How Shivaji Created a Hindu Kingdom from the Scratch: Ramachandra Pant's Vivid Description

In the second episode of the Ajnapatra, Ramachandra Pant gives us a highly inspirational and first hand narrative of how Shivaji created a Hindu Empire from the scratch
How Shivaji Created a Hindu Kingdom from the Scratch: Ramachandra Pant's Vivid Description

Read the Previous Parts in this Series

How Shivaji Created a Hindu Kingdom from the Scratch: Ramachandra Pant's Vivid Description
What the Majestic Ajnapatra of Amatya Ramachandra Pant Teaches us about 18th Century Hindu Polity: An Introduction

Shivaji the Great Created the Hindu Kingdom

If one were to ponder over this situation, each one of the events was the cause of a sure calamity. God however favoured this kingdom and its ruler. Moreover His great desire was that this kingdom should increase and prosper like the new crescent moon day by day. Accordingly in this respectable and noble family His Majesty, Shivaji has been born.

With what great daring and with what great valour the late, revered and honoured, great king, the founder of a new era, created this kingdom! And we having been born in his family, such should be the disorganized condition of the kingdom.

This state of things was greatly undesirable. Hence with this purpose in view, we thought over all the efforts made by the late, revered and honoured, great king Shivaji. How he became the Protector of the Royal Umbrella, how even while he was living under the rule of the Yavanas (Adilshahis of Bijapur), he received from them the small tracts of Poona and other parts as an independent jagir, and from the age of fifteen, endeavoured to achieve his objective with the same small territory. He firmly believed in the saying, “the allotted span of life protects the vital parts; the allotted span of life gives food. This is the opinion of Gandivin (Arjuna). Whence is feebleness? Whence is fear?” He also put into action another saying, “ the goddess of wealth goes to an industrious and lion-like brave man.” Not caring for his bodily health, Shivaji performed personally superhuman deeds which were not done until then and which in future would not be even conceived.

Shivaji’s Policy and Accomplishments

Possessing the power of judging the character and ability of men, he appointed new servants, and increasing their burden of work according to their abilities, he showed how to make them fit for works of great importance. Even though each servant or subordinate was irreconcilable with the other, he, by the influence of his own power, by showing kindness to all, by not allowing one to insult the other and inducing them all to work together, made them do their master’s work.

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In the South, Adilshahi, Kutubshahi, and Nizamshahi were the brave, great and, in every way, prosperous, states. Similarly, there were the Moguls who possessed provinces each of which could support one lakh soldiers. Besides these, there were Shyamalas (Siddis), Firangis (Portuguese in Goa), Inglaj (British), Valandej (Dutch), the chiefs of Ramnagar (North Konkan), Palegars, the chiefs of Sonde, Bednore, Mysore and Tiruchinapoly and other places. Then there were the rebels at Chandraraos, Shirkes, Sawants, Dalvis, Nimbalkars, and above the Ghats, the Ghatges, and other Deshmukhs.

Though they were all brave, ready to fight, and fully equipped,
Shivaji, by the force of his own intellect and ability and without being afraid of anyone, subdued some by marching against them and fighting fierce battles with them. Upon some, he made sudden attacks. Amongst some, he fomented mutual quarrels. Between some, he caused breaches of friendship. By entering the tents of some he fought with them. By personal daring, he defeated some in single combats. With some he made alliances. Of his own accord he went to visit some. He also forced others to come and visit him. Still others, he conquered one after another by making various kinds of efforts without their knowledge and by erecting forcibly fortified places in their country. He defeated those who were possessed of sea-forts by erecting even new sea-forts. He entered inaccessible places from the sea.

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In this manner, Shivaji subdued every enemy in the way in which he should be conquered, and created and acquired a Kingdom free from thorns and extending from Salheri-Ahiwant to Chanji and the banks of the Kaveri. He also acquired hundreds of hill-forts as well as sea-forts, several great places, forty thousand state cavalry and sixty to seventy thousand silledars, two lakhs of foot soldiers, innumerable treasures, and the best jewellery and all kinds of articles.

Shivaji regenerated the Marathas of the ninety-six noble families. Having ascended the throne, he held the royal umbrella and was coronated the Chhatrapati. He rescued Dharma, established Devatas and Brahmanas in their due places and maintained the six-fold duties of sacrifice. He officiated at Yajnas and nurtured other virtuous deeds such as study and teaching, giving and receiving gifts according to the division of the four varnas.

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He destroyed the existence of thieves and other criminals in the Kingdom. He created a new type of administration for his territories, forts and armies, and ran the government without hindrance and brought it under one system of co-ordination and control. He created wholly a new order of things.

Shivaji forced Aurangzeb to immerse in a sea of agony and sorrow and acquired for himself a worldwide and well-acknowledged fame. This is this kingdom.

To be continued

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