Maharaja Shoorsen (Skt: शूरसेन, Śūrasena) was the ancient Yadava ruler of Mathura. The Surasena Kingdom or mahajanpada and the Yadava or Jadaun Rajput sept of the Shoorsainis were named after this epnonymous Yaduvanshi king.
The tribal identity of Saini community of Punjab, who were displaced from Mathura to Punjab due to prolonged warfare between the Saini rulers and earlier Muhammadan raiders, is derived from this ancient patriarch. Their ancestors were also known as 'Shura Rajputs' sometimes , apart from their traditional epical and historical appellation of Shoorsainis.
According to historian Dashratha Sharma, these Shura Rajputs were strongly allied with the Chauhans when the foreign raids on North India began.
Also See: Saini-Jadaun Rajputs
According to the Mahabharata (VII.144.6030-1), he was son of Devamidha, while according to the Puranas, his father's name is Devamidhusa.He is extensively mentioned in both the Mahabharata and the Puranas as the father of Vasudeva (father of Krishna) and Pŗtha or Kunti (mother of Pandava).
" Puru became the patronymic of this branch of the Lunar race. Of this Alexander's historians made Porus. The Suraseni of Methoras (descendants of the Soor Sen of Mathura) were all Purus, the Prasioi of Megasthenes... ”
James Tod regarded Raja Porus, the celebrated king who stopped Alexander's advance in India to be a descendant of Maharaja Shoorsen. This view is endorsed by many other distinguished historians such as Dr. Ishwari Prashad, Dr. Pritam Saini and other members of Indian History Congress.
Also See: Raja Porus - A Saini King
Apart from Sainis of Punjab, the following Rajput descent communities in North India also link their ancestry with this revered scion of ancient Yadavas:
Some of the former ruling houses of South India, Kathiawar and Marathas claiming link with Yaduvanshis may also be directly or indirectly linked with this ancient patriarch.
1. "During the Mahabharata age the region around Mathura was ruled by the Surasena dynasty." The Quarterly Review of Historical Studies, By Institute of Historical Studies (Calcutta, India),Published by Institute of Historical, Studies., 1983, Item notes: v.22, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized 29 Aug 2008
2. "Surasena was a Yadava. One of his descendants could, therefore, call himself a Yadava or a Surasena as he liked..." Chauhān Dynasties: A Study of Chauhān Political History, Chauhān Political Institutions, and Life in the Chauhān Dominions, from 800 to 1316 A.D., By Dasharatha Sharma, pp 103, Published by Motilal Banarsidass, 1975
3. Tales From the Mahabharat, pp31, By B.K. Chaturvedi, Published by Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. ISBN 8128812289, 9788128812286
4. "The Surasenas were Jadavas, or Jadovansis, to which race belonged both Krishna and his antagonist Kansa, the king of Mathura." Report of a Tour in Eastern Rajputana in 1882-83,By Alexander Cunningham,Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885, Original from Oxford University
5. "As Bhadanaka-desa was almost coterminous with Surasena janapada, we may designate the Apabhramsa of the area as Shoorsaini Apabhramsa..." Early Chauhān Dynasties: A Study of Chauhān Political History, Chauhān Political Institutions, and Life in the Chauhān Dominions, from 800 to 1316 A.D., By Dasharatha Sharma, pp 103, Published by Motilal Banarsidass, 1975
6. Pargiter, F.E. (1972). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.106n
7. Ghazni to Jaiselmer (Pre-medieval History of the Bhatis), p.42, Hari Singh Bhati, Publisher: Hari Singh Bhati, 1998, Printers: Sankhala Printers, Bikaner
8. "Referencing the historical texts extant and available during his time and demonstrating Chandra Vansha (Lunar Dynasty) of Lord Krishna as the origin of Saini community and reproducing the entire lineage of Chandra Vansha he concluded: " The progeny of Chandra Vanshi King Yadu started being called Yadava. After 42 generations in the same lineage was born a ruler called King Shoorsen who controlled Mathura and surrounding area...After Chaudhary Lal Saini's 'Taarikh Quam Shoorsaini' the other historians of Shoorsaini community (which is also called Saini community) have regarded Shiv Lal's history work to be the basis of their research and publications", Dr. Pritam Saini as quoted in Saini Jagat : Utpati Ate Vikas, Professor Surjit Singh Nanua, pp 115, Manjot Publications, Patiala, 2008
9. The Ancient Geography of India, pp 374 , By Alexander Cunningham, Published by Trübner and co., 1871, Item notes: v.1, Original from the University of Michigan
10. The land of the five rivers; an economic history of the Punjab from the earliest times to the year of grace 1890, pp 100, Hugh Kennedy Trevaskis, [London] Oxford University press, 1928
11.Encyclopaedia Indica: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Volume 100, pp 119 - 120, SS Sashi, Anmol Publications, 1996