Har Har Mahadev and Jai Bhavani were the slogans. Shivaji belonged not just to Maharashtra but India. There is so much to learn from the life of Shivaji that one could become a great leader by just reading his life history. He laid the foundation for Hindu Swarajya and his army included Muslims as well.
The great Maratha leader Shivaji was not just a local chieftain but a great leader. I read somewhere that Shivaji is given much more respect than many other leaders/kings. When you read the life history of Shivaji you may also be bound to respect him. The thoughts and style of working of Shivaji was unique and there are only a few examples that surpass his style (I know none of them except Chanakya and Lord Krishna).
From whatever and wherever I have read, Shivaji always used to tell his leaders not to fight till death. He would suggest his leaders to run away if the enemy’s forces gained an upper hand. He would tell his leaders that he can win the forts with his leaders and that he didn’t want to lose any of his great leaders.
The people would simply lay their lives for Shivaji.
Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Murarbaji Deshpande, Firangoji Narsala, Tanaji Malusare and there are many who put their lives on the line for the purpose of their king. This king, Shivaji was no ordinary king. He also cared for the others. When Bajiprabhu sacrificed his life, he named the place as Pavankhind and when Tanaji died he named the fort as Simhagad.
Even the barbers in Shivaji’s court would help him for the cause. Examples of Jeeva Mahala and Shiva would ever stay alive. He made no difference in religion, caste or creed but would never forgive the one who tried to cheat on him. Khandoji Khopade his brother who cheated him during the Afzal Khan mission was never forgiven by Shivaji.
Shivaji laid such a strong foundation that the Maratha Empire would rule almost the entire nation in the coming years. The greatness was that when he won a fort he would not make slaves but friends. This made him earn respect of others. Respect was one thing that Shivaji would always win.
It was the greatness of Shivaji that even when the civil war was there after Sambhaji’s death, the Marathas would not forget the purpose. Even though Tara Bai and Chhatrapati were on two different sides, they were still fighting for Swarajya.
Getting rid of Afzal Khan, attacking Shaista Khan, moving out of Agra, running away from Siddi Jauhar and there were many other missions that Shivaji accomplished with his best man. There is a story that when a king asked Shivaji how many elephants do you have, he looked at his men and said those were his elephants.
Sambhaji Kavji, Yesaji Kank, Godaji Jagtap, Tanaji Malusare and there were many who were the greatest of brave men ready to die for their king anytime. Bajiprabhu Deshpande almost ordered Shivaji to run away and win the Vishalgad fort when he would stay at Pavankhind to defend the enemy until Shivaji won the fort.
I moved to Chennai almost four years ago and wrote this article based on my experience then. Now, I think I understand this city relatively better than I used to in my first year here.
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