Introduction / History
The Baidya or Vaidya are a Hindu people who live in northeast India and Bangladesh. Their traditional occupation is being physicians. Vaidya means one who knows, studies and teaches the Vedas, the Hindu Scriptures. The Baidya are one of the highest Hindu castes equal to the Brahmins in India and Bangladesh. The kings from the Sena dynasty of the 11th and 12th centuries were Baidya. Besides being medical doctors, the Baidya served as high-ranking military officers and as royal advisers. They were often given large tracts of land due to their service to the king.
Today the Baidya continue to become physicians. Frequently, they are trained in both traditional Indian Ayurveda and Western medicine.
The primary language of the Baidya is Bengali. As educated Indians and Bangladeshi, they also speak English and Hindi.
Where are they located?
Most Bangladeshi Baidya live in the states of Chittagong, Dhaka and Barisal.
What are their lives like?
The Baidya are one of the most respected castes in the Hindu system. Many of them still serve as physicians and in other professions like law and engineering. Baidya encourage their children to obtain graduate degrees in university. The Baidya possess land that is worked by lower castes.
The Baidya are generally monogamous, meaning they only have one spouse. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young adults. The Baidya often serve as priests in their own important family celebrations.
Most Baidya are not vegetarians but will not eat beef. Their primary foods are rice, grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy products.
What are their beliefs?
The Baidya practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of the Indian subcontinent. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. 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 Baidya visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Baidya pay special reverence to Vishnu, the preserver god and Surya, the sun god.
The main yearly holidays of the Baidya 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 Baidya need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They must come to realize that they are sinners who need the Savior.
* Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Baidya families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings.
* Pray the Lord will give Baidya families understanding and responsive hearts as they hear about the love of Christ.
* Pray that the Lord leads believers to build redeeming relationships with Baidya to show them that money and a high position in society do not bring peace of mind or the forgiveness of sins.
Text source: David Kugel