Maheshwaris are a Vaishnava business community in India.
They are originated from Khandela, Rajasthan.
Once upon a time, Raja Khandelsen was the ruler of Khandela gram, a part of Rajasthan, India. He had two beautiful queens, Rani Suryakuvar and Rani Indrakuvar. However, the king did not have any children, thus no one to carry his name or kingdom. He performed many pujas (prayers), yagnas (fire ceremony) and much charity to help the poor, but no avail. Finally, one day he shared his sorrow with his spiritual advisor, Maharishi Yagyavalk. Maharishi Yagyavalk told him that he was cursed from his previous life and this was the reason he was still childless.
Maharishi explained to the king "In your previous life, you earned your living through killing and selling of animal flesh. Once you aimed your bow and arrow at a pregnant deer and killed her. As she died in pain, she placed a curse upon you saying, 'You shall be childless!' However, you felt guilty from this act, and went to Pushkar where you took a bath in the pious pond, to wash off your sins. This religious act helped you become a king in this life. To recover from this past curse, there is one solution that I shall explain to you. Not too far from here in Bhashkar state is a Pipal tree, under which a Shivling (see Lingam) is buried. You should get this Shivling out and make a beautiful temple for Lord Shiva, in which this Shivling must be embellished with respect and devotion." The king did exactly as he was told, in addition he recited the "Om, Namah Sivaya" shloka (a prayer; set of holy words) for two years. This pious and religious act pleased Lord Shiva who in turn blessed the king with a son, who was named Sujansen.
After prince Sujansen's birth, the spiritual advisor made his Kundali (horoscope), to chart out his graha and nakshatra. He shared the graha position findings with King Khandelsen and said "Your son will be handsome, masculine, and powerful; however due to an unforeseen incident he will suffer from sorrow for a short while, but that will eventually result in a happy ending."
Prince Sujansen was married to princess Chadravati, daughter of King Yudhaveer. After their marriage, King Khandelsen handed over the kingdom to his son Sujansen, and moved to the forest for his retirement. One day King Sujansen went into the forest to hunt with his 72 soldiers as part of his routine. As the King and his soldiers were hunting, they got lost and became hungry. Soon, they sensed an aroma, as if someone was cooking good food, and they followed this aroma and reached a place where six rishis were performing a yagna for Lord Shiva. Due to extreme hunger, the king and soldiers started eating prasad, drinking water from the nearby pond that was reserved for the yagna puja, and also started washing their stained bows and arrows in it. This broke the rishis' concentration, and they cursed the king and his 72 soldiers to turn into stones.
Back in the kingdom, the queen and the wives of the 72 soldiers waited for months for their husbands' return. Finally Queen Chandravati went to see Maharishi Jabali. Rishi Jabali explained the situation in its entirety and suggested that she and the wives of the soldiers should go to the temple near the pond and pray to Lord Shiva for their husbands' lives.
At this time, in Kailashparvath, in the Himalayas Lord Shiva and his beautiful wife Parvati were residing. Lord Shiva told Parvati that he needs to visit Earth, some of his worshipers were performing yagna and he needs go and show his satisfaction towards the successful completion of the yagna. Parvati loved her husband dearly, and did not like to part from her husband. This time Parvati insisted to go with Shiva to Earth. Lord Shiva said to Parvati, "Dear, you are very kind hearted, you will not be able to bear the pains of the people living on Earth. As always, you will ask me to take away all of their sorrows, so it is better you stay here till my return to Kailashparvath." But Parvati insisted and said, "No, I must go with you." After a while, Lord Shiva said, "As you wish!" and they both started their journey to Earth where the rishis were performing the yagna.
As Lord Shiva and Parvati reached the site, Parvati saw the queen and all the soldiers' wives crying for their husbands' stone figures. Lord Shiva explained the situation to Parvati. Parvati immediately said to Lord Shiva, "You must give these men another life, because when I can not live without you even for a fraction of a second; how can you expect me to leave this place while these wives are so sorrowful in life without their husbands?" Lord Shiva said "This is what I was afraid of when you decided to join me for this journey; in any case I must do so."
At once, all came to life as if they were awakened from a long sleep. However, they were hesitant to accept their wives, since the wives still belonged to the Kshatriya caste. At this point, Parvati Mata said, "Every couple shall take four parikramas (an act of circling around a God or Goddess in the temple) around me; their gathbandhan (a long scarf used to tie bride and grooms cloth ends together) will be joined automatically." At this, everyone did so, and they re-joined as husbands and wives. This is the reason why four feras (parikramas, in the cernacular also known as "Mama pheras") (see saptapadi) are done outside at Maheshwari weddings, as a reminder of our origin. Lord Shiva gave this blessing to the new 72 Vaishyas on the ninth day of Jyesth, Shukla Paksh in the year nine of Yudhisthira Sanvat. On this day, newlywed brides and grooms are appointed to pray to Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati so that they can also be blessed with children and eternally live a happy and joyous life.
While the 72 soldiers were bathing in the pond, their bows and arrows were melted, and after this the pond was named "Loh-Gal". Due to the incident in this story, new 72 Maheshwari khanp last names were created. After this, additional five Kshatriya last names were also added to the original 72 last names. Some of the Maheshwari Khapen are shown below:
To be completed:
Agiwal, Agsoor, Ajmera, Asawa, Atal, Badali, Bahety, Bagri, Bajaj, Baldeva, Bandar, Bang, Bangad, Bangar, Bhaiya, Bhandari, Bhansali, Bhattad, Bhattani, Bhutra, Bhutada, Bhuradia, Bidada, Bihani, Biyani, Birla, Bang, Chandak, Chaukhara, Chechani, Chhaparwal, Chitlangia, Dad, Daga, Damani, Dangra, Darak, Dargar, Devapura, Dhoopar, Dhoot, Dudhani, Falod, Gadiya, Gattani, Gandhi, Godani, Heda, Hurkat, Inani, Jaju, Jakhotiya, Jhanwar, Kabra, Kachauliya, Kahlya, Kalani, Kalantri, Kankani, Karnani, Karwa, Kasat, Khatod, Kothari, Laddha, Lahoti, Lakhotia, Lohia, Malani, Mall, Malpani, Malu, Mandhana, Mandovara, Maniyar, Mantri, Marda, Maru, Maroo, Mimani, Modani, Mohta, Mohata, Mundhra, Nagrani, Nanvadhar, Nathani, Navalakham, Nawal (Nuwal), Noval, Nyati, Pachisia, Partani, Pallod, Patwa, Panpalia, Pediwal, Parwal, Phoomra, Rathee, Rathi, Saboo, Sanwal, Sarda, Shah, Sikachi, Singhi Sodani, Somani, Soni, Taparia, Taori, Tela, Tenany, Thirani, Toshniwal, Totla, Tuwani, Zawar.
Khanp - UpKhanp ;
Birla - Birla, Dhuraya, Gathya, Dhubarya, Garuraya, Gauraya, Badaliya. ; Darak - Darak, Haldha, Marchunya, Kothari, Chaudhari. ; Tosniwal - Tosniwal, Nagauri, Mijyali, Modi, Munji, Dama, Nevar, Damdi, Lambu, Singi, Das, Daga, Jhalriya, Jenariya, Bhakrogha, Kothari. ; Ajmera - Ajmera, Kodyakulthya, Kukdaya, Rai, Randita, Dhaul, Dhaulesiya, Bhagat, Bhagutya, Dabkodya, Doda, Mankya, Vinyayakya, Nausarya, Posraya, Kharad, Khuchya, Padhava. ; Bhandari - Bhandari, Bhakava, Bhukya, Kala, Gora, Gokanya, Gulchak, Manya, Lathi, Rai, Mirchya, Naresanaya, Nensar. ; Chhapparwal - Chhapparwal, Dujara, Jusaaj. ; Bhattad - Bhattad, Sandha, Latad, Halad, Kela, Kahara, Bisani, Bisa, Balwani, Bichhu, Ramani, Jeta, Gandhi, Pithani, Puglia, Bhallad, Muhandasot, Mahara. ; Bhutada - Bhutada, Chachya, Devgatani, Deodatani, Chaudhari. ; Bang - Bang, Chhitarka, Sanvalaka, Sobhavat, Tharavat, Patwari, Motawat. ; Atal - Atal, Gothniwal, Marauthia. ; Inani - Idani, Nagwadya. ; Bhuradia - Bhuradia, Kothari, Bambu, Bhugdya. ; Bhansali - Bhansali ; Ladha - Ladha, Mody, Munji, Athasnya, Bhakrodha, Hingya, Dagda, Dagadya, Dharani, Jola, Chaudhari. ; Malpani - Malpani, Mutha, Mody, Junhari, Lulani, Laulan, Bhura. ; Sikahi - Sikahi, Silar, Silani. ; Lahoti - Lahoti, Bishar, Kuya, Kaha. ; Gadayiya - Gadayiya, Chadhari, Higrad. ; Gagrani - Gagrani, Gagad, Vavechya, Dodaya, Kala, Gaheya. ; Khatwad (Khataud) - Khatwad, Malani, Maulasaraya, Toda, Muchhal, Duwani, Loya, Khad, Kalya, Lausalya, Gandhi, Gahlada, Naresanya, Saraf, Pahadka, Bhutia, Bhuria, Bhala. ; Lakhotia - Lakhotia, Jugrama, Bhayiya, Mothadya, Maunana, Parasram, Rice. ; Asava - Asava, Vyapati, Nag, Mandovara. ; Chechani - Chechani, Dudani, Kachaulya, Kalkya, Rai, Khad. ; Mandhania - Manudhaniya, Manudhana, Chaudhari, Syahar, Dhardolya, Sum, Singi, Hira. ; Mundhara - Mundhada, Morani, Mody, Mahlana, Sesani, Sambharaya, Sakrani, Bharani, Bhaurani, Rajmahuta, Gaurani, Ulani, Dodaya, Dheyaya, Chaudhari, Chamadya, Chavakya, Adernya, Prahaladani, Pasari, Chhota, Kothari, Varifa, Bawari, Baldia, Dammalaka, Athani, Gavlani, Aldia. ; Chaukhada - Chaukhada ; Chandak - Chandak, Gorani, Multani, Muknani, Mumani, Madhani, Pragani, Prahaladani, Pungalia, Patwa, Bizani, Bhishani, Bhaia, Sagara, Sanval, Sukhani, Sundarani, Jogad. ; Baldua - Baldua, Padwar, Pediwal, Radhwani, Kalani, Vediwal. ; Baldi - Baldi ; Bub - Bub, Bauradha. ; Bangad - Bangad, Tapdia Bangad. ; Mandovara - Mandovara, Matesaraya, Dhaulesaraya, Kesaria. ; Totla - Totla, Badahaka, Nagla, Patwari, Tela. ; Aagiwal - Agiwal ; Aagsud - Aagsud ; Partani - Partani, Pundpalya, Dagdya, Panpaliya. ; Navndhar - Navndhar, Dharani, Dhirani, Mimani, Dhanani, Panani, Syahara, Rai, Gandhi. ; Naval - Naval, Khuval, Maliwal. ; Palod - Palod, Chitlangia, Ravtya, Lislya, Jujesaraya, Gahlada, Pachisya, Chavdya, Kakraya, Bhakad, Kela, Sethi, Chavta, Maunda, Fogiwal, Jaithalya, Vapdota, Dodya, Mujiwal, Maru, Fausalya. ; Taparia - Taparia, Chhachhya, Mungrad, Maiya, Kharnalya, Mankya. ; Dhoot - Dhoot ; Dhpad - Dhpad ; Modani - Modani, Bumb, Mody, Mahdana, Mahnan. ; Porva - Porvar, Parwal, Dagadya. ; Devpura - Devpura, Kasumbibal. ; Mantri - Mantri ; Naulakha - Naulakha, Naugaja. ; Davari - Gorani, Bhakrice, Bhojani, Gurkani, Khetani, Mohata. ;
However, the community does not recognise any such difference now.
In Maheshwari Marriages the Bride takes 4 rounds of the groom and offers her with garland befor the actual vedic marriage starts. This is called Gandhava vivah and compulsary for Maheshwari Marriages.
This is called Gandharva vivah
In Gujarat and Rajasthan, the mercantile community is sometimes divided into two sections: Shravaka|Shravak who are Jain and Meswari who are Brahmanic, . Here the terms are generalization of Sarawagi and Nikit Maheshwari, applied to several communities.
Most of the Maheshwari's are followers of Sri Vaishnavite Path and are believed to be Pure Vegetarian. Eating Meat and Drinking Alcohol is strongly forbidden as it is against the Belief of Ahinsa and Religion.