Introduction / History
The Nandbans Yadav peoples are a subgroup of the larger Yadav peoples. Most Nandbans live in central India. The Yadav peoples hold a place of honor, since traditionally they deal with cattle and dairy products. The cow is a sacred animal in Hinduism. There have been times in their long history that Yadav peoples have held power and wealth.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Today the Nandbans are classified as "other backward castes" or OBCs in some Indian states. This sounds derisive, but in fact, this refers to people who hold some status, but are not part of the most prestigious communities. OBC status means that Nandbans get government jobs and special university admissions.
The primary language of the Nandbans is Hindi. They also speak the local languages where they live. Many resources are available in Hindi including a complete Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs. There few if any believers among the Nandbans of India.
Some Nandban Yadav still practice their traditional occupation of taking care of cattle. Some Nandbans work in agriculture. Others Nandbans have earned college educations and work in education, administration, law, politics, science and medicine. The Nandbans are often a dominant people in the areas of India where they reside.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Most Nandbans consider themselves devout Hindus. Do not eat or sell beef. Many Nandbans are vegetarians who eat wheat, lentils and rice their staple foods.
The Nandbans are endogamous, which means they prefer to have marriage take place within their community. They have birth and marriage rituals officiated by Brahmin priests. On the death of the father, sons inherit the property. The oldest son takes charge of the home and family. It is the sons’ responsibility to take care of elderly relatives. Most Nandbans encourage their children to obtain college educations. Some rural Nandban young people are moving to Indian cities in search of a better life.
The Nandban people 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 do. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
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.
Like all other peoples of the world, the Nandbans need the blessings and guidance that only Jesus Christ can offer. Jesus alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.
Ask God to raise up Nandbans who are desirous to know the truth about Jesus Christ and act upon it.
Ask God to send loving, committed workers to disciple the Nandbans.
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead Nandbans to read the Hindi Bible and to listen to Hindi radio programs.
Pray that the Lord raises up a growing Nandban church planting movement.
Scripture Prayers for the Yadav Nandbans in India.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999