Bengali Brahmin in India

The Brahmin Bengali have only been reported 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

Brahmins are the highest of the four varna (major caste groupings) in Hinduism. The historical developments of various Brahmin castes are not clear, as the history of the caste system itself is unclear. There was perhaps a caste system based on personal merit at one time before the hereditary caste system became dominant, as is seen in modern history. Brahmin castes became powerful in the early centuries of the Christian Era through alliances with kings, who granted them landed estates related to temples and temple service. There has never been a comprehensive analysis of all the different types and subgroups of Brahmins.

Traditionally Brahmins have five daily duties; to the gods, to ancestors, to all creatures, to humans, and to study. Thus daily worship (duty to gods) and chanting of sacred texts (duty to study) are an integral part of many Brahmins' lives, even if this is only a token routine for many.


Where Are they Located?

Bengali Brahmins live not only in their home state of West Bengal, but also in neighboring state of Tripura and the adjoining nation state of Bangladesh. A high percentage of them speak English also as higher education in India is mostly English medium.

Brahmins are disproportionately represented among overseas Indians due to their higher educational attainments, so those who reach out to Indian nationals in the West are very likely reaching out to people who are extremely difficult to reach in South Asia.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Unlike most Brahmin communities that are strictly vegetarian, the Bengalis eat fish. Many of them consider fish to be an appropriate part of a vegetarian diet.

Traditionally in the varna system Brahmins are considered as priests, but a temple priest is a lowly position that no Bengali Brahmin family wants their sons to aspire towards. Rather, there is strong pressure for higher education, particularly in computer science and engineering. This is likely to be especially true for Brahmins in West Bengal, which has a long history of great literature and intellectual pursuits.

Bengali Brahmins are still deeply influenced by the traditional four stages of life; the first student stage is followed by the householder stage, where marriage, raising a family and being a productive member of society is the primary obligation of an individual. Once children are married there is time for spiritual concerns in the third stage of reclusiveness, which is followed (this is rarely practiced) by itinerant homeless wandering (sannyasa).

Often a busy Brahmin will put off spiritual discussions as an issue for later in life. The famous Bhagavad Gita text does not support this, however, as it calls for all humanity to engage in doing good to all without thought of merit or reward for such actions.


What Are Their Beliefs?

In some cases Brahmin subgroups are defined by their theological distinctions such as Madhva Brahmins, who are defined by their dualist theology, though everyone does not actually hold those beliefs. However, many Brahmin castes are made up of people who adhere to all the various philosophical and theological options espoused by modern Hindus, including hard core secularists and atheists. One can never predict what an individual Brahmin might believe or disbelieve!


What Are Their Needs?

Bengali Brahmins as an influential and generally well-to-do community are not unlike the middle classes of most places. Their main needs involve relational strains that are usually kept behind closed doors. Modernization is breaking down family units which have been the glue to society for many generations, and loneliness is increasingly a problem. They are expected to "achieve it all," but ironically, achieving it all can be empty.


Prayer Points

Pray for Christ to reveal Himself to Bengali Brahmin leaders.
Pray for the eyes of Bengali Brahmin hearts to be open to Jesus Christ as Lord and king.
Pray for Holy Spirit directed Christ followers to go to Bengali Brahmin communities.
Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Brahmin community.
Pray for many to be prompted to faithfully pray for Brahmins.


Scripture Prayers for the Brahmin Bengali in India.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19931/IN
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_Brahmins
http://www.brahminpedia.com/2010/03/on-food-habits-of-bengali-brahmins.html
https://www.reddit.com/r/india/comments/3hkdi2/why_are_most_bengali_brahmins_non_vegetarian/
https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/kulin-brahmins-bengali-brahmins/


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

Additional Info
Brahmin of India profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Brahmin Bengali
People Name in Country Brahmin Bengali
Natural Name Bengali Brahmin
Pronunciation BRAH-min
Population this Country 245,000
Population all Countries 245,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 5
Alternate Names Bahun; Bajey; Brahman Terai; Brahmin Terai; ब्रामिन, बिंगाली
People ID 19931
ROP3 Code 115701
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 31
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Jharkhand
77,000
Tripura
72,000
Uttar Pradesh
24,000
Odisha
20,000
Chhattisgarh
8,000
Delhi
6,800
Bihar
6,700
Maharashtra
5,500
Madhya Pradesh
4,900
Nagaland
4,400
Meghalaya
3,300
Arunachal Pradesh
1,600
Uttarakhand
1,500
Manipur
1,200
Rajasthan
1,100
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 31  (only 20 largest shown)
  Jharkhand 77,000
  Tripura 72,000
  Uttar Pradesh 24,000
  Odisha 20,000
  Chhattisgarh 8,000
  Delhi 6,800
  Bihar 6,700
  Maharashtra 5,500
  Madhya Pradesh 4,900
  Nagaland 4,400
  Meghalaya 3,300
  Arunachal Pradesh 1,600
  Uttarakhand 1,500
  Manipur 1,200
  Rajasthan 1,100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Bengali (207,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Hindi
50
Primary Language Bengali (207,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Hindi 50
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)
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
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Rivka video
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
General Biblical answers to your questions
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.
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