Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was very eager to visit Samarth Ramdas Swami after hearing about His fame. So, he decided to go to Kondhaval chasm to meet Him. Shivaji Maharaj went there and waited till evening, but could not meet Swamiji. Later Maharaj returned to Pratapgad and even in sleep the same thought about meeting Samarth Ramdas Swami was revolving in his mind. Actually, Samarth Ramdas Swami was purposely avoiding Shivaji Maharaj. A few days passed by in a similar way. One day the longing to meet Samarth augmented so much that Shivaji Maharaj went to the temple of Bhavani Devi and at night, he fell asleep in front of the Devi. That night he had a vision of the radiant form of Samarth Ramdas Swami wearing paduka (wooden slippers), a saffron robe, a Japmala (Chanting beads) in His hand and a crutch under His armpit. Shivaji Maharaj bowed down to Samarth Ramdas Swami and paid obeisance to Him. Ramdas Swami placed His hand on Maharaj’s head and blessed him. When Maharaj woke up in the morning, he saw that he had a coconut in his hand as a sacrament. From that day, Shivaji Maharaj started regarding Samarth Ramdas Swami as his Guru.
Later, Shivaji Maharaj did many acts of valour and Samarth Ramdas Swami himself came to Shinganwadi and visited Maharaj. Maharaj performed ritualistic worship of the Guru’s feet; Samarth gave a coconut, a fistful of mud, horse dung and pebbles to him as a sacrament. At that time, Shivaji Maharaj had a thought of leaving his kingdom and serving Samarth for the rest of his life. On realising this thought Samarth said to Maharaj, “O King, follow the path of Kshatriya (Warrior) Dharma. Do not abandon your Dharma even at the cost of your life. You are born to protect your subjects. Do not leave this for my service. I will come to meet you even if you just remember me. Reign your kingdom with pleasure and bliss.” Later, Samarth taught Shivaji Maharaj an ideal way of ruling a kingdom. Samarth gave Shivaji Maharaj a coconut for welfare. Shivaji Maharaj started ruling happily and with contentment. As mentioned earlier, Samarth had given a fistful of mud, horse dung and pebbles to Shivaji Maharaj as a sacrament. For Maharaj, mud meant earth, pebbles meant winning hill-forts and horse-dung meant an army of horses which was also rich. By the Guru’s grace, Shivaji Maharaj never faced shortage of anything.
The task undertaken by Shivaji Maharaj of destroying the foreign enemy and reinstating self-rule made Samarth very proud. He used to preach the people to help Shivaji Maharaj in this noble task and to acquire strength to fight for self-rule and protection of Dharma. Shivaji Maharaj had complete faith in Samarth. On many occasions, Maharaj used to consult Samarth Ramdas Swami and take his advice and blessings. The preaching given by Samarth to Maharaj regarding how to behave with caution at the time of calamity is present in the Holy text named ‘Dasbodh’. In that, Samarth says, ‘Always be cautious. Have a proper judgement to distinguish between a friend and an enemy. Only after deep thinking in solitude plans must be formulated. Always make continuous efforts. Earlier heroes had many adversities. Always be on the move without getting bored, without losing hope and by making a lot of friendly contacts.’
My little friends, Shivaji Maharaj had intense yearning to meet Samarth Ramdas Swami. Because of this yearning, Samarth gave a Divine vision to Shivaji Maharaj first in a dream and later, by actually visiting him. Thus, from this article we learn that we can achieve anything in life with such intense yearning.