Mahishya in Bangladesh

Mahishya
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Mahishya
Country: Bangladesh
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 722,000
World Population: 12,409,400
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.95 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - Mahishya
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Mahishya or Sadgop people are also known as Chasa or Chasi. They live in West Bengal and surrounding states. The titles they use are Sarkar, Roy, Majumdar, Biswas, Mallik, Khan, and Mandal. Sadgop have several gotras such as Sandilya, Kashyap, Bharadwaj, Moudgulya, and Alambayan. In the Varna system, they are known as Vaisyas and as the members of Nabashakha group. The name Sadgop is derived from the two Sanskrit words: 'Sad' means good and 'Gop' means milkman. They are believed to be the descendants of lord Krishna. The Sadgop are a land owning community. Agriculture is their traditional and primary occupation.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Rice and wheat are their staple food. They drink alcohol and chew tobacco locally known as Khaine and Guraku. Their mother tongue is Bengali. Family heads negotiate marriages, which are monogamous, meaning it’s one man and one woman.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Married women have a significant role to play in the ritual performances. Women worship the goddess Lakshmi daily. They propitiate Hari and Lakshmi as their family deities. Their village deities are Dharmaraj, Manasa and Shiva among others. Gaya and Vrindaban are their pilgrim centers. Durgapuja, Kalipuja and Dharmarajer are their major festivals. The Sadgop are expert in Alpana or floor painting on pujas.

What Are Their Needs?

The Mahishya people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life he offers them in John 10:10.

Prayer Points

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Mahishya people in Bangladesh this decade. Pray for them to give up their dependence on alcohol and chewing tobacco. Pray for them to have the spiritual hunger it takes to seek and find the only savior. Pray for faithful and Holy Spirit driven workers in India and Bangladesh.

Text Source:   Joshua Project