We’re very fortunate to have the legend Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a very great, glorious part of our history. Along with feeling proud for that, there are certain things that we must learn from him. Let’s discuss them one by one.
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No other King in the medieval history has been as good as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj when it came to management. Let me remind you a historic moment when Aurangzeb sent Mirza Raje Jaising to defeat Shivaji Maharaj. Mirza Raje was very tough to deal with in the battlefield which would have cost bloodshed of Maharaj’s own people to a great extent. Maharaj avoided war by giving up 23 forts in the Treaty of Purandar. Jaising left. Now both Maharaj and Aurangzeb knew that nobody will follow the treaty. Later, despite of facing many life threatening challenges, Maharaj regained each of the forts by his guerilla warfare. That’s how we should manage things in times of crisis. Avoid damages, negotiate to the best of your efforts and turn the tables when you get the right chance.
The capital of Hindavi Swarajya was Raigad as we all know. Architect of Raigad was Hiroji Indulkar. When asked about reward by Maharaj, he said give me something which will endure through generations. Along with monetary rewards for all his great work, Maharaj ordered to write Indulkar’s name on a welcome stone of Jagadishwar Temple at Raigad. We can see the name of Indulkar with an appreciation line “Seveche Tatpar Hiroji Indulkar” which translates as “Hiroji Indulkar- the man of efficient service!” On one hand in medieval history, we had some over glorified Shah Jahan who cut the hands off of those who built Taj Mahal for him and on the other hand we have Shivaji Maharaj who glorified the architect of Raigad in such a wonderful way. Choose your historic idols wisely as Indian historians have always portrayed Shivaji Maharaj in a dim light. Thus, we should learn gratitude from Maharaj. Appreciate everyone who helps you achieve your dreams.
Almost everyone knows how Maharaj killed Afzal Khan. This angle which I’m going to tell you, is quite rare and a little risky to quote because it holds religious sentiments. When Afzal Khan had left to capture Shivaji Maharaj with a massive army, he very well knew Maharaj’s guerilla warfare techniques and thus he wanted Maharaj to leave the mountains and face Afzal in the open ground. For that, Afzal did everything, he thought, that might trigger Maharaj to leave Pratap Gad. He went to Tuljapur and broke the idol of Goddess Tulaja Bhawani, which was Maharaj’s ultimate devotion. Apparently the local priests managed to replace the original idol with duplicate before Afzal came. Afzal Khan also killed the priests of many temples. Maharaj did not take any offense all this while. He let Afzal come closer till the valleys of Pratap Gad. We all know what happened next, he was brutally killed by Maharaj in a personal meeting when Afzal tried to kill him. This story explains how important it is to have some patience in order to focus on your target. Maharaj did not take offense neither was he distracted by Afzal’s all the evil tricks.
In one of the raids by Maratha army to Kalyan fort, the Subhedar (lord) of Kalyan fort fleed, leaving his own family in danger. His daughter-in-law was presented before Maharaj as “gift” by one of the Knights of Maratha Army. Maharaj became furious at that knight and scolded him for mistaking about the character. Maharaj sent that woman back with honour and gifts. This great lesson of having a good and pure character is surely why I personally admire Shivaji Maharaj very much. Just to remind you all one incident happened a few months back when an old video of a female comedian making jokes on Shivaji Maharaj went viral, many of Maharaj’s so called Bhakts openly made rape and death threats to her. If only Maharaj were here, he would have punished all those who made such remarks. We are definitely failing him in this case it seems. We must learn the lesson of character from Maharaj.
Protection and Preservation of Culture and Religion
Very few people out there know this fact that before getting coronated, Maharaj purified the Marathi dictionary. Many Farsi and Urdu words were mixed in Marathi at that time. Maharashtra had been under invasion attacks continuously for more than 500 years before Maharaj came to power. The Marathi language and the cultural identities were very much distorted during all this while. Shivaji Maharaj replaced every Farsi or Urdu word with proper Sanskrit words in his official language of reign.
This fact is even lesser known that Portuguese were forcibly converting Hindus of Goa. Maharaj tried to convince them to stop all these and when they refused, Maharaj beheaded four of such Portuguese missionaries, not a single forceful conversion happened ever again in Goa whilst Maharaj was alive. Maharaj was very secular when it came to respecting other religions but this is something very needed to be learnt from him that secularism doesn’t ever mean you should ignore the religious cultural attacks on any community. Maharaj respected every religion but never spared anyone who made forceful conversions or tried to attack the religious identities of any community.
There are many examples to quote because Maharaj’s greatest quality I believe, was foresight. At the time of coronation, two British officers came to Maharaj with a long list of requests, most of them were about asking permissions to trade in his reign. Maharaj agreed on many of them but straightaway refused one, which was about using British currency to trade with the Britishers. Many a times Maharaj said that Britishers were the real enemies.
Another example of foresight is Maharaj’s greatest contribution to India. Maharaj built first, full fledged and indigenous navy. He always used to say that Enemy will come from the sea. French, Dutch, Portuguese, Britishers, terrorists..Everyone came from sea. If only any ruler had half as much foresight that Maharaj had, India would already have been a global superpower. Foresight is a very useful asset to have, which we can learn from Shivaji Maharaj.
You have two options. Analyse and read as much books as you want to learn leadership skills or just read about Shivaji Maharaj and embrace leadership skills. Ever wondered that Aurangzeb had a massive empire and if he wished he would have conquered entire Asia, yet he was running after the much smaller empire of Shivaji Maharaj? Because he knew the people fighting for him have immense faith in him. Aurangzeb’s military fought because he commanded, Mavale fought with Maharaj because they believed in him. When Udaybhan died, Aurangzeb felt like he was a dead investment and when Tanaji Malusare died in the same battle, Maharaj cried for him. When Aurangzeb’s military would pass by villages, villagers used to hide and when Maratha army would pass by the villages, villagers would welcome them and offer them food and shelter. The leadership skills Maharaj had, were very pure because it came from the emotion of fighting for motherland and fighting for his own people. The leadership skills involved much love and respect for his people. That’s what we should learn. Leadership skills must involve a genuine cause and genuine desire to serve your own people.
Shivaji Maharaj is too great to be understood in a single blog but we can always try to learn from him. On this Shivjayanti, we should embrace a few of skills he possessed.
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