currents of ideas and thoughts are clearly perceptible in the many religious movements in
Bengal. The Adivasis of Bengal who are now mostly represented by the various Scheduled
Tribes and Castes and are generally taken to be inferior in the caste hierarchy have made
a very big contribution to the religious thoughts in Bengal. As a matter of fact, this is
probably a common factor in other regions in India as well. It is the so-called lower
castes and tribes of the ancient Rarh, Pundra, Banga and the other Janapadas of Bengal
that are still very well represented in different types of deities and their puja.
Apart from some of the
indigenous godheads those have been very eclectically taken into Hindu pantheon, there are
hundreds of achars and religious practice's that go to make up much of the daily life of a
caste Hindu. If one carefully analyses the various items celebrated in a Hindu marriage in
Bengal, it will be found that excepting the Sampradan, Yagna and Saptapadi along with the
recital of the particular Mantras accompanying these ceremonies. All the other items are
non - Brahmanic, non-Vaidic and are entirely based on the customs and practices of the
so-called lower castes.