“प्रतिपच्चंद्रलेखेव वर्धिष्णुर्विश्ववंदिता शाहसुनोः शिवस्यैषा मुद्रा भद्राय राजते।”
You must have heard the above line many times. These are the words from the “Raj Mudra”, the royal emblem of the Shivaji Maharaj’s Maratha empire. The meaning of the Raj Mudra is as astonishing as it sounds and it goes like this,
“The glory of this Mudra of Shahaji’s son Shivaji (Maharaj ) will grow like the first-day moon. It will be worshiped by the world & it will shine only for well being of people.”
A king who lived for the people. A fighter who fought against the injustice and for the well-being of the people. A leader who denied living the life like a slave and formed one of the prestigious empires in the world, The Maratha empire. In this article, we are going to give you the insights into the life of the great Maratha warrior, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. On the eve of 19th February, we celebrate the birth anniversary of our loving king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. On this day, students in the schools and colleges are asked to write an essay and give a speech about Shivaji Maharaj. The information about Shivaji Maharaj in this article will definitely help you know more about the great warrior and king and to win the essay and speech competition too. So, let’s start.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the Maratha warrior and the founder of the Maratha empire in western India. He was the greatest warrior of his time and even today he is hugely respected by the people in India and even in other countries. He is considered as a valorous warrior who had great administrative skills and innovative military tactics. With the help of these great qualities as a leader and a king, he built the strong and massive Maratha Empire.
The Childhood of Shivaji Maharaj
The birth of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was like a good omen for the people who were troubled by the Mughal Empire. He came like a ray of hope for the people who were suffering under the Mughal rule. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born on 19th February 1630 according to Julian Calendar and on Falgun Krishna Trutiya (फाल्गुन कृष्ण तृतीया) according to Hindu calendar on Shivneri Fort, in Junnar city, in Pune district to father Shahaji Bhosale and mother Jijabai Bhosale.(**There are some controversies about the birthdate of Shivaji Maharaj. We have given some information about it at the end of this article.**) He was also called as “Shivba” by his mother Jijamata. Shahaji Maharaj was in the service of King of Bijapur. He was also a “Jahagirdar” of some area in Pune district. Shivaji’s mother Jijabai was the daughter of Sindkhed leader Lakhujirao Jadhav and a deeply religious and ambitious woman. Since the childhood, she taught Shivaji to always fight for what is right no matter what challenges you face and at the end, only the truth will win. The teachings of Jijamata left a great impact on the mind of Shivaji while growing up.
Shivaji was a born leader. He explored the Sahyadri mountains and became very familiar with the territories. At the age of 15, he gathered trusted soldiers which were called ‘Mavlas’ and pledged to establish the Swarajya, self-governance. These Mavlas became his companions in the journey to form the Swarajya and they were highly inspired and dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the Swarajya and Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji was married to Saibai Nimbalkar in 1640.
Achievements as a True King and a Leader
By 1645, he conquered several forts and regions around the Pune from Adil Shaha’s sultanate such as Chakan, Kondhana, Torana along with Purandar and Sinhgad. Soon Adil Shaha started getting restless and felt threatened. He ordered to captured and imprison Shivaji’s father Shahaji. Shahaji was released on the condition, that Shivaji will stop his campaign of conquering regions governed by Adil Shaha. After the death of Shahaji, Shivaji Maharaj started his conquest again, acquiring the valley of Javali from Chandrarao More, who was a Jahagiridar of Bijapur. The furious Adil Shaha sent Afjal Khan, one of his powerful generals to conquer Shivaji.
Afjal khan planned to kill Shivaji by planning a trap by inviting Shivaji Maharaj for a meeting on Pratapgad. But little did he know that Shivaji Maharaj was one step ahead of him. Shivaji sensed Afjal Khan’s motive and they planned a hidden counter-attack. When they met, Afjal Khan tried to kill Shivaji but it backfired on him. Shivaji was a quick-witted king. He was wearing a metal armor under his clothes and as soon as Afjal Khan attacked him, he stabbed his tiger clawed weapon in his guts and killed him. Later the Mavlas who were hiding in the jungle attacked Afjal Khan’s soldiers and killed them. Nearly 3000 soldiers were killed by the Mavlas. This battle technique was the major weapon of Shivaji Maharaj and it was called as Ganimi Kava(Guerrilla warfare). Guerrilla warfare techniques are still used in the modern day warfare by the leading militaries in the world. This incident became a very important victory in the history of Shivaji Maharaj and also became a symbol his quick-wittiness and bravery.
Later Adil Shaha sent a larger army under the leadership of General Rustam Zaman who faced Shivaji in the Battle of Kolhapur. Shivaji Maharaj won this battle too and Rustam Zaman ran for his life. Soon Shivaji came on the radar of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and then the real battles started with the Mughal empire. There are so many acts of bravery of Shivaji Maharaj such as his stealth attack on Shahistekhan, his clever escape from the Aurangzeb’s arrest in Agra and so many other. All these incidents are the indicators of his bravery, sharp mind and decision making abilities as a king and a true leader.
When the King Became Chhatrapati | The Coronation of Shivaji Maharaj
After establishing the massive territory of Maratha empire, Shivaji Maharaj decided to adopt a regal title and form the sovereignty of Maratha empire. Shivaji Maharaj was crowned as the King of Marathas on June 6, 1674, at Raigad in a massive coronation ceremony. The coronation ceremony was attended by 50,000 people and it conducted by Pandit Gaga Bhatt. Shivaji Maharaj was honored by several titles such as Chhatrapati (paramount sovereign), Shakakarta (founder of an era), Kshatriya Kulavantas (head of Kshatriyas) and Haindava Dharmodhhaarak (one who uplifts the sanctity of Hinduism).
A Skillful Administrator, a True Secular Leader, and Military Visionary
Shivaji Maharaj was renowned for his skillfully organized administration. He introduced the concept of Ashtha Pradhan Mandal (Eight Minister Council) where each minister has the particular responsibilities. Those 8 minister posts were as follows,
- The Peshwa or Prime Minister, who was head of general administration.
- The Majumder or the Auditor was responsible for maintaining the financials of the kingdom.
- The Dabir or Foreign Secretary was entrusted with the responsibility of advising the king on matters of foreign policies.
- The PanditRao or Chief Spiritual Head was responsible for overseeing the spiritual well-being of the kingdom.
- The Senapati or Military General was in charge of overseeing every aspect of the military including organization, recruitment, and training of soldiers.
- The Sachiv or Superintendent was in charge of royal correspondence.
- The Mantri or Chronicler was responsible for keeping elaborate records of everything the king did in his daily life.
- The Nyayadhish or Chief Justice saw formulations of law and their subsequent enforcement, civil, judicial and military.
Shivaji Maharaj’s administrative policies were very friendly and humane. He introduced the collection of two taxes called the Chauth and Sardeshmukhi. He divided his kingdom into four provinces, where a Mamlatdar was the head. He encouraged women’s liberty and respected them utmost. He had also strictly warned his soldiers not to cause harm or disrespect to women. Although he was a true supporter of Hindutva, Marathi and Sanskrit language, he never disrespected other religions. He employed soldiers from all religions and castes and also gave them respected designations.
Shivaji Maharaj was very keen and alert about the safety of the kingdom. He had acknowledged the power of forts and built many forts across India. He built his strong and structured military. To secure the kingdom from the enemies coming across the sea he built a strong naval force in the coastal regions and also formed forts in the oceans.
Death of Shivaji Maharaj & His Legacy
After fighting for the Swarajya for years, on April 3, 1680, Shivaji Maharaj died on Raigad due to illness. The fight against Mughal empire continued after his death and sadly the Maratha glory started declining greatly. Years later young Madhavrao Peshwa who reclaimed Maratha glory and established his authority over North India. The biography of Shivaji Maharaj was written as Bakhar and it is called as Sabhasad Bakhar.
Many movies, Povadas(ballad songs), songs are made to commemorate Shivaji Maharaj. Many places, museums, sports stadiums, an airport in Mumbai are named after him. People celebrate Shiv Jayanti with great enthusiasm by remembering the great king Shivaji, wishing each other, coming together and organizing peaceful rallies, sending images, messages, poems, videos of Shivaji Maharaj through social media like Facebook and WhatsApp.
Shivaji Maharaj was indeed a great king, a secular leader, a true visionary and the protector of the people. He was called as “Janata Raja”, means a king who looks after his people. People’s love and respect for him can be seen in the today’s world too. If Shivaji Maharaj was alive today he would have been very happy to see the love and respect people got for him but at the same time, he would have been sad by seeing people doing crimes, corruption, and riots. We should thank and respect him because he fought for us, the people.
The Controversies Around the Birth Date, Year of Shivaji Maharaj
There are several controversies around the birthdate and birth year of Shivaji Maharaj. According to the Hindu Calendar Shivaji Maharaj was born on Falgun Krishna Trutiya (फाल्गुन कृष्ण तृतीया). According to Julian calendar, he was born on 19th February 1630. But later the Julian calendar was transformed into Gregorian Calendar making the birthdate of Shivaji Maharaj fall in the range of March 1 to March 30 according to the Hindu Calendar. So now the people who believe in Gregorian calendar celebrate the Shiv Jayanti, birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj on 19th February each year which is also recognized by the Government of India. And people who believe in Hindu calendar state that Shivaji was a Hindu warrior and we should celebrate his birth anniversary according to Hindu calendar. We should be happy that we get that chance to celebrate the birth anniversary of such a respectable king and warrior more than once.
World’s Tallest statue: The Statue of Shivaji Maharaj
The government of India has started the work of Shiv Smarak, a memorial of Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai. When it will be completed, it will be 270 meters tall including the base making it the world’s tallest statue. The cost of the statue will be 4000 crores. Many people also protested this stating that this money can be used to renovate and maintain the forts made by Shivaji Maharaj which will be the true act of respect for him.
Tips for the Essay on Shivaji Maharaj
- Essays generally have three sections and those are Introduction, Main story and the conclusion respectively. Try to write the essay in that format and maintain the flow between the sections.
- Before beginning to write the essay, try to figure out what type of essay you are writing. Don’t worry! This article on types of essays will help you in that.
- Each type of essay has its own specific way of writing. If you can figure it out you can write the essay in a better way.
- The conclusion plays a very important role in your essay. The conclusion should be the summary of the whole essay in few lines.
- Use the darker ink to make more impact.
Tips for Speech on Shivaji Maharaj
- Don’t hurry to deliver your speech. Talk calmly and with confidence.
- To make you a Pro in the speech delivery game, we have written a special dedicated article on How to win a Speech Competition.
- Take a deep breath before starting your speech.
- Use hand gestures but don’t make it look artificial.
- Maintain the highs and lows in your voice to depict the intensity of the lines.
- The topic of the speech will change the way you are going to deliver the speech. Try to add an emotional touch to your speech.
I hope you guys liked the article. I hope you guys can help us to translate this article into regional Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarathi and other. This essay is very useful for the school like class 5, class 6, class 7, class 8, class 9, class 10, and college students like class 11th, 12th for an essay, speech competitions.
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