The Character of Shivaji is one of the most enigmatic
characters in the history of India. There are people who deify him
and put him on the pedestal of god. Few of them are on the way of
declaring him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Many myths are now
associated with him. Many others view that he was a mere local
Maratha chieftain who was rebelling against the Mughal Empire and
completely overlook the role he played in Hindu revival in India.
Many others, who cannot comprehend the pragmatic approach of Shivaji,
which was most practical given his humble beginnings, brand him as a
mere plunderer and looter and equate him with ordinary dacoits.
Between these two poles of emotions, Shivaji, the man, is on the
verge of extinction. This is an attempt to resurrect him.
In the process of understanding Shivaji, few events need to be
understood. In the long list of those events, first one is about his
grandfather, Maloji Bhonsale and his great grandfather Babaji
Bhonsale. Documents suggest that Maloji was a Jagirdar of Pande-
Pedgaon. He inherited substantial part of his jahagir. Shahaji was
born in 1602, Maloji died in 1607 in the battle of Indapur. Shahaji
was 5 years old when this tragedy struck. Maloji, at the time, was a
Bargir serving Lakhuji Jadhav of Sindkhed Raja, a place in central
Jijabai gave birth to six children. First four did not survive.
Fifth and sixth were Sambhaji and Shivaji respectively. Shivaji’s own
marital life was not very different from his father. He never gave
importance to any of his queens and rarely entertained their
interference in politics. He performed all the duties as a husband
and kept his wives in as much comfort as possible, but no importance.
To study Shivaji, we need to view him as a part of a chain of
three men constituting his father Shahaji, he himself, and his son,
Sambhaji. Without understanding the other two, one cannot hope to