Shurasen – Decoding the old Mathura

 Shurasen – Decoding the old Mathura

Mathura, the capital of this district Shurasen, is known today as a holy place for all Hindus where Lord Krishna was born. It has been mentioned in the Uttarkand of Ramayana that Shurasen had established a new settlement at the place of old Mathura.

The Harappans used to live in cities that had well-organised trade and craft activities. The Harappans created scripts that so far have not yet been deciphered, but historians are trying their best to learn more about it. The cities were growing quite gloriously but they soon started declining at around 1900 BC. It was during this time when rural settlements started appearing, these rural settlements showed a continuity of certain elements from the Harappan civilisation. It is also pertinent to mention here that during this time there is also archaeological evidence of the arrival of Aryans or Indo-Aryans for the first time. Yes, they had started settling in India at this time as well. They were mainly found on the outskirts of the Harappan region.

This period is known as the Vedic Period, but what is Vedas and Vedic period? The word Veda is obtained from the roots of “vid” which means “to know”. The word “veda” means the sacred knowledge which is contained in the books and scripts or Vedic texts to be precise. According to research, only two categories of texts are included in the corpus or volumes of the Vedic literature. The two categories are known as Mantra and Brahmana. The former category actually forms the core of the Vedic texts and has approximately four separate collections. The collections are the Rigveda, the Samaveda, the Yajurveda, and the Atharvaveda. The later that is the Brahamanas are mainly prose texts containing various explanations of the various mantras and also rituals. The above mentioned four vedas alongwith the Brahmanas are also referred to as “shruti” meaning “hearing.” This basically points to the fact that it was directly heard from the sages.

The kingdom of Shurasen was an important and famous Mahajanapada of ancient India, and it was one of the 16 Mahajanapadas. After the death of Lavanasura, whose capital was Mathura, Shatrughan named this region after his son Shurasen. And it has also been mentioned in Mahabharata that he fought on the side of Kauravas. It has been briefly mentioned in the Hindu epic poem, the Ramayana. The capital of Shurasena’s present location can be traced at Mathura. According to the Mahaharata and the Puranas, the rulers of the Mathura region were referred to as Yadus or Yadavas. According to Buddhist texts, where it is referred to as the Avantiputta, who was the king of the Shurasen kingdom during the time of Maha Kachchana. He was one of the chief disciples of Gautama Buddha and had spread Buddhism in the Mathura region. Mathura has actually situated on the banks of river Yamuna and is a very sacred place for the Hindus.

With the help of archaeological excavations, it has been discovered that in Mathura there used to be a village which later turned into a very important city. Mathura’s main importance was because it was the centre of all the traders. It was connected to both the Northern trade route as well as to the Gangetic plain. The Gangetic plain route also connected with Malwa which is Central India and also the West coast. According to mythology, Shurasena is considered to be a very wise and noble king as mentioned in the Vinayaka Purana, he mainly ruled during the Treta Yuga. He is considered to be a very good man, who used to treat his people with utmost respect. He was a devoted follower of Lord Vinayaka and it is said that he even used to perform pujas and offer Mothakams to the first God in the temples present at his palace. The main reason his name and fame spread was due to his devotion to Lord Vinayaka. Everyone in his kingdom and even from other states had begun to praise his bhakti. After many years of prosperous rule, one day a “push para vimana” had arrived at his palace. The very Lord Vinayaka had sent their divine attendants and had asked him to take a seat in the holy Vimana so that he could transport the king to the Ganesha Loka. The humble and generous king had requested that they accept his people as well, and even explained that he regarded them as his own children. The divine attendants were surprised to see this and agreed to his request immediately. Everyone entered apart from some people who could not enter the Vimana due to their bad karma.

While everything was going on, the other side the Great king kept on chanting Lord Vinayaka’s holy mantras and had bestowed the divine Prasad Mothak upon them, The rest of them were now able to enter the Vimana after consuming the holy prasad and their appearances were altered. They had now become divine beings. Surasena, along with his family, relatives and all the people had travelled to Ganesha Loka in this manner, It is impossible to imagine such a selfless and kind-hearted person like Surasena in these times, we usually don’t come across people who wishes for everyone to attain salvation and experience of eternal bliss.

Not much information is available about this, but it is said that the era from 1000 BC to 500 AD is called Mahajanapada era. And this was a tribe, which around 600-700 AD, Shurshen had captured Braj, and started Krishna worship here.

Today it is famous not in the form of Mahajanapada but as a city in the whole world, which is the center of attraction for the people of the country and abroad. And Krishna is the oldest and unique center of devotion. Surasena was basically the Yadu race’s king, and according to the Puranic traditions there had been a conflict between Haihaya, the Kshatriyas and Bhrigus who culminated in Parashurama defeating the Haihayas several times.

Bitati Kar

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