The name Bishnoi is derived from the words ‘bis’ (twenty) and ‘nau’ (nine), and thus denotes the twenty-nine tenets of their faith. The name Bishnoi is associated with that of Lord Vishnu incarnated as Tanbhoji.
The Bishnoi are believed to have descended from a number of commtmities like the Jar, Bania, Rajput, Khati and Gaena. On becoming Bishnoi, they commonly give up their caste names and call themselves after their new creed. They are followers of the great Hindu reformer Jambaji, who was born in Bikaner state in AD 1451. They have four religious texts, namely the Jambo Sagra, Jambo Gita, Jambasor and Sabtakki Bansi.
The Vishnoi of Madhya Pradesh are popularly known as Marwari as they originally belonged to the Marwar region of Rajasthan. They use Rama as their surname. Their attitude towards education is negative. They use both traditional and modern medicare. There are teachers, government employees and political leaders among them.
They now live in Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. In They live in Rajasthan in the districts of Barmer, Jalor, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner.
Language They speak Marwari among themselves and Hindi with others