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Mahuri

This article or section should be merged with MahuriVaisya.

Mahuri (माहुरी) is the name of a Hindu caste (jati) under Vaisya Varna.

Mahuri Vaisya folks are reported to have migrated from the city of Mathura and surrounding rural locations to the then suba of Bengal under the Mughal empire. As a faithful community, the Mahuri Vaisya folks still continue to worship Mata Mathurashani Devi, an incarnation of Shakti, as their family deity.

Although Mahuri folks have been coming to places in the Suba of Bengal during the heyday of the Mughal Empire (around 500 years before) for trade and commerce, the large waves of migrations reportedly took place around 250 years before. Scores of families reached the place Bihar-E-Sharif located in the present day state of Bihar, India . Over a period of several decades, the Mahuri Vaishya folks reached the hinterland of Chota Nagpur Plateau, also known as Chhota Nagpur, and got located in a number of villages.

Before this, they had already settled in several fertile locations of the areas of the Magadha. Ultimately, the heritage city of Gaya, in several senses, emerged as the “capital city” of all the Mahuri Vaisya folks. From the early 20th Century, several mahuri families migrated to the places located in the present day states of the West Bengal and Orissa . By the end of the last century, the dynamism of the Mahuri Vaishya took them to several parts of India, particularly to the metropolitan cities of Calcutta, New Delhi and Mumbai. Now, Mahuri Vaisya families may be found, albeit in a very small number, in almost all the time zones across the globe. A number of them have also shed their traditional vocation of trade and commerce, and are engaged in a variety of other professions.

Although the history of Mahuri Vaisya is traceable to a very near term to hardly 3 centuries or so, the family folklores of Mahuri Vaisya people as well as certain mythological and historical evidences suggest that roots of the Mahuri Vaisya (not necessarily with the same name “mahuri”) may be traced back to two millennia before – even to the period of the Maurya and Gupta periods.

Mahuri through the Mythological Mirror

Mahuri surnames / family names

The following information is based on an article, which appeared in the "Mahuri Mayank" of January, 1999. The article was written in Hindi by Shri Prasad Lohani of Barbigha. A free flow translation in English is given below:

Mahuri folks have 14 surnames/ family names each with different gotra:

It is believed that Lord Krishna advised ancient ancestors of Mahuri folks to engage themselves in trade and commerce, in order to earn their livelihood. These ancesotrs of Mahuri Vaisya folks settled in 14 hamlets nesteled in forests (of Vrindavana, presently Vrindavan around the ancient city of Mathura. As stated earlier, these hamlets were located inside the forests. The 14 original mahuri surnames or family names are reportedly derived from the names of these forests / hamlets. Mahuri Vaisya folks call these surnames or family names as "khatas". The 14 surnames or family names or khatas of Mahuri folks are briefly described below:

01 Lohani (लोहानी) – families residing in the "lohawana" got the khata "lohani". In the "lohawana", a cave of the demon "loha-asur" was located. Lohani folks were initiated in the school of "kapila Muni" and accordingly their gotra is "kapil muni" gotra.

02 Bhadani (भदानी) – families who used to reside in the "bhadrawana" got the khata "bhadani". One Shree Ghat was reported to be located in the "bhadrawana". According to mythology, Lord Krishan, his elder brother Balaramjee and other gopas used to take their afternoon meals here. Bhadanis belong to "kapil muni" gotra.

03 Tarway (तरवे) – Those families who used to reside in the "talwan" acquired the khata "tarway". In the "talwan", Shri Balaramjee is reported to have killed a demon by the name of 'Dhenuka-asur". A Taraway belongs to "Vatasa muni" gotra.

04 Kandhway – Ancestors of Mahuri folks who used to inhabit "kaamvana" or "kamayak-vana" were called "kandhaway". All the 5 pandavas are reported to have spent a portion of their period of vanavash in this place. "Kashyap muni" is the gotra of Kandhaways.

05 Barahapuriya – Barahapuriyas derive their khata from 'madhuwan" where their ancectors used to reside. In this place, one king by name Brihat Sen is reported to have performed yagya under the priesthood of Shanta rishi. It is believed that the cildren performed yagya. It is believed that "barahapuriyas" are descendants of "baraha-sainis". The gotra of "barahpurias" is "vashista muni" gotra.

06 Vaishakhiyar – Families residinf in the "brihatvana" derived the khata "Vaishakhiyar". This "brihatvana" was reportedly located on the eastern flank of "lohavana" where "Nimbakacharya" is believed to have appeared. "Vaishakhiyar" belongs to "Bhardwaj muni" gotra.

07 Athaghara (अठघरा) – "Athaghara" khata is derived from "khelvan" which is believed to be the lila-ashali of Lord Krishan and Radha. A pond named "mansarovar" was believed to be located in the "khelwan". "Chandra muni" is the gotra of athaghara.

08 Kapasimey (कपसीमे) – Kapasimey is derived from the "kumudvan". Here, there is the shrine of Mahaprabhujee. The gotra of Kapasimey is "Shandilya muni".

09 Seth (सेठ) – Those families who were residing in "viharvana" acquired the khata "seth". This location was believed to be a a beutiful spot. Presently, there stands a magnificeint temple built by Jaipur King Shree Madawajee. "Kamal muni" is the gotra of "Seth" Khata.

10 Kutariyaar (कुटरियार) – Families residing in the "bhandeervana" acquired "Kutariyaar" khata. A well by the name "Bhandeer" is here. It is believed that this well appeared when the lord Krishan annihilated the demon "vatasha-ashur". "Sharan muni" is perhaps the gotra of "kutariyaar".

11 Badgaway (बढ़गवे) – Badgaway derives their Khata from "bahulavana". Krishan-kunda and temples of Baldeojee and Bahula cow are located here. The gotra of Badgaway is "Kanta muni".

12 Charanpahari (चरणपहाढ़ी) – In Vrindavana area there are 5 hillocks, Gowanrdhan, Varasatu, Nandishawar, Charanpahari and Dushari Charanpahari. These small mountains gave the Khata "Charanpahari". The gotra of "charanpahari" is "Saravesh muni".

13 Ekghara – From the "vatsha-vana", Lord Brahama is reported to have stolen some calves. Here, Gwal Mandol and Haribole thirthas are located. it is believed that "Ekghara" families used to reside in "vatsha-vana". "Chandra muni" is the gotra of "Ekghara".

14 Pawanchaudaha – In "mahavan" there is located the temple of "pawan mohan jee". Families residing in this area derived the Khata "Pawanchaudaha". The gotra of "Pawanchaudaha" is "Surya muni".

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