Conquest of South
He undertook the conquest of south in 1677 and carved a Maratha empire in
DeathShivaji’s last days were marred with few internal conflicts between his council of ministers and his son. The army sided Sambhaji, while the minister council sided his wife Soyarabai’s claim that Rajaram be named as successor of Shivaji. Moreover, at this very time, Shivaji was a patient suffering from Bloody flukes, and Mughal armies were gathering on the Frontiers. His cremation was not carried out on all its decorum, because, the Maratha-Mughal clashes began in that very week. Later, Sambhaji performed all the rituals with funeral games lasting for 12 days. He died on 3rd April 1680.
Shivaji and his Navy
Shivaji started building his own naval forces since 1656, well before he killed Afzal. This explains the canvass of his vision. Maratha-Portuguese relations were always strained. The decision of Shivaji to build a navy was essentially for containing European forces. Portuguese authorities issued orders to be wary of Maratha Navy from 1659. After the great Ramraaj Chola of 11th century, no one Indian dynasty gave importance to Navy. Vijaynagar, Adilshah, Kutubshah, Nizamshah, Mughals were seeing the increasing Portuguese influence. However, no one treated Navy as essential component of their armed forces. The Construction of Naval forts like Sindhu-durga in 1664, Vijay-durag, Khanderi-Underi, his naval conquest of Basnoor and Gokarna in 1665 are immense importance while trying to grasp the personality of this man.
Portuguese had issued Inquisition in
Shivaji, an attempt of analysis
It is observed that among his contemporaries, hardly anyone could grasp his vision. Shivaji always tried to befriend the Hindu Sardars. However, he could not garner support from the people of his contemporary generation. All his contemporary Hindu big shots were serving Islamic empires and fighting against his kingdom. They were seeing a Hindu kingdom coming into existence. However, they had nothing to offer except jealousy.
A typical Hindu power had certain distinguishing traits. It is not that they did not emerge victorious in a war. Victories - there have been many. However, their victory did not defeat the adversary completely. The latter’s territory did not diminish, nor his might attrite. The victory rarely resulted in expansion of Hindu territory. Even though victorious, Hindus used to become weaker and stayed so. In short, it is plain that they faced total destruction in case of defeat and high attrition in case of Pyrrhic victory.
A new chapter in Hindu history begins with Shivaji wherein battles are won to expand the borders while strength and will power is preserved in a defeat. Secondly, the Hindu Rulers used to be astonishingly ignorant of the happenings in neighboring kingdoms. Their enemy would catch them unaware, often intruding considerably their territory and only then would they wake up to face the situation. Whatever be the outcome of the battle, it was their land which was defiled. The arrival of Shivaji radically changes this scenario and heralds the beginning of an era of staying alert before a war and unexpected raids on the enemy. Thirdly, the Hindu kings habitually placed blind faith in their adversaries. This saga terminates with Shivaji performing the treacherous tricks. It was the turn of the opponents to get stunned. In the ranks of Hindu kings, the search still going on for somebody to compare with Shivaji on this point.
His lifestyle was not simple. Having adopted a choice, rich lifestyle, he was not lavish. He was gracious to other religions. On that account, he may be compared with Ashoka, Harsha, Vikramaditya, Akbar. However, all of these possessed great harems. Akbar had the Meenabazar, Ashoka had the Tishyarakshita. Shivaji had not given free reign to his lust. Kings, both Hindu and Muslim, had an overflowing, ever youthful desire for women. That was lacking in Shivaji. He had neither the money to spend on sculptures, paintings, music, poetry or monuments nor the inclination. He did not possess the classical appreciation needed to spend over 20 crores to build a Taj Mahal as famine was claiming over hundreds of thousands of lives; nor was he pious enough to erect temple after temple while the British were systematically consuming
- Raja Shivachhatrapati – B M Purandare
- Selected works of V K Rajwade
- Narahar Kurundkar
- Shivaji and his times - Jadunath Sarkar
- Riyasat -- Sardesai
- Six glorious epochs of Indian History -- V D Savarkar
- Hindu Pad paatshahi -- V D Savarkar
- Sabhasad Bakhar
- History of
- Grant Duff India
- Works of Vincent Smith
- Shriman Yogi - Ranjit Desai
The article is crudely based on Preface of the novel Shriman Yogi by Ranjit Desai. The preface written by Narhar Kurundkar