THEIR HISTORY AND ORIGIN
There was a village named Khandela which is located near Phulera junction in Jaipur District, which was ruled by king Khadaksen. King Khadaksen was a very good ruler. People of Khandela loved their King very much & lived in peace and harmony.King had 24 wives. He had every thing which he wanted except a son who could take over his thrown when he grew older. King worshiped saints and to get their blessings he organized a big Yagya. Being impressed saints & holymen blessed the king with a son but warned him that the son should not go towards northern side till his age of 16.
Shortly, one beautiful day, his 5th wife gave birth to a beautiful boy. The child was given the name of Sujan Kuvar. The whole kingdom of Khandela celebrated the birth of Rajkumar Sujan Kuvar. He grew with the training of Administration & Weaponary.Some years later ,young Sujan, came in religious touch with Jain Religion. He was so much impressed that he decided to promote Jainism. He had lost his faith in Hindu God & Goddess, he not only destroyed Hindu Temple but also build Jain Temple on that place.
One Day while he was on his way for hunting with his 72 man (Umraos- Rajputs) he came across Sadhus (holyman) at Surya Kund who were performing Yagya. He ordered his man to destroy the yagya immediately. On this Act the Sadhus became so much angry that they gave shrapa and converted the rajputs along with Rajkumar Sujan into Stones.
This news when came to King Khadaksen,which took his life. Kingdom lost their king.Of the 24 queens,16 queens become sati and gave away their life for the king.
Chandravati,wife of Sujan Kumar along with the wife of 72 Rajputs went crying to holy saints to forgive their husbands. Saints gave these wives a Akshay Mantra by which they could impress God Shiva & Goddess Parvati. All wives went into the holy caves and started chanting mantras. Finally lord Shiva & goddess Parvati were impressed by their devotion & love for their husbands and gave life back to Rajkumar Sujan & 72 Rajputs. Getting their life back, all of them went to lord Shiva and prayed to forgive their sin. Lord Shiva asked these men to convert themselves from Rajputs to Vishanavas i.e. leave there weapons & convert into businessmen. He blessed these men to form a community with his name as Maheshwari. He declared Maheshwari will have my blessings, higher growth prospects in business & trade.
ABOUT MAHESHWARI SAMAJ
Maheshwari community is originated from the word Mahesh which means Lord Shiva. Maheshwari people are followers of Lord Shiva or Lord Mahesh. They are basically Vaishnava, a trader community who are actively involved in Trading.
Maheshwari’s are mainly from business class of the Indian community, they are said to play an important role in the economic and monetary growth of the country. Though their languages and practices differ according to the region or the area they live in, but primarily their language are marwari or rajasthani, and they are said to be instilled with good merchandising and business intelligence and qualities.
The marriage rituals in the Maheshwari community are same as of the Hindu marriages, with the difference in the actual marriage called the Mama phere is observed, in which the bride sitting in the lap of her maternal uncle, takes rounds of the groom and the sacred fire. This is a very different custom, which is followed in maheshwari’s, to mark the sanctity of the marriage.
Lord Mahesh is guru, dev as well as father for all of us. We bow to almighty for blessings us & showering health, wealth & happiness to all the fellow brothers”.
Today there is only about 1.5 million Maheshwari’s spread across the globe (of the total world population of more than 7000 million). We are spread across all fields and locations. Our command over business & acumen for service is well known & respected by all. Literacy rate among us is more than 95%. We are modernize in our thoughts but haven’t forgotten our culture and values and thereby, portraits modernism coupled with traditionalism.
We have various Maheshwari Mandals and Samities on national as well as International level. With the coming of Internet age, the world has become very small,communication is no longer a barrier. Connectivity is like never before & overall benefits are incredible.
The Maheshwaris number about three million and have played a notable role in the economic and industrial progress of the country. They are predominantly a business and mercantile community.
SOCIETY OF THE MAHESHWARI COMMUNITY
The Birlas were the first Maheshwaris who, in 1918, ventured to start a jute mill – Maheshwari Community, Vaishya CasteThe Maheshwaris remained a business community till the end of the 19th century. They had acquired many anti-social customs: dowry, child marriage and purdah system. The first Maheshwari reformer, Raj Bahadur Shyam Sunderlal Loiwal, founded a Maheshwari Mahasabha which had its first session at Ajmer in 1892. He was deeply influenced by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj. It provided the impetus for the foundation of the All India Maheshwari Mahasabha in 1908. Since then the Mahasabha has been crusading for social reforms. Many eminent Maheshwaris went to jail and helped in the khadi and charkha movements and one Krishna Sarda was hanged for his role in the struggle for freedom.
The Maheshwaris are a very enterprising community. The Birlas and Shivkissen Bhatter were the first Maheshwaris who, in 1918, ventured to start a jute mill. They faced great difficulties created by the British but through sheer perseverance they succeeded. Up to 1939 their mills were not allowed to be represented on the Indian Jute Mills Association`s Committee. Similarly after independence, the Maheshwaris have started industries in different sectors of the economy.
The Maheshwaris are charitable in disposition. The Maheshwari Mahasabha has established the S.K. Jaju Memorial Trust for the purpose of distribution of scholarships, and other charitable activities. There are several other philanthropic trusts started by various individual Maheshwaris. The institutions at Pilani are a symbolic example of individual Maheshwaris` contribution to the cause of education.
RELIGION OF THE MAHESHWARI COMMUNITY
As far as religion is concerned the Maheshwaris are worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Certain special rituals and festivals are observed by them too. A rite which has great significance for the women is called Baditeej. It is celebrated on the third (Krishnapaksha) of Bhadrapada of the Vikram. Samvat year is the time when women fast and pray for the longevity of their husbands and unmarried girls pray for good husbands. Only the men cut peenda after which the women perform puja and break their fast.
Gorja or Gavraja is celebrated on the third day of Chaitra (Sudi) when Shiva and Parvati are worshipped. Unmarried girls worship the goddess Gorja with gulla (the inside of green grass) for sixteen days and married women for eight with doob.
Raksha Bandhan in this community is celebrated twenty days after the usual date of its celebration on the fifth of the second half of Bhadrapadand. It is known as Bhai Panchami or Rishi Panchami.
Jaystha Sukla of the Samvat year is celebrated as Mahesh Navami to commemorate the birth of the Maheshwari community when Mahesh is worshiped.