Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
Brahmin is a Hindu caste. The English word brahmin is an anglicized form of the Sanskrit word Brahmana. Brahmin refers to the "supreme self" in Hinduism or the first of the gods. Due to the diversity in language, religious and cultural traditions and practices, and the Vedic schools which they belong to, there are numerous types of Brahmins. One of these is the Sanadhya.
The history of the Brahmins is associated with the Vedic religion of early India, usually referred to as Sanatana Dharma. Brahmins first come to notice historically in the Vedic period, but how the modern caste system developed is a highly contested topic due to lack of clear data. Brahmins and kings became the dominant social and religious forces in many of the kingdoms that developed over pre-modern India. Discrimination became of a feature of the caste system with Brahmins often being assigned blame for the system. Over time, Brahmins became a powerful and influential group in India, and many discriminated against lower castes.
Only a subset of Brahmins is involved in priestly duties including teaching and preaching. They excel as educators, scholars, doctors, warriors, writers, poets, landowners, politicians. Modern Brahmin parents aspire for their sons to become computer programmers and engineers.
There was a time when India included what is now Bangladesh and Pakistan. After the 1947 partition, some Brahmins remained in Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh. They naturally hold less power in these Muslim countries than their counterparts in India.
What are their lives like?
Brahmins are generally among the well-to-do in India and place a high value on education. (Thus, an inordinate percentage of Brahmins are among the Hindus who have migrated to the West.) Probably most still perform daily worship rituals, but the growing forces of secularization and globalization in India are strongest among the Brahmins. Most are vegetarian but some groups eat some meat, particularly fish, and many individuals even from vegetarian Brahmin groups are now eating meat (rarely beef, and often meat eating is surreptitious). Discerning opinions and heart attitudes is difficult, but it seems that only a small minority of today's Brahmins would uphold what was once considered Brahmin orthodoxy: that Brahmins are better by birth than all other peoples. This feeling of superiority is harder to maintain in Muslim countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh where the general population is not Hindu.
What are their beliefs?
The Sanadhya Brahmins practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
What are their needs?
Like people everywhere, the Sanadhya Brahmins need to allow the loving savior to direct their lives. They need his forgiveness for sin.
Pray the Sanadhya Brahmins would see they can enjoy abundant life if they put their trust in Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side and blessing them in every way.
Pray for Holy Spirit sent workers.
Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.
Pray for the birth of an unstoppable church planting movement.
ReferencesView Brahmin Sanadhya in all countries.