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Historical Synopsis

Guhil founded the State of Mewar in 568 AD, and his descendants have ruled over the area ever since. Separated from the rest of India by mountains and dense forests, Mewar developed the spirit of iron discipline and stoic resolve, which was to become its most salient feature and to arm its determined resistance.

The House of Mewar was founded upon principles of trusteeship, which are its underlying structure and strength. According to history, in the 8th century, the founder father of the House of Mewar,Bapa Rawal was appointed initiated and confirmed in his role by a Guru, Harit Rishi, who laid down cardinal rules for the governance of the state, through the concept of service. Harit Rashi's tenets were based upon respect for mankind, service to the community, and more importantly, adherence to and maintenance of the ancient Vedic culture.

Thus, there came into existence in the 6th century:

  • The State of Mewar,
  • The Institution of the Maharana,
  • The duties and obligations assigned to a Maharana, and
  • The concept of "kingship" as "trusteeship".

Bapa Rawal (his real name was Kalbhoj), was held in high esteem and with deep affection by his people. This is attested by the name by which he was known. "Bapa" means father, an intimate term of endearment, and "Rawal" was the name of the founding father of the Mewar Sisodia dynasty, a Kshatriya kinsman. The Kshatriya clan is one of the four principal ranks in Hindu society. Kshatriyas are warriors, defenders of righteousness and implementers of the law, whose solemn duty is to defend the state and its people without regard to personal risk.

By means of searching tests conducted over a period of time, the guru, Harit Rashi, found his young shishya (student) "Bapa" to be a worthy successor to him, and therefore custodian of the Shri Eklingji Shrine. Part of the spirituality of Mewar comes from centuries of devotion to Eklingji. Harit Rashi initiated Bapa into the rites of Shiva and specifically those of Eklingji, a manifestation of Shiva. He taught him the sacred scriptures and the wisdom they contained. He taught him to honour the sanctity of life and the duties of mankind. The State of Mewar was created on the foundations of these principles, from the keen instruction of a Guru (teacher) to his shishya (student). Before the Guru died, Bapa gave his solemn promise that he and his descendants would protect and fulfill this sacred trusteeship of Eklingji and its legacy of 'Manava Dharma'. 'Manava Dharma' which rules the conduct of the diwans of Eklingji, is set out in the Vedas and Vedantas, an extraordinary collection of texts, containing deep spiritual truths veiled in intricate and imposing symbolism. The Vedas and Vedantas were composed over several centuries, dating from around 1600 BC to 2 AD, and they are an accumulation of timeless wisdom recording the realizations and experiences of select rishis or sages. The purpose of these texts is to offer the means to transform society with understanding and reverence.

They contain five universal principles:

  • The concept of the omnipresence - the all-pervasiveness of the divine that transcends the many galaxies into the infinite universe.
  • The understanding that every individual, irrespective of religion or nationality, race or ideology, embodies a spark of this divinity, and that the highest goal of life is to fire this spark within each one of us.
  • The beliefs that since all individuals are potentially divine, the entire human race then represents a single extended family.
  • Although it may appear in different forms, divine truth is essentially one.
  • The goal of human life is two-fold: to attain the spiritual release of our individual souls from bondage and cyclical rebirth, and, to assure the welfare of society and consequently, the world. Our spiritual quest must also be two-fold, harmonising both the inner and outer journey.

'Manava Dharma' is based on self-respect and respect for others. Dharma implies concepts of justice, virtue, morality, righteousness, law and duty. Dharma, literally 'the way' means good ethical practices, and it is up to each individual to fulfill their destiny to the best of their ability and situation in life. The correct working out of one's dharma, above all other obligations, is the primary dogma of great teaching texts such as the Bhagvad Gita.

Unlike other kingdoms, whose territories were the result of plunder and pillage, the State of Mewar was handed down as a consequence of the teacher-pupil legacy. It was also based on the expression of the Guru's acknowledgement that Bapa was his heir and therefore worthy to continue with the sacred duties. As direct descendants of Bapa Rawal, the Maharanas of Mewar are hereditary Diwans and considered to be the attendants of Shiva. In Mewar, Shiva is especially honoured in his manifestation as Eklingji. As Eklingji's earthly representatives' duty and custom to serve his will and administer on his behalf bind the Diwans. They are to act as guardians, upholding the Vedic principles and protect the people of Mewar, entrusted to their care.

The Guru Harit Rashi was in every sense a wise man, many centuries in advance of his time. His vision was that of a state governed by a custodian answerable to God's laws whose selection for the role was based on merit rather than brawn, wisdom and piety rather than power and status. This acknowledgement of excellence is celebrated annually in Udaipur at an awards ceremony for the presentation of the Maharana Mewar Foundation Scheme of Awards, which are for outstanding merit, in accordance with the Vedic principles of 'manava dharma'.