Maharaja Agrasen was a Vaish King of the Solar Dynasty who adopted Vanika Dharma for the benefit of his people. Literally, Agrawal means the “Children of Agrasen” or the “People of Agroha”, a city in ancient Kuru Panchala, near Hisar in Haryana region said to be founded by Maharaja Agrasen.
According to Bharatendu Harishchandra’s account, Maharaja Agrasen was a Suryavanshi Kshatriya king, born during the last stages of Dwapar Yuga in the Mahabharat epic era, he was contemporaneous to Lord Krishna. He was Son of King Vallabha Dev who was Descendant of Kush(Lord Rama’s Son). He was also descendant of Suryavanshi King Mandhata. King Mandhata had two sons, Gunadhi and Mohan. Maharaja Agrasen was the eldest son of the King Vallabh, descendant of Mohan, of Pratapnagar. Maharaja Agrasen fathered 18 children, from whom the Agrawal Gotras came into being.
Maharaja Agrasen was a doer (a Karmyogi) who conjured prosperity for all. An adherent of Socialism, he devised a unique rule in order to ensure an egalitarian society. He promulgated that any person coming to Agroha to settle down permanently, shall be given one rupee, one brick, by each resident of Agroha.With the bricks he could build a house for living and with the money so collected he could set up his own business. This way through a small help by each a person could attain a equal status in the society of equals.
He adopted the ideal of Non-Violence during the 18th Yagna, wherein he realised the futility of animal sacrifices. The Yagna was being performed for the establishment of the 18th Gotra. This realisation led him to become one of the strong protagonist of ’Non-Violence’
“Instead of targeting a crane with an arrow,
I wish to see it flying;
Instead of eating away a nightingale,
I wish to hear it singing”
He banned all animal sacrifices.
However, his belief in nonviolence did not mean non-resistance to oppression,rather he promoted self defence. According to him self protection and national defence were not the task of only kshatryas – the warrior caste, rather it is the duty of each citizen to protect and safeguard his motherland.
The ideas of Equality, Socialism and non-violence propounded by Maharaj Agrasen 5000 years back form the spirit of the present Constitution of India. But, we Indians have not been able to cultivate these ideals into our lives, they remain simply words in our constitution. It lies upon us now to adopt these ideals in our lives as a tribute to our progenitor.