Agrasen Maharaj

Maharaja Agrasena was a legendary Indian king of Agroha(in present day Haryana in India), a city of traders, from whom the Agrawal and Agrahari clanstrace their origin. His birth took place 5185 years ago according to present calendar.

 

 

 

 

Agrasen was a Kshatriya king of the Solar Dynasty who adopted Vanika dharma for the benefit of his people. Literally,Agrawal means the "children of Agrasena" or the "people of Agroha" ,a city in ancient Kuru Panchala,near Hisar in Haryana region said to be founded by Agrasena. According to this account, Maharaja Agrasena was a Suryavanshi Kshatriya king,born during the last stages of Dwapar Yuga in the Mahabharata epic era; he was contemporaneous to Lord Krishna. He was the eldest son of the King Ballabh of Pratapnagar. Agrasena fathered 18 children, from whom the Agrawal gotras came into being.

 

 

Agrasena attended the swayamvar of Madhavi, the daughter of the King Nagaraj. However, Indra, the God ofHeaven, wanted to marry Madhavi, but she chose Agrasena as her husband. So Indra decided to take revenge by making sure that Pratapnagar did not receive any rain. As a result, a famine struck Agrasen's kingdom, who then decided to wage a war against Indra.Sage Narad was approached by Indra, who mediated peace between Agrasena and Indra.

Later,Agrasena started a severe tapasya (penance)to propitiate Lord Shiva in the city of Kashi.Shiva was pleased with the penance and advised him to propitiate Goddess Mahalakshmi.Agrasena again started meditating on Mahalakshmi, who appeared before him and blessed him. She urged Agrasena (who was a Kshatriya) to take up the Vaishya tradition of business for the sake of the prosperity of his people. She asked him to establish a new kingdom, and promised that she would bless his descendants with prosperity

 

 

 

Agrasenathen traveled all over India with his queen to select a place for a new kingdom. At one point during his travels, he found a few tiger cubs and wolfs cubs playing together. To King Agrasena and Queen Madhavi, this was an auspicious indication that the area was veerabhoomi (landof the brave) and they founded their new kingdom at that location.The place was named Agroha.

Under the leadership of Agrasena, Agroha became very prosperous. Legend has it that a hundred thousand traders lived in the city at its heyday.An immigrant wishing to settle in the city would be given a rupee and a brick by each of the inhabitants of the city. Thus, he would have a hundred thousand bricks to build a house for himself, and a hundred thousand rupees to start a new business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agrasena divided his kingdom among his 18 children, resulting in eighteen Agrawal gotras.Agrasena proceeded to conduct 18 mahayajnas ("Greatyajnas"). During one such yajna, Agrasena noticed that a horse that had been brought to be sacrificed was trying hard to get away from the sacrificial altar. Seeing this Maharaj Agrasena was filled with compassion for the animal. The idea of ahimsa (non-violence)grabbed his mind. Therefore, he put a brake to his eighteenth yajna,announcing that no sacrifices will be made in his kingdom in name of yajnas. Thus, the eighteenth yajna wasn't completed and Agrasena had performed seventeen and a half yajna. The gods appeared before him and blessed him with seventeen and a half gotras.

Followingare the seventeen and a half gotras of Agrawals: Airan , Bansal , Bindal , Bhandal , Dharan , Garg , Goyal , Goyan (considered as half gotra) , Jindal , Kansal , Kuchhal , Madhukul , Mangal , Mittal , Nangal , Singhal , Tayal and Tingle.

 

Gradually,the city of Agroha declined and was finally destroyed in a huge fire.The residents of Agroha i.e. the Agrawals moved out of Agroha and spread in other parts of India.

Maharaj Agrasen was a doer (a Karmyogi) who conjured prosperity for all. The ideas of Equality, Socialism and non-violence propounded by Maharaj Agrasen 5000 years back from the spirit of the present Constitution of India. It lies upon us now to adopt these ideals in our lives as a tribute to our progenitor .

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