Maharaja Agrasen is known as icon of non-violence , messenger of Peace, Maharaja Agrasen was an embodiment of Sacrifice, Compassion, Non-Violence, Peace, Prosperity and a True Socialist. Emperor Agrasen was born to King Ballabh of Pratapnagar. He was the eldest son. According to the Mahalakshmi Vrath, the age then was the last stages of Dvaapar Yug. According to current calendar the birth of Maharaj Agrasen took place about 5185 years ago. King Ballabh was a Suryavanshsi ( lineage from the Sun). Even when he was very young, Prince Agrasen was very well known for his compassion. He never discriminated against anyone and the subjects were very pleased with the way he conducted himself.
When Agrasen became a young man, he attended the Swyamvara of the daughter of the King Nagaraj, Princess Madhavi . Many kings from around the world attended including Indra, the King of the Devas. In the swayamvara, Princess Madhavi selected Prince Agrasen, by putting the garland on him. This marriage caused a coming together of two different family cultures, Prince Agrasen was a Suryavanshi and Princess Madhavi was a Naagavanshi. Indra, the King of the Devas had been smitten by the beauty of Princess Madhavi and had planned to get married to her. However, now that he had been unable to marry her, he became very jealous and angry with Agrasen. To get revenge against Agrasen, Indra - as he was also the Lord of Rain, made sure that Pratap Nagar did not receive any rainfall. As a result, a frightening famine struck the Pratap Nagar kingdom. Emperor Agrasen then waged war against Indra, and because he had dharma on his side, his army vanquished Indra's forces and put them to flight. Faced with this situation, Indra approached Narada ( the celestial sage) for mediation between him and Emperor Agrasen. Narada, then mediated a peace between them.
Agrasen started a severe penance to propitiate Lord Shiva in the city of Kashi. Pleased with the penance of Agrasen, Lord Shiva appeared and advised him to propitiate Goddess Mahalakshmi. Maharaj Agrasen again started meditating on Goddess Mahalakshmi, who appeared before him. Goddess Mahalakshmi then blessed Agrasen and suggested that he take up the Vaishya tradition of business for the sake of prosperity of his people. She then asked him to found a new kingdom and promised that she would bless his descendants with prosperity. So he gave up his Kshatriya tradition.
Birth Of Agroha city
With the blessings of Goddess Mahalakshmi King Agrasen started out with the Queen to travel all over India and select a place for a new kingdom. During his travels, at one place he found a few tiger cubs and wolfs cubs playing together. To King Agrasen and Queen Madhavi, this was an auspicious indication that the area was Veerabhoomi (land of the brave) and they decided to found their new kingdom at that location named Agroha. Agroha became prosperous as agriculture and trade flourished
Maharaj Agrasen, performed many Yagnas (sacrifice) for the prosperity of his people. In those days, performing a yagna was a symbol of prosperity. During one such yagna, Maharaj Agrasen noticed that a horse that had been brought to be sacrificed was trying hard to get away from the sacrificial altar. Seeing this Maharaj Agrasen was filled with pity and then thought as to what prosperity can be achieved by sacrificing mute animals. The idea of Ahimsa grabbed Maharaj Agrasen's mind. The King then discussed it with his ministers. The ministers then said if Maharaj Agrasen turned towards ahimsa, the neighbouring kingdoms might consider it a sign of weakness and feel brave enough to attack Agroha. At this, Maharaj Agrasen mentioned that putting an end to violence and injustice does not mean weakness. He then proclaimed that there should be no violence and killing of animals in his kingdom.
Maharaj Agrasen proceeded to conduct 18 Maha Yagnas. He then divided his kingdom among his 18 children and established the 18 gotras after the guru's of each of his children. These same 18 gotras today are like the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavadgita, even though they are different from each other, they are still related to each other to form the whole. Under this arrangement, Agroha prospered very well and flourished. In the latter part of his life, Maharaj Agrasen nominated his eldest son Vibhu to the throne and took up the Vanaprasth Ashram.
The prosperity of Agroha, caused heartburn in many of the neighbouring kings and they frequently attacked it. Because of these aggressions, Agroha had to face numerous problems. In due course, the strength of Agroha was sapped. A huge fire engulfed the city of Agroha. Because of the fire, the citizens of the city fled and dispersed into various areas of Bharat. Today, these same people are known as Agrawals and still have the same 18 gotras that was given to them from their gurus and carry on the fame of Maharaj Agrasen. As per Maharaj Agrasen's guidance the Agrawals are in the forefront of social service.