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Bania Mahesri in Sri Lanka

Bania Mahesri

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Bania Mahesri in Sri Lanka map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,900 Marwari Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Bania Mahesri in Sri Lanka

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Introduction / History
The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from 'Vaniji', which means 'trader' in Sanskrit, an ancient South Asian language.

Of the four major varnas (caste clusters), Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business, and money lending. They were usually traders of grain and spices throughout history. Today Bania is a rather loose term, sometimes meaning caste and other times just business people.

Despite their high incomes, the Banias have only modest status in the Hindu caste pyramid. They resent the higher two varnas, the Brahmans and the Kshatryas, and thus Banias have often been leaders in caste reform movements. Mahatma Gandhi is one example, but there have been many others throughout India's long history.

Where are they located?
Banias originated in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, but today they live in just about all of India's northern states. Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have the highest number of Banias. A smaller number live in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Some are migrating to the wealthy southern city of Bangalore, nicknamed the "Silicon Valley" of India because of its strong computer industry. Some Banias are re-locating to Western cities where they can be reached much more easily than they can in India. A small number live in Sri Lanka.

What are their lives like?
Members of the Bania caste are among the wealthiest people in Sri Lanka and even the world. Today they are still involved with businesses and money lending. A Mahesri Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He might even own the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers, or engineers.

They are often resented by other castes, because they lend much needed money at high interest rates. A pre-literate farmer might take a loan from a Bania only to find that a high percentage of his harvest will be taken away as interest. Customers often must put their farms or their gold up for collateral in case they cannot pay back their loans.
The lessons such as "never give; always bargain and make money" are often learned at young ages by Mahesri Bania children. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.

What are their beliefs?
Nearly all Bania peoples claim the Hindu religion, but as merchants they have chosen gods that reflect their profession. They worship the god of wealth, the god of good fortune and the god of money. These are the gods who drive their lives, gods that leave them with empty hearts. Some Banias are Jains, a Hindu offshoot religion.

What are their needs?
Mahesri Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus, and abandon the old ways that have left them spiritually empty and other castes economically devastated and resentful.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the veil of deception will be lifted from the eyes of the Mahesri Banias and that they will see that the only true wealth is the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Christ's disciples will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania community.

References
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19712/IN

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Country: Sri Lanka
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:46 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Total Provinces on file:1
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Bania Mahesri
People Name General: Bania Mahesri
Alternate People Names:
MaheshwariMahesri
MaheswariMarwadi
बनिया, महेसरी
ROP3 Code: 115164
Joshua Project People ID: 19712
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,900
Population all Countries: 367,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Forward Caste - Bania
People Name General: Bania Mahesri
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Marwari (1,900 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): rwr    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism100.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1815-1867
New Testament:
1820-1821
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoA Beautiful Hope
Film / VideoA Beautiful Hope
Film / VideoCoconuts
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Marwari
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Bania Mahesri in Sri Lanka

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    South Asia Forward Caste - Bania     Asia, South    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Bania Mahesri Sri Lanka    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bania Mahesri in Sri Lanka          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Marwari  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?rog3=CE&peo3=19712