Agrasen was an Indian King and Suryavanshi Maharaja of Pratap Nagar (North India) who established Agroha city of Vaishya traders, founded 18 Gotras of Agarwals, and inspired many with his unique ideas like ‘No to mute animal killing for sacrifice’ and ‘support to peace and non-violence’.
The word ‘AGRAWAL’ is the combination of two words ‘Agra’ meaning Agrasen and wal implies ‘Balak’ (SON). Agrawal implies the ‘Son of Agrasen’. According to Hindu mythology, Maharaja Agrasen was advised by lord Shiva to observe Tapes for goddess Lakshmi. Pleased by his dedication, Goddess Lakshmi appeared and told Maharaja Agrasen to start a business for the opulence of his people. Henceforth members of the Agrawal community follow the tradition of business.
Maharaja Agrasen established Agroha as a republican state. Maharaja Agrasen proceeded to conduct 18 Maha Yagnas. He divided his kingdom among his 18 children into 18 state units and established the 18 Gotras after the Gurus of each of his children. These same 18 Gotras are like the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad-Gita; although they differ, they are still related to each other to form the whole.
Simple and practical principles were laid down for equality, love & affection among people. He was the first ruler who established socialism in his authority.
These principles became practical in his kingdom, as give and take was the formula in the life of every ordinary resident. Neither the receiver felt shamed nor the donator felt proud. These 3 ideals of Maharaja Agrasen are as followed blow
- Democratic governance
Feelings of social welfare and brotherhood were the fundamentals of the principle. There was no place for corruption or selfishness in the kingdom. The development of the kingdom and life of people were completely based on agriculture, trade & dairy.
- Economic equality and symmetry
Agroha was a prosperous city and a hundred thousand traders lived in the city during its prime life. An insolvent community man as well as an immigrant wishing to settle in the city would be given “One Rupee & One Brick” by each inhabitant 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. Therefore, no one was unemployed during his reign and everyone was having their own homes.
- Social equality
His belief in non-violence did not mean non-resistance to oppression, rather he promoted self-defense. According to him, self-protection and national defense were not the tasks of only Kshatriyas – the warrior caste, rather it was the duty of each citizen to protect and safeguard their motherland.