Today, an inspiration to a mankind was born. A man who is rendered a stature equal to god not because of his name but his deeds. Such fearlessly did he life and just as he was, Shivaji became synonymous to prosperity and freedom. The great Maratha ruler, on whose name the whole of Maharashtra reflects pride, was in all senses a true patriot. He fought for the independence of not only his state but for the whole of India.
Here are some facts from his life which establish his superiority in all aspects. Be it warfare, intelligence and wits or be it humanity:
1. Shivaji Raje Bhosle Never Endorsed Cruelty
Though, a soldier is often perceived to be stone-hearted; Shivaji was extremely gentle to the innocent and the needy. He at times, also spared those who repented on having done wrong and begged for apology.
2. He Fought Rulers Not Religions.
Many know that he and Aurangzeb had a bone to pick with each other. Neither of them could stand each other’s sight. What they don’t know is that though averse to their rulers, Shivaji never kept a grudge against Islam and allowed his subjects to practise whatever faith they believed in.
3. He Even Trusted Muslims With High Official Ranks In His Army
Just like Akbar had many Rajput nobles working under him, Shivaji made sure the Muslims working for him are treated with respect. He had around three high ranking officials of Islamic faith.
4. Displayed Extra-ordinary Warfare Skills
His father, Sambhaji Raje had left him an army of 2,000 men. His capabilities as an army chief came to test when his army was repeatedly outnumbered by the rival armies. Rather than encouraging his soldiers to die a useless death, he advised them to step back, regroup and then attack. Practical, wasn’t he? He ultimately raised an army of 10,000 men which kept on expanding in the later years.
5. Foresighted To Establish A Navy
Not many rulers could think of fighting off land. Shivaji could and he knew that someday, invasions would happen through the mysterious seas. He therefore established a huge navy and prepared for the worst. He is called the ‘Father of Indian Navy’.
6. Mind Games.
Shivaji knew that sword alone bereft of the sharpness of a brain is of no good in running an empire. His wits helped him and his people multiple times. Twice did he escape death. Once, when he defeated Afzal Khan – a veteran general who had twice his strength and the second time when he escaped Aurangzeb – a ruler who had thrice his kingdom! Numbers don’t matter, it seems.
7. His Guerilla Warfare Helped Vietnam Win Over U.S.A.
Vietnam was in war with the United States for over 20 years. The mighty army of America was under an impression that a small Asian nation like Vietnam could be crushed within minutes, given their strength. But, America had to pay dearly for their acts, losing over 58,000 of their soldiers to the Vietnamese warriors; who had adopted Shivaji’s guerilla tactics as their answer to their rivals. Their President confirmed this after the war was won by Vietnam! Doesn’t it make you go OMG?!!
Wait, there’s more:
Here is what some of the greatest minds had to say about him:
“ Shivaji was the greatest Hindu king that India had produced within the last thousand years; one who was the very incarnation of lord Siva, about whom prophecies were given out long before he was born; and his advent was eagerly expected by all the great souls and saints of Maharashtra as the deliverer of the Hindus from the hands of the Mlecchas, and as one who succeeded in the reestablishment of Dharma which had been trampled underfoot by the depredations of the devastating hordes of the Moghals ”, says Swami Vivekananda
“Shivaji did not belong to Maharahstra alone; he belonged to the whole Indian nation … (he was) a patriot inspired by a vision and political ideas derived from the teachings of the ancient pilosophers” – Jawahar lal Nehru
In what far-off country, upon what obscure day
I know not now,
Seated in the gloom of some Mahratta mountain-wood
O King Shivaji,
Lighting thy brow, like a lightning flash,
This thought descended,
“Into one virtuous rule, this divided broken distracted India,
I shall bind.” ~ Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore