Introduction / History
In earlier times the Yadav were called Ahir. The name Ahir is derived from 'Abhira', which is an immigrant tribe found in inscriptions and Hindu sacred books. The Abhira appear to have been one of the immigrant tribes from Central Asia. They were spoken of as robbers and foreigners. They claim connection to the god Krishna, since he was a herdsman. In most places they don't use the name Ahir anymore and the most common name is Yadav or Yadava. It's easy to find out who a Yadav is. Just ask them their name and they will tell you their first name followed by their title which is always Yadav.
Where Are they Located?
The highest concentration is in the states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (north India) but also in east, west and south India. Others live in southern Nepal or Sri Lanka.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Yadav are a caste comprising of dairymen, cattle producers, and laborers. Their traditional occupation is animal husbandry and selling its products. The Yadav consist of both landowning and landless people. Some Yadav are businessmen, teachers, doctors, engineers, and political leaders.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Yadav live in joint families. Most are vegetarian but many have started eating fish, mutton, chicken and sometimes pork, but not beef. Child labor is common among them. They are good in musical dance, wrestling and mock-fighting with swords. Boys are given preference for formal education.
The Yadav participate in local traditional and socio-religious festivals. They have expertise in oral traditions and group singing in praise of the god Vishnu. Krishna is perhaps their favorite Hindu god, since he was also a herder. They celebrate his birthday with great enthusiasm. They often pray to Singaji for the protection of their cattle from disease and often give thank offerings of butter, unripe mangoes and sugar. Yadavs are known to have more faith in astrology and talismans than in the services of a doctor.
What Are Their Needs?
They are in need to hear about the way of salvation. Most of the Yadav die never hearing the name of Jesus once in a lifetime!
But also life, lifestyle and living standard are changing. The next generation will need to get other kinds of jobs. To get those jobs they need education, but proper education is not always available.
* Scripture Prayers for the Yadav (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka.
* Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Yadav people in Sri Lanka.
* Pray for a movement of Yadav households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Yadav people in Sri Lanka to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Yadav people.