Mahanta in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Mahanta people live in northeast India and Bangladesh. A mahant is a religious leader who is a chief priest or the head of a monastery. A Mahanta can be the keeper or guardian for a holy site for Hindus or Sikhs. The Mahanta people are members of the Kshatriya caste, the second highest caste of Hinduism. The Kshatriya claim to be descendants of rulers, large landowners, military officers and royal officials.


Where Are they Located?

Most of the Mahanta people live in the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha or Jharkhand.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Today there is a great variety in the occupations of the Mahanta. Those who are educated serve as physicians, politicians, government administrators, businesspersons and entertainers. Less educated Mahanta labor in the fields and work in factories. The primary languages of the Mahanta are Odia and Bengali. Educated Mahanta also speak Hindi and English.

The Mahanta marry within their caste. Elders arrange marriages. The bride often goes to live with the groom's family when she reaches puberty. Child marriages are becoming less common than they were in the past. Monogamy, marriage to one spouse, is the rule. Sons inherit property with the eldest son receiving the father's title and home. Caste councils consisting of elders settle legal disputes and promote their interests. Some better educated Mahanta live in large cities while many others live in rural villages.

The Mahanta are not vegetarians, but as Hindus they will not eat beef. Rice, wheat, vegetables, fruit, and dairy products are their main foods. The social use of alcohol is forbidden but many Mahanta drink to excess.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mahanta practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They pay particular allegiance to Shiva, Durga, Hanuman and Vishnu. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Mahanta visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods. The main yearly holidays of the Mahanta people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.


What Are Their Needs?

The Mahanta need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. Different methods of sharing the gospel will have to be used depending upon the educational level of the Mahanta person. Rural Mahanta would benefit by learning new job skills and in applying modern methods of agriculture to their farms.


Prayer Points

Pray for a movement of Mahanta households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for the Mahanta people to understand and embrace Jesus who wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Mahanta family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Mahanta communities.


Scripture Prayers for the Mahanta in India.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahant
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudumi_Mahato
peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/kurmi/


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Mahanta
People Name in Country Mahanta
Alternate Names Baba; Gosain; Goswami; Mahanty; Mahat; Mahatar; Mahato; Mahto; महानता
Population this Country 110,000
Population all Countries 112,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 17408
ROP3 Code 112808
ROP25 Code 304932
ROP25 Name Mahanti
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 5
Largest States
West Bengal
56,000
Odisha
43,000
Jharkhand
8,700
Andhra Pradesh
800
Andaman and Nicobar
90
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 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  West Bengal 56,000
  Odisha 43,000
  Jharkhand 8,700
  Andhra Pradesh 800
  Andaman and Nicobar 90
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Bengali (47,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Odia
44,000
Hindi
1,100
Primary Language Bengali (47,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Odia 44,000
  Hindi 1,100
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2022)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) 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 Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali 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 Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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