Introduction / History
Gosain people have historically been landowners, except in Maharashtra and the Punjab where most have no land.
Where are they located?
They live in many parts of India but particularly in Uttar Pradesh in the Gonda and Gorakhpur regions.
What are their lives like?
In Punjab they pull rickshaws, and do carpentry work, and weaving, while others beg. Many smoke marijuana and drink alcohol. Many Gosain have now turned to other occupations like farming, raising cows for milk, and government services.
They eat grain, lentils, vegetables and meat except beef.
Families usually arrange marriages. They have one spouse. Most marriages only involve adults. If the wife cannot have children, the husband is allowed to keep his wife while marrying again. Divorce is allowed in cases of adultery, cruelty and impotence. Divorcees and the bereaved are permitted to remarry. They practice family planning, and use local and modern medicines. Boys are educated, and the literacy level among girls is low. Sons inherit property, and the oldest son becomes leader of the family. Women are involved in social, religious and ritual matters.
Gosain people have organizations that are national, regional and local that oversee social, economic, religious and educational needs. A traditional community council is elected in the villages. They determine matters of divorce and family. When found guilty, fines are given or the guilty are boycotted. Money from the fines is given to a Shiva temple or a feast for the local people.
What are their beliefs?
The Gosain are very religious Hindus. By tradition, they have removed themselves from material pleasures, live by collecting alms and looking after temples. They worship the Hindu god Shiva.
What are their needs?
Uttar Predesh has an anti-conversion law that will make it more difficult to reach these Hindu people with the gospel. The social stigma of turning from Hinduism is also a factor.
Hindi and Urdu Bible resources exist, and they speak these languages, but they are unreached.
The god Shiva will never provide payment for the penalty of the sins of the Gosain people. They need the real Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. They need someone to tell them.
* Pray that Gosain people will see that their old systems of ethics and religion are not working, and that their only hope is in Jesus Christ.
* Pray that intercessors worldwide will regularly pray for salvation of Gosain people.
* Pray for Spirit-filled servants to disciple them, and plant churches among them.
* Ask God to raise up entire families and communities until their culture is transformed to fully glorify God, and represent His Kingdom here on earth.
Text source: Karen Hightower