Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (February 19, 1627 – April 3, 1680) is a principle of effulgence, rather a divine inspiration. He is certainly not human, he is God. Shivaji Maharaj is a Primal God who took birth in a divine and pure culture. In history, no other religion has produced such an immaculate personality. One has yet to see a monarch who despite being powerful did not use his powers to torment, who despite being glorified was not arrogant, who conquered valorous enemies and who despite being a human functioned as a God !
Hindu Dharma has a glorious past of great Saints and Sages. Several Saints ascended to the state of Guru and showed the path of God realisation to many. They also taught spirituality to the society through their conduct and actions. Their mission was not just limited to spirituality but they also did substantial work for the defence of nation whenever it was in difficulties. Some of the Saints travelled all over the world and disseminated the spiritual knowledge of Bharat there without any personal expectations. Millions of people abroad are getting benefit of that. For last lakhs of years, the Sages took tremendous efforts to preserve the Vedic Knowledge which is the pride of Bharat. They also created many subjects connected with the human life and made it easy. The most important thing however is that the Saints of Bharat have donated the world the tradition of Guru-disciple.
The current scene however is different. The cricketers, movie heroes and heroines have become the ideals of Hindus. Also the two vices of selfishness and narrow mindedness have become dominant in Hindus which is causing lot of harm to Hindu society. Under such circumstances it has become essential to study and follow the life of Saints who have imparted the teaching of sacrifice, love. devotion to righteousness, devotion to nation, helping the society and kashtradharma (duty of a warrior). We are hereby publishing the matter related to them so that people should come to know about such great Saints. We pray at the feet of God that let Hindus get the inspiration to study and follow their biography and teachings.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj founded the Hindu Kingdom in the Deccan against all odds, fighting against the mighty Mughals. He inspired and united the masses to fight the tyranny of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, by inculcating a sense of pride and nationality in them. Shivaji Maharaj successfully led and marshalled his forces to cope and overcome several major enemy invasions of his territories. He was also relentless in expand-ing his Kingdom’s boundaries.
At the age of 16, he took a pledge to establish a sovereign Hindu state. He outshines all the Rulers and Generals of Bharat in the exemplary life he lived and is thus respected by the entire cross-section of Bharatiyas. He raised a strong army and navy, constructed and repaired forts, used guerrilla warfare tactics, developed a strong intelligence network and functioned like a seasoned Statesman and General. He introduced systems in revenue collection and warned the officials against harassment of subjects. In his private life, his moral virtues were exceptionally high. His thoughts and deeds were inspired by the teachings of his mother Jijabai, and great Saints like Dnyaneshwar & Tukaram and the valiancy and ideals of the Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. He was blessed and guided by his Guru, Samarth Ramdas Swami. He was also an ardent devotee of Goddess Bhavani.
He always showed respect, defended and protected Holy men and places of worship of all religions. He allowed his subjects freedom of religion and opposed forced conversions. Shivaji Maharaj is well known for his benevolent attitude towards his subjects. He believed that there was a close bond between the state and the citizens. He encouraged all socio-economic groups to participate in the ongoing political/military struggle. The Kingdom established by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj known as ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ (Sovereign Hindu state) spread beyond Attock in Northwest Bharat (now in Pakistan) and beyond Cuttack in East Bharat in due course, to become the strongest power in Bharat.
The history of Bharat is incomplete without the history of the Marathas and Shivaji Maharaj is the nucleus of Maratha history. Shivaji Maharaj has been a source of inspiration and pride to the past generations and will continue to inspire generat-ions in the future too. We pay our obeisance to this great Hindu King on his birth anniversary, which falls on 19th February 2008.
(Compiled by Ms. Nandita Verma, Sanatan’s Ramnathi Ashram, Goa.)
1. Shivaji Maharaj, put the British in their rightful place !
Rajapur Copra or Rajapur coconut is a commodity that is traded on the national and international market. There is an interesting tale on how the wily British tried to monopolise the sale of Rajapuri coconut and how Shivaji Maharaj put them their place. The British traders had a warehouse at Rajapur. They took into confidence local traders and after bribing them managed to procure coconuts from farmers at a very low price. In those days many means of transport were not available. Due to lack of finance, farmers could not carry their produce to other markets to obtain better prices. Since they were handicapped, they suffered huge loss.
The aggrieved farmers appealed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for help. Immediately Shivaji Maharaj levied a 200% import duty on British made products; thereby depriving them of any market for their products. Sale of their products decreased. The British pleaded with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to reducing import duty. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conveyed that he is ready to remove import duty on the condition that the loss suffered by farmers at Rajapur be compensated properly. He also stipulated that only on receipt of the notes that the farmers have received their dues would the import duty be withdrawn.
At long last the Britishers withdrew. From the very next day they contacted the traders and through them, apart from compensating the loss paid reasonable amount to all the farmers. Later on the farmers conveyed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj about receipt of compensation and satisfaction. Subsequently Maharaj withdrew the import duty.
2. Shivaji Maharaj’s work was divine !
Kavi Bushan extolls the virtues of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj when he says – He protected the sacred Vedas, the holy texts. The Ram-naam continued to flow from the tongues of the devout. The shikha of the Hindus stayed put. The soldiers had their fill. The janeu (sacred thread) of the Hindus was saved, so was the ‘mala’ around their necks. He crushed the Mughals, destroyed the Nizams and routed the enemies. He was gifted with divine blessings. Shivaji protected the throne’s honour with the dint of his sword. He protected temples and idols therein. He protected the land and the Dharma within. Kavi Bhushan continues that ‘Just as Shriram was to arrogant Ravan, Bhagvan Shrikrushna to merciless Kamsa, Chhatrapati Shivrai is to the mlecchas’.
3. Shivaji Maharaj’s letter to the Moghuls !
A. Shivaji Maharaj once chastised the Mughal chieftains who were trying to capture his territory. ‘If your imagination were a horse, even that would find it well nigh impossible to frolic about in our territory. Then why do your dream of capturing such land? Are you not ashamed of sending false reports to your emperor?’
A letter written by Shivaji to Mughals is available. Shivaji says ‘Many experienced and famous commanders and generals have been coming here over the last three years, equipped with orders from the Emperor to capture Shivaji’s forts and territory. You keep comforting your emperor that this Shivaji’s lands will soon be captured. If your imagination were a horse, even that would find it well nigh impossible to frolic about in our territory. Then why do your dream of capturing such land? Are you not ashamed of sending false reports to your emperor? This land is not like Kalyani or Bidar, flat and easily overpowered.
Our territory is a arduous and hilly terrain. There are no routes to cross over rivers and rivulets. I have 60 strong and fully militarised forts, with more out in the sea. Afzal Khan and his massive army tasted defeat. Why you are not conveying this to your Emperor? Shaista Khan entered this territory with his large ego and army and bluffed to the Emperor that he would subjugate Shivaji within no time. Three years of toil provided no result. The price he had to pay for his arrogance and lies is well known. It is my prime duty to protect my territory and people, which I will discharge without erring’.
– Ninad Bedekar (Pudhaari, 17.4.1999, 1921, Shikshak 325)
4. Principles of Management and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
On Shravan shukla Chaturthi Kaliyug 5112 (13.8.2010) while teaching Principles of Management in the T.Y. B.C.A. Class, the following examples from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s life were shared:
A. Bahirji Naik who was known as the ‘Ear-Nose-Eyes’ of Shivaji’s Swarajya was quoted as example while teaching ‘Forecasting’.
B. Example of Shivaji in constructing 350 forts in Maharashtra was given for his prudent ‘Planning’ for Hindavi Swarajya.
C. While teaching the principle of ‘Decision Making’ examples of killing Afzal Khan by Shivaji, the peace treaty with Mirza Raja Jaisingh, likewise the decision taken by Netaji Subhashchandra Bose to get released from house arrest by Britishers.
D. Following sentence was quoted for more clarity while teaching ‘Leading’. “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a great Leader in the Indian History”, but Aurangzeb could not get that status. Though Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was having all the qualities of Leadership, it is the misfortune of Maharashtra that not a single city is named after Shivaji, but an entire District is named after Aurangzeb.
-Prof. Dnyaneshwar Haribhau Bhagure, Nifaad, Nashik.
5. Adverse effects neglecting Shivaji’s legacy !
When the British arrived in India, they captured Raigad and destroyed the empire of Shivaji in Maharashtra. All the princely states were taken over by the British. Raigad was burning for 18 days after bombarding. 18 palaces constructed on Raigad by Shivaji were destroyed by Britishers while what they did of throne at Raigad is not known.
Sir Richard Temple was the Governor of India. He was once asked,”Aurangzeb came to Maharashtra with seven lakh Muslim army, fought for 25 years, but could not win over Maharashtra. He could not destroy the empire of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. What Aurangzeb could not achieve in 25 years with massive manpower and armoury, how you could succeed within 10-15 years with minimum arms and ammunition?” The reply given by Richard Temple is very valuable. He conveyed, “When Aurangzeb entered Maharashtra, people in whole of Maharashtra were remembering Shivaji. Subsequently people forgot him and we succeeded in acquiring Maharashtra.
O Hindus, the present rulers might have forgotten the legacy of Shivaji, you don’t be party to this grave sin. Neglecting Shivaji is like inviting slavery again! If you imbibe the guiding principles from Shivaji’s life, we will consider this humble effort accepted at the lotus feet of Shrikrushna !
Source : Daily Sanatan Prabhat