Page contributed by Shri C. M. Lodha, Jodhpur.
Shri Mahviray Namah om Shri Sachiyay mata ji namah
Origin of Oswals
The origin of Oswal is disputed. There are 3 different schools of thought.
of Jain Acharyas
Opinion of Jain Acharyas
According to ‘Upkesh Gachh Pattawali’ Acharya Sri Ratna Prabh Suri did his ‘Chathurmas’ in the Veer Sanwat year 70 at Upkeshpur Pattan and he addressed the king and his people and converted them into Jains. Changing religion is not a big thing but to make a community to follow non-violence from violence was a historical achievement. He preached that Yagya & Havana were all against the Jainism and made all of them mahajan.
New Kingdom of Upkeshpur Pattan (City)
Accordingly to Upkesh Gachh Pattawali, the Raja or King of Srimal Pattan had 2 sons – Utpaldev and Sripunj. One day Utpaldev teased Sripunj, so Sripunj got angry and said, “you are giving me orders as if you have won this kingdom by your own means and power”
Utpaldev immediately realised this and he left the city with his friend Uhad and met Raja Sadhu of Dhelipur (Delhi). With his blessings he built a new city Upkeshpur. As the farming of sugar cane (Ganna) was done on that place, the name of the city was kept as Upkeshpur, which in a short time became famous as Upkeshpur Pattan. The city was about 12 yojans in length and 9 yojans in breadth. Many traders, scholars, Brahmins settled in this new city of Upkeshpur Pattan.
Acharya Ratna Prabh Suri
The city of Raganpur in the state of Vidyadhar was ruled by Raja Mahendra Chud. The queen Mahadevi Laxmi gave birth to a son who was named ‘Ratna Chud Vidhyadhar’. Ratna Chud was a great scholar, very brilliant and had skills in many Vidhyas. One day when he was flying in his ‘Viman’ (plane), it stopped near Mount Abu. On inquiry it was found that Acharya Sri Swamprabh Suri was passing by. Ratna Chud got down from his plane and bowed to the Acharya. From the preaching’s of Acharya he became disciple of Acharya and took ‘Disksha’ in the year Veer Sanwat 52. After getting skilled in various philosophical, intellectual and spiritual rites he became Acharya.
One day Acharya Sri Ratna Prabh Suri was touring near Abu, ‘Chakreshwari Devi’ came and asked Acharya if he could visit Upkeshpur Pattan then the Jain religion could be spread much faster. So the Acharya along with his 500 disciples reached Upkeshpur Pattan.
In Upkeshpur Brahmins were very powerful. They had blessings from the king in doing Havan, yagya etc. So when Acharya came the brahmins did not allow the Acharya to enter the city. So the Acharya and disciples were forced to stay on Lunadri mountain. All saints were under the ritual of ‘Maas Shraman’ (Fasting for a month) so in the evening after evening prayer (Pratikraman) the Acharya ordered to return back in the morning.
At night ‘Chamunda Devi’ came and bowed to Acharya and asked for forgiveness that she had forgotten the message of Chakreshwari Devi because she was busy in dancing. She requested the Acharya that she would create ‘maya’ so that the citizens will welcome Acharya and disciples. However in the morning Acharya announced to his disciples, that saints busy in Ghor Tapasya to stay and the rest to move else where. 465 saints left and 35 remained to continue the fasting and Tapasya.
The daughter, Saubhagya Kumari of Raja Utpaldev got married to Trilok Singh son of the minister Uhad. A snake bite Trilok singh at night when they both were sleeping. So he died. In the morning when the funeral procession was going Chamunda Devi appeared in saints form and told people why they were taking a living man for funeral and disappeared.
Every body discussed and some people told that they had seen similar saints on Lunadri mountain. All went there with the procession, there the Devi again reappeared in saints dress and told that the sadhus have divine powers. If you sprinkle hot water poured on the Acharya toe on the prince body the prince would regain life. This was immediately done and as expected the prince was back to life.
The visit of Acharya Ratna Prabh Suri
The whole city was overjoyed. The Acharya and his disciples were treated with full honour and respect and they entered the city. Crowd was cheering with Jai-Jaikar. Acharya stopped in front of the fort and said to remove luxurious things like carpets etc. than only they can enter. All decoration and luxuries were removed and than Acharya and his disciples entered in the palace. When the king offered jewels etc. to Acharya, he said, “Oh king, we have already left all material things long back and we remain busy in tapasya and prayers to the almighty, we have no pleasures even in seeing these things.“ Everyone was surprised.
When the sermon was given then they found out how better the Jain Religion is. The greater happiness can be found by sacrifice and religious ceremonies. The wealth, prosperity and physical pleasures are worldly desires. They increase sorrow & unhappiness at the end. This road leads to hell. The road to heaven is in sacrifices, donations, Dhyan, meditation etc. Before the birth the child faces 9 months of acute hell. The pain at the time of labor cannot be explained. By the action of sacrifices and meditation all pleasures can be gained.
In the year Veer Sanwat 70 the Acharya did his chaturmas (where Muni stay in a place for 4 months) The Acharya and his disciples broke the fast there and due to his continued preaching and sermons 1500 men and 3000 women became sadhu and Sadhvi and 140,000 people adopted Jainism.
The foundation day of Oswals
According to Muni Sri Gyan Sunderji the foundation day of Oswals falls on the fourteenth day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravan. All Jain-Oswals celebrate this with sacrifice, prayers and meditation.
The KULDEVI of Oswals
The KULDEVI of Oswals is “Maa Jagat Bhawani Sachhiyay Mata”.
There was a big temple of Chamunda Mata in Upkeshpur presently known as Osiya situated near Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The temple was known for chamatkars and therefore everybody prayed to Chamunda Mata. In Navratri buffaloes were butchered. People used to give offerings of flash of buffaloes to please the Devi. The Acharya Shri Ratna Prabh Suri stopped this practice of animal killing. Because of this the goddess got angry and she created pain in the eyes of Sri Acharya. He did not do anything but continued with the suffering, when Devi found out that no reaction has taken place, she was ashamed. She asked forgiveness from the Acharya. Acharya explained that, “You better not allow killing of animals as offering to you, by asking your devotees to offer you flashes of buffaloes or other animals you are doing your own harm. You will have to face all the wrong that are committed in your name, you have been made Goddess because of your good actions but now you will have to face the hell “ The Goddess got enlightened she told Acharya,” from today no more such killings would be allowed in the temple and even red colored flower shall not be offered. I will accept Prasad & Lapsi, my worship will be done by kesar, chandan (Sandal wood) and Dhup (incense sticks). I will be happy as long as people are devoted to lord Mahavira. I will fulfill all the prayers of my devotees.’
Acharya told from today you are Sachhi Mata. From that day Chamunda mata became and known as Sachhiyay Mata.
The Jain Mandir of Lord Mahavira at Osiya
It is believed and said that Sachhiyay mata was devoted in the Bhakti of lord Mahavira so much so that she decided to build a temple for Lord Mahavira.
The Upkeshpur king had a holy cow. A vary mysterious thing started happening. Everyday in the evening when the cow returns from jungle, she had no milk left. This continued for a while. The person looking after the cows was asked to explain why at particular place cows carried no milk. The shepherd explained that while the cow was roaming in a heightened land the milk flowed out from her automatically in all the four directions, when the milk was finished the cow returned to the herd. Next day also same scene was seen by thousands of people. King Utpal Dev was informed of the incident. Next day the king, the Prime minister & several thousand people gathered and saw the scene. The king narrated the incident to Acharya Sriji and acharya sri ji understood that this was the work of Chamunda Devi. Next day at the auspicious hour, the place was dug up and a deity of lord Mahavira made up of sand was retrieved. In the digging also 9 laks gold coins were also found which were melted and the idol of God Mahavira was covered with gold. Later a temple was built. It is said that the opening Pratistha (the way in which deity is installed) was done by Acharya sriji on Thursday the 5th day of shukla panchami in the year Veer Samvat 70. At the same time Acharya by his Devik powers did Pratistha for another Lord Parshvanath temple in Konarpur, which was miles away from Osiya.
Views/ Philosophy of Bhats and Charans
According to the writing of Bhats and Charans, the Oswal community was founded in year Vikram Sanwat 222. According to historian Mr. Pooran Chand Nahar and Daulat singh Bhati the oswal community came into existence in 222. However Jagga Shah of Abha Nagri made a big procession of Oswals in 222 and Jagga Shah was Oswal. Which means Oswals were in existence even before 222 but they were called Mahajans and not Oswals.
It is believed that before year 222 all Oswals were of Mahajan community. In year 222 there was a big meeting of Mahajans in Khandela (Near Jaipur) in that meeting Mahajans from Osiya (Upkeshpur), Srimal Nagar, Khandela, Pali, Agrova, Pragvat Nagar etc. came and attended. From that day all the Mahajans were named according to their places. Like from Osiya Oswals, from Srimal Srimali, From Khandela Khandelwal, from Pali Palliwal, from Agrova Agarwal and from Pragvat Porwal etc. Therefore in 70 AD Mahajans came in existence and 222 Ad Oswals came in existence.
Some of the historians like Sri Pooran Chand Nahar, Dr. Bhandarkar, Agarchand Nahata , Hira Chand Ojha, Jagdish Singh Ghelot, Mohnot, Nensi are of the view that Oswals came in existence during the period between 70 AD and 222 AD.
Dr. Bhandarkar says that Utpaldev once asked for Shelter with Parihar king. The Parihar king gave the permission to re-build Bhelpur Pattan. It is said that shelter which was given is called Oslakiya (means take shelter) which later on was turned as Osiya. This was in 9th century.
According to Sohan Raj Bhansali the Oswals started from 8th century.
Osiya in history
The archeological team found many old samples, statues of olden times in Osiya. In the temple of Osiya there is a deity of Harihar, which is half Shiva & half Vishnu, which is vary ancient. The paintings found in Osiya include Vasudeva with baby Krishna on his head, Krishna fighting with horse, Killing of Putna, Kalidaman, Govardhan dharan, butter stealing etc. from the same comes the interesting images of Balram which seem to represent him as the incarnation of Seshnaga.
In olden days Osiya was a very big town. Osiya’s Telivada was situated 3 miles away in Tinvari village, at 6 miles is Pandit ji ki Dhani (small Village which is Pandit pur), at another 6 miles away village Kshatripura, at 24 miles is Lohavat which was place iron smiths colony of Osiya. There were 108 Jain temples in Osiya.
Present Osiya is situated about 40 KM from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It is connected by road & train with Jodhpur and Pokharan.
The Bhat, Charans and historians have believed Utpaldev as Parmar after seeing his name in Upkesh gachh Pattawali and concluded that he is the founder of Oswal dynasty, just by finding name of Utpaldev in Parmar dynasty it cannot be concluded that Oswals originated from there.
According to poet Rishab Das book (Hari Vijay Sri Ras) Agar Chand Nahata concludes that Oswals originated in 510 by Sri Ratna Suriji
According to ‘Mahir Stavan’ and ‘Oswal utpati Vratant’ it is Vikram Sanvat 1011 – 15. Dr. Laxmi Mal Singhvi concluded that Oswal originated in 5th century BC. Mr. Bhansali concluded 8th century .Sri Sukh Sampat Raj Bhandari Concludes Vikram Samvat 508.
According to ‘mathuri vachan 2nd’, Skandal Suri (357-360) stated about Mathura resident Oswal Polak who made description on the Tadpatra and gave to various saints there. Which means Oswals were in existence in Mathura before 4th century.
According to Col. Todd hundreds of people of Kshatriya community settled in Osiya gram and were later called Oswals.
Munsi Devi Prasad has written a book “Rajputane ki khoj”. As per that an idol of Lord Mahavira found in Kota while digging and on that name of Bhaisa Shah and V.S. is written, Bhaisa Shah is of Aditya Nag Gotra. Which proves that Oswals were in existence before V.S. 508.
We can conclude that the Mahajans originated in VS 70 and later were called Oswals or they might have been named as oswals in VS 222.