Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti 2021
Agrasen Jayanti is celebrated every year on the birthday of the legendary Hindu king Agrasen Maharaj, who was the king Agroha. Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti is a regional holiday in the states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, and it falls on the fourth day of Ashwin month (the seventh month) of the Hindu calendar.
Maharaja Agrasen is considered to be the originator of the Agrahari and Agrawal communities. Word “Agrawal” is the combination of two words, “Agra” means “Agrasen” and “wal” means son. It is believed that Agrawal and Agrahari are boons to society. He is known to be the forefather of this community and therefore the festival is celebrated with full gaiety and devotion in honor of him.
According to the Hindu Calendar, Agrasen Jayanti is observed on the ‘Ekam’ (1st day) of the Shukla Paksha (the period of the bright fortnight of moon) during the Hindu month of ‘Ashwin’ (Ashwin Shukla Paksha Pratipada). However, this date falls between the months of September to October in the Gregorian Calendar. In 2021 Agrasen Jayanti will be celebrated on 7th October (Thursday).
Maharaja Agrasen was a great and legendary leader. He taught the lessons of unity and bringing harmony to society. He taught people to respect and help each other. He is remembered as a great and divine leader. His followers celebrate and honor his birthday with huge preparations and events.
Maharaja Agrasena was a Suryavanshi Kshatriya king, born during the last stages of Dwapar Yuga in the Mahabharat epic era, he was contemporaneous to Lord Krishna. The birth of Maharaj Agrasen took place about 5185 years ago according to the current calendar. He was a descendant of Suryavanshi King Mandhata. Mandhata had two sons, Gunadhi and Mohan. Agrasena was the eldest son of King Vallabh, the descendant of Mohan, of Pratapnagar. Agrasena fathered 18 children, from whom the Agrawal gotras came into being.
Agrasena attended the Swayamvara of Madhavi, the daughter of King Nagaraj Kumud. However, Indra, the God of Heaven and also the Lord of storms and rainfall, wanted to marry Madhavi, but she choose Agrasena as her husband. A furious Indra decided to take revenge by making sure that Pratapnagar did not receive any rain. As a result, a famine struck Agrasen’s kingdom, they then decided to wage a war against Indra.
Sage Narada was approached by Indra, who mediated peace between Agrasena and Indra. As per the advice of Rishi Mahrishi Garg, he also married Sundaravati to increase his wealth and health. During his time as a King, Maharaja was looked upon with great respect by the people of his Kingdom.
Agrasen Jayanti is celebrated with immense zeal across India, especially in the northern states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, which are dominated by Agrawal, Agrahari as well as Jain communities. In order to honor him, the Government of India launched a postage stamp in 1976 on his 5100th birth anniversary.
On the day of Agrasen Jayanti, members of the Agrawal and Agrahari community worship Maharaja Agrasen with dedication and also offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi to seek their blessings for peace, harmony, and prosperity in their personal and professional lives. Shobha Yatras (processions), taken out in honor of Maharaja Agrasen, are held at various places endowed with relics and images of Maharaja Agrasen.
Legend has that Agrasena Maharaj did severe Tapas and invoked Shiva, who advised him to worship Goddess Lakshmi. Agrasena Maharaj then performed tapas for Goddess Lakshmi. She appeared and asked him to take up the business profession for the prosperity of his people. Thus Agrawal and Agrahari community members follow the tradition of business.
This day is considered auspicious for initiating a new business venture. In an attempt to follow in his footsteps by undertaking works of charity, the people of Vaishya samaj indulge in diverse social welfare activities. They organize free food distribution and medical camps to spread the message of brotherhood and equality. In some places, cultural programs and functions based on the life history of Maharaja Agrasen are also held.
Notably, innumerable Dharamshala (inns) that are located across the holy city, Haridwar, and other places of pilgrimage in the country owe their existence to the Agrahari sect of the Hindu community which were built by their ancestors to provide shelter and food to the pilgrims, free of cost.
Suggested Read: Agarwal Wedding Traditions and Customs