Introduction / History
The Aguri are a cultivating and trading caste. They were brought by the King 0f Burdawan Mehtha from Agra to West Bengal to fight against the British. They have a reputation for being aggressive and hostile. The Hindu book Manu says Ugra (Cruel creature) was born to a girl by a Kshatriya. The Aguri are mostly located in West Bengal and concentrated in Anguna and other neighboring villages. The main language of the Aguri is Bengali. Many resources are available in Bengali including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They have two castes among them, the upper and the lower. The upper caste are agricultural people who own land. Some of the younger generations have moved out of the village and now live in Kolkata and different parts of India. Some have even migrated to the U. S. and live in New York City. The lower caste members work on farms as landless laborers and are cowherders involved with cattle farming. Some of the former villages are empty. Most of the occupants have moved to the city for better work opportunities.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Aguri practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. 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 Aguri 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 as Christians do. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Aguri pay special devotion to Shiva, the destroyer god. They also celebrate Durga, the mother goddess and Kali Puja during the Bengali Hindu festivals.
What Are Their Needs?
The Aguri seem to have a spiritual hunger for knowing the truth. They have come in hundreds to watch the JESUS Film and hundreds have accepted Jesus Christ as they Savior. Their basic needs are education, medical facilities and water wells. Their villages do not have schools for higher education so most of the children drop out after level five and become farmers. The women and children need medical aid and these facilities are 30 to 40 kms away. Dusty roads become foot deep in mud during monsoons. They need decent roads to walk to hospitals and schools.
Pray that good schools and better roads will be built by the government. Ask the Lord to provide access to clean water and modern medicine for the Aguri. Pray for good harvests for Aguri farmers which would allow them to provide for their families. Pray that believers will reach them and help them begin a disciple making movement.
Scripture Prayers for the Aguri in India.