Srimali Bania in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from Vaniji, which means "trader" in Sanskrit, an ancient South Asian language.

Of the four major varnas (caste clusters), Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business, and money lending. They were usually traders of grain and spices throughout history.

Despite their high incomes, the Banias have only modest status in the Hindu caste pyramid. They resent the higher two varnas, the Brahmins and the Kshatryas, and thus Banias have often been leaders in caste reform movements. Mahatma Gandhi is one example, but there have been many others throughout India's long history.


Where Are they Located?

Banias originated in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Srimalis are one of the largest Bania community, and they live all over India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Members of the Bania caste are among the wealthiest people in India and even the world. Today they are still involved with businesses and money lending. A Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He might even own the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers, or engineers.

They are often resented by other castes, because they lend much needed money at high interest rates. A pre-literate farmer might take a loan from a Bania only to find that a high percentage of his harvest will be taken away as interest. Customers often must put their farms or their gold up for collateral in case they cannot pay back their loans.

The lessons such as "never give; always bargain and make money" are often learned at young ages by Bania children. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.


What Are Their Beliefs?

About half all Srimali Bania people 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. These are the gods who drive their lives, gods that leave them with empty hearts. Some are Jains, a Hindu offshoot religion.


What Are Their Needs?

Srimali Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus, and abandon the old ways that have left them spiritually empty and other castes economically devastated and resentful.


Prayer Points

Pray that the veil of deception will be lifted from the eyes of the Srimali Banias and that they will see that the only true wealth is the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Pray that Christ's disciples will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.
Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania community.


Scripture Prayers for the Bania Srimali in India.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19723/IN
http://indpaedia.com/ind/index.php/Bania:_Srimali
http://www.peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/bania/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste)
http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/LIA5OcknCv3zQw2hJi0GDN/The-peculiar-pedigree-of-the-business-class.html
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/16318/IN
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2008/08/08
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2007/09/16
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2009/08/25


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

Additional Info
Bania profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-08-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-09-20
People Name General Bania Srimali
People Name in Country Bania Srimali
Natural Name Srimali Bania
Population this Country 428,000
Population all Countries 431,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 9
Alternate Names Seth; Srimali Vaisya; बनिया, सृिमाली
People ID 19723
ROP3 Code 115176
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 16
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Gujarat
280,000
Maharashtra
79,000
Rajasthan
32,000
Madhya Pradesh
20,000
Delhi
4,200
Uttar Pradesh
4,200
Tamil Nadu
1,000
Uttarakhand
800
Odisha
500
Jharkhand
500
Chhattisgarh
400
Daman and Diu
400
Karnataka
400
Dadra and Nagar Have
300
West Bengal
300
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 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 16
  Gujarat 280,000
  Maharashtra 79,000
  Rajasthan 32,000
  Madhya Pradesh 20,000
  Delhi 4,200
  Uttar Pradesh 4,200
  Tamil Nadu 1,000
  Uttarakhand 800
  Odisha 500
  Jharkhand 500
  Chhattisgarh 400
  Daman and Diu 400
  Karnataka 400
  Dadra and Nagar Have 300
  West Bengal 300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Gujarati (228,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 18
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
70,000
Marathi
32,000
Marwari
17,000
Konkani
4,700
Dhundari
2,500
Kacchi
2,000
Mewari
1,500
Nimadi
800
Saurashtra
500
Malvi
500
Shekhawati
400
Khandesi
200
Kanauji
200
Bhojpuri
100
Bagri
100
Primary Language Gujarati (228,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 18
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi 70,000
  Marathi 32,000
  Marwari 17,000
  Konkani 4,700
  Dhundari 2,500
  Kacchi 2,000
  Mewari 1,500
  Nimadi 800
  Saurashtra 500
  Malvi 500
  Shekhawati 400
  Khandesi 200
  Kanauji 200
  Bhojpuri 100
  Bagri 100
People Groups Speaking Gujarati

Primary Language:  Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1809-1965)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1820-1985)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2021)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text 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 New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible General / Other
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Creation to Christ Create International
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Gujarati Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
58.26 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
41.74 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source (Representative photo)
Copyrighted © 2022  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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. Read more