Wednesday, June 6, 2012

अग्रवाल जैन समुदाय-AGARWAL JAIN

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.

According to Bachan Kosh of Bulakhichand (1680 CE) and several other texts from the Mughal period preserved in Delhi temple libraries, the emergence of the Agrawals is associated with Lohacharya and theKashtha 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. 

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 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. 

In the Pradumna Charita of Samvat 1411, the Agrawal poet Sadharu wrote, 

अगरवाल की मेरी जात, पुर आगरोए महि उतपात "My jāti is Agaravāla, and I trace my roots to the city of Āgrōha". 

In his Padma Purana of VS 1711, Muni Sabhachandra writes, 

अग्रोहे निकट प्रभु ठाढे जोग, करैं वन्दना सब ही लोग "When Lohacharya was near Agrōha, he taught the 53 actions to the Agravāla śrāvakas." 

In a Sanskrit inscription, the Agrawals are referred to as Agrotaka("from Agroha"): 

Sanskrit: सं १३२९ चैत्र वुदी दशम्यां बुधवासरे अद्येह योगिनिपुरे समस्त राजावलि-समलन्कृत ग्यासदीन राज्ये अत्रस्थित अग्रोतक परम श्रावक जिनचरणकमल Saṁ 1329 caitra vudī daśamyāṁ budhavāsarē adyēha yōginipurē samasta rājāvali-samalankr̥ta gyāsadīna rājyē atrasthita Agrōtaka parama śrāvaka jinacaraṇakamala. 

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. 

Agrawal Jainas in Delhi 

The Agrawal merchant Nattal Sahu and the Agrawal poet Vibudh Shridhar lived during the rule of TomaraAnangapal of Yoginipur (now Mehrauli, near Delhi). 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. 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. 

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,including the one at Kucha Sukhanand in Delhi. 

Agrawal Jains in Rajput Kingdoms

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) 

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.

In the early 15th century, Agrawals flourished as a trader community under the Tomaras of Gwalior. According to several Sanskrit inscription at the Gwalior Fort in Gwalior District, several traders (Sanghavi Kamala Simha, Khela Brahmachari, Sandhadhip Namadas etc.) belonging to Agrotavansha (Agrawal clan) supported the sculptures and carving of idols at the place.,

Historian K.C. Jain comments: 

Golden Age of the Jain Digambar Church in Gwalior under the Tomara rulers inspired by the Kashtha Bhattarakas and their Jaina Agrawal disciples who dominated the Court of father and son viz. Dungar Singh (1425-59)and Kirti Singh (1459-80) with the Poet-Laureate Raighu as their mouthpiece and spokesman, a centenarian author of as many as thirty books, big and small of which two dozen are reported to be extant today. Verify the advent of the Hisar-Firuza-based Jain Agrawals who functioned as the ministers and treasurers of the ruling family had turned the Rajput State of Gwalior into a Digambara Jain Centre par excellence representing the culture of the Agrawal multi-millionner shravakas as sponsored by them. 

In 15th century, many Agrawals migrated to Amer kingdom (now Jaipur). In VS 1535, Agrawal Nenasi conducted a Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha ceremony at Sanganer. 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. 

Prachin Shri Agarwal Digambar Jain Panchayat

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. It is the oldest Agrawal Jain organization. It has been led by descendants of same family. 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. 

Prominent Agrawal Jains

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

Nattal Sahu, merchant prince during the rule of Tomar Anangapal and patron of Vibudh Shridhar 

Vibudh Shridhar, author and poet, composer of several texts 

Sahu Todar, supervisor of royal mint and patron of scholars 

Raja Harsukh Rai, Mughal treasurer and builder of many Jain temples 

Jinendra Varni compiler of 5 volume "Jainendra Siddhanta Kosha" and Saman Suttam compilation. 

Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain of Sahu Jain family, founder of Bharatiya Jnanpith 

Aryika Gyanmati mataji 

Acharya Mahapragya 

Indu Jain, Billionaire 

Anand Jain, Jai Corp Limited, Billionaire 

Relationship with Vaishnava Agrawals

Agrawal Jains are generally strict Jainas. Agrawal Vaishnava Hindus also tend to be strict in their religious practices. Still, the social relationship between the two are often close and harmonious. Some intermarriage between Jaina Agrawals and non-Jaina Agrawals has been historically noted, suggesting that they are culturally one community. Even non-Jaina Agrawals are historically strict vegetarians. 

Several authors such as Navalshah Chanderia, author of Vardhamana Purana (1651) suggest that 2-3 centuries ago, about half of the Agrawals were Jaina. Sherring writes about the Agrawls in 1872, "A large number, perhaps one half of the entire tribe, are attached to the Jain religion." All the well-known historical Agrawal personalities have been Jainas throughout history until 18th century.

Lala Ratan Chand, who became the diwan of Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar (1713–1719) in 1712, is the first Agrawal known to not have been a Jaina. He was accused of partaking foods prohibited among the Agrawals, and he founded his own section of Agrawals known as the Rajwanshi. 

साभार From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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