and Dogri are also spoken among them. Though they are most often found in Rajasthan, Mahajans live throughout India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

An economically and socially powerful people, Mahajan Bania are highly respected by Hindu society. In the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Maharashtra, Mahajans work as landlords, traders and businessmen. Ironically, few Mahajans are involved in money lending, a primary job of Banias.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Mahajan 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?

Though they live all over India, the Mahajan Banias probably don’t have a single Christ follower among them. They need contact with vibrant, Christ loving believers.

Prayer Points

Ask the heavenly Father to connect the Hindu Mahajans with loving Christ followers.
Pray that they will realize that their power and prestige can only bring peace and joy if they have a personal relationship with their Creator, the one true living God.
Pray that they would have a desire to serve and respect him as Lord of their lives and of their business practices.

Text Source:   Joshua Project