Agrawal Jain

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Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Chandni Chowk, Delhi managed by Prachin Agrwal Jain Panchayat

Agrawal Jains are an ancient Jaina community who origined from Hisar, Haryana. They are among the most prominent Jaina communities.

Legends[edit]

According to Bachan Kosh of Bulakhichand (1680 CE)[1] and several other texts from the Mughal period preserved in Delhi temple libraries, the emergence of the Agrawals is associated with Lohacharya and the Kashtha Sangh. Lohacharya arrived at Agroha in Vikram Samvat 760. He was given food by the local people and he founded the Kashtha Sangh order by installing a wooden idol. The Kashtha Sangh religious order has thus been closely associated with the Agrawal community.

According to some legends, Agrawals were once ruled by a Raja Divakar who was a devout Jaina.

History[edit]

Jainism has been present in the Haryana-Punjab region since ancient times. A hoard of 58 ancient Jaina bronzes was found at Hansi near Hisar[2] that were buried just before the attack by Mas'ud I of Ghazni in 1037.

The community traces it origins to Agroha, near Hisar. The view is supported by historical evidence.[citation needed]

The Agrawals migrated from Agroha to Delhi and Hisar. Later, many migrated to the domains of Hindu kings at Gwalior and Rajasthan. They emerged as a notable trader community in medieval India.[citation needed]

Agrawal Jainas in Delhi[edit]

The Agrawal merchant Nattal Sahu and the Agrawal poet Vibudh Shridhar lived during the rule of Tomara Anangapal of Yoginipur (now Mehrauli, near Delhi).[3] Vibudh Shridhar wrote Pasanahacariu in 1132 AD, which includes a historical account of Yoginipur (early Delhi near Mehrauli) then.

In 1354, Firuz Shah Tughluq started the construction of a new city near Agroha called Hisar-e Feroza "Firuz's Fort". Most of the raw material for building the town was brought from Agroha.[4] Hisar was a major center of the Agrawal community.

Some Agrawals rose to good positions in Mughal period, specially during Akbar. Sahu Todar was a supervisor of the royal mint at Agra, who had rebuilt the 514 Jain stupas at Mathura in 1573, during the rule of Akbar.[5]

Sah Ranveer Singh was a royal treasurer during the rule of Akbar. He established the town Saharanpur. His father as well as son and grandson had built several Jain temples,[5] including the one at Kucha Sukhanand in Delhi.

Agrawal Jains in Rajput Kingdoms[edit]

सं १५१० वर्षे माघ सुदी ८ सोमे गोपाचल दुर्गे तोमर वंशान्वये राजा श्री डूंगरेन्द्र देव राज्य पवित्रमाने श्री काष्ठासंघ माथुरान्वये भट्टारक श्री गुणकीर्ति देवास्तत्पट्टे श्री मलयकीर्ति देवास्ततो भट्टारक गुणभद्रदेव पंडितवर्य रइघू तदाम्नाये अग्रोतवंशे वासिलगोत्रे सकेलहा भार्या निवारी तयोः पुत्र विजयष्ट शाह ... साधु श्री माल्हा पुत्र संघातिपति देउताय पुत्र संघातिपति करमसीह श्री चन्द्रप्रभु जिनबिंब महाकाय प्रतिष्ठापित प्रणमति ..शुभम् भवतु ..

A Gwalior Fort Inscription 1453 CE[6]

Many Agrawals migrated to Rajasthan. They form a large fraction of the merchant population of Shekhawati region. Along with Maheshwari, Khandelwal and Oswals, they form the Marwari bania community.[citation needed]

In the early 15th century, Agrawals flourished as a trader community under the Tomaras of Gwalior.[7][page needed]

Historian K.C. Jain comments:

In the 15th century, many Agrawals migrated to Amer kingdom (now Jaipur). In VS 1535, Agrawal Nenasi conducted a Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha ceremony at Sanganer.[8][page needed] A copy of Amarsen Chariu copied in VS 1577 at Sonipat was found at Amer, suggesting that Agrawals took sacred texts with them during this migration.[9][page needed]

Prachin Shri Agarwal Digambar Jain Panchayat[edit]

Seth Girdhari Lal, the son of Raja Shugan Chand, founded the organization Hissar Panipat Agarwal Jain Panchayat. It is now known as Prachin (i.e. old) Shri Agarwal Digambar Jain Panchayat.[10] It is the oldest Agrawal Jain organization. It has been led by descendants of same family.[11] The organization manages the historical Naya Mandir as well as the Lal Mandir.

The Panchayat has been active in promoting unity among Jains of different sectarian backgrounds.[12]

Prominent Agrawal Jains[edit]

Until the beginning of the 18th century, all Agrawal personalities known from historical sources (inscriptions and texts), have been Jain.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kavivar Bulakhichand, Kasturchand Kasliwal, Jaipur, 1983
  2. ^ Jaina Bronzes From Hansi by Devendra Handa, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 2002
  3. ^ An Early Attestation of the Toponym Ḍhillī, by Richard J. Cohen, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1989, p. 513-519
  4. ^ "The story of Hisar". Tribuneindia.com. 2001-08-18. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  5. ^ a b Jyotiprasad Jain, Pramukh Jain Etihasik Purush aur mahilayen, Bharatiya Jnanapitha, 1975
  6. ^ गोपाचल के जिन मंदिर एवं प्रतिमाएँ
  7. ^ a b Kashtha Sangha Bhattarakas of Gwalior and Agrawal Shravakas, Dr. K. C. Jain
  8. ^ Jain Inscriptions of Rajasthan, R.V. Somani, 1982
  9. ^ Amarasena Chariu, Dr. Kasturchand Jain Suman, 1990
  10. ^ Court calls for Lal Mandir antique idol, Dec 31, 2011, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-31/delhi/30576182_1_antique-idol-summons-international-market
  11. ^ Progressive Jains Of India Satish Kumar Jain, Shraman Sahitya Sansthan, 1975
  12. ^ Ahimsa Times, February, 2005, DIGAMBAR JAIN ORGANISATION IN DELHI BECOMES A PIONEER PATH BREAKER FOR UNITY IN JAIN SOCIETY, http://jainsamaj.org/magazines/ahimsatimesshow.php?id=85
  13. ^ Progressive Jains of India By Satish Kumar Jain, 1975, Shraman Sahitya Sansthan