Introduction / History Brahmans (often in the past spelled Brahmins) are the highest of the four varna (major caste groupings) in Hinduism. The historical developments of various Brahman 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. Brahman 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 Brahmans.
Traditionally Brahmans 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 Brahmans' lives, even if this is only a token routine for many.
Where are they located? The Kanaujia Brahmans are scattered all over India and Nepal, but a smaller number live further north in Nepal.
What are their lives like? Traditionally in the varna system Kanaujia Brahmans are considered as priests, but a temple priest is a lowly position that no Sawaria Brahman family wants their sons to aspire towards. Rather, there is strong pressure for higher education, particularly in computer science and engineering. Kanaujia Brahmans have a strong work ethic and are often leaders, whether politically, intellectually, spiritually or socially.
Sawaria Brahmans are 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 Kanaujia Brahman 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, Brahman subgroups are defined by their theological distinctions. However, many Brahman 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 Brahman might believe or disbelieve!
What are their needs? The Kanaujia Brahmans 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 Kanaujia Brahman leaders in Nepal.
Pray for the eyes of Brahman hearts to be open to Jesus Christ as Lord and king.
Pray for Holy Spirit directed Christ followers to go to Kanaujia Brahman communities.
Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Kanaujia Brahman community, both in India and Nepal.
Pray for many to be prompted to faithfully pray for Brahmans.