Mahishya in Sri Lanka

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Mahishya
Country: Sri Lanka
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 600
World Population: 12,293,400
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - Mahishya
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Mahishya or Sadgop people are also known as Chasa or Chasi. The name Sadgop is derived from the two Sanskrit words: 'Sad' means good and 'Gop' means milkman. Hindus believe them to be the descendants of lord Krishna. In the Varna system, they are known as Vaisyas and as the members of Nabashakha group.

Where Are they Located?

As a people, they are found in several Indian states such as West Bengal, Odisha, and surrounding areas, speaking Bengali, Hindi, Oriya, or English as second languages. There are also a large number in Bangladesh. A much smaller number live in Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sadgop are a land-owning community. Agriculture is their traditional and primary occupation. Rice and wheat are their staple foods. They drink alcohol and chew tobacco. Their mother tongue is Bengali.

Their marriages are negotiated and monogamy (one man and one woman) is common among them. Married women have a significant role to play in the ritual wedding performances. They are expert in Alpana or floor painting during pujas, a Hindu time of worship and devotion.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Women worship the Hindu goddess Lakshmi daily. They propitiate Hari and Lakshmi as their family deities. Their village deities are Dharmaraj, Manasa and Shiva among others. Gaya and Vrindaban are their pilgrim centers. Durgapuja, Kalipuja and Dharmarajer are their major festivals.

What Are Their Needs?

The Mahishya people need the chance to respond to the Savior who came to give them abundant and eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Mahishya people in Sri Lanka for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Mahishya people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
Pray for the lives and culture of the Mahishya people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Text Source:   Keith Carey