The hero who escaped from the prison of the Mughal Emperor himself, to become the ruler of
a kingdom devoted to Dharma and the service of the people. As a boy he
dedicated himself to Hindu Dharma. He matched cunning against cunning, courage
against courage; he was one of the wisest rulers as he was one of the greatest generals.
Author - H.V.Seshadri
A small boy is seated on the throne, of curse, on a small throne bound hand and the
village Patel. He had dishonoured a helpless widow; it was he is duty to protect such
persons. Indeed he was a wicked Patel. In his limitless pride he did not even think that a
small boy would have the courage to hold an inquiry. Yet the young prince subjected this
Patel, who proudly sported a thick moustache, to a proper judicial trial. It was clear
that the Patel had done wrong.
In a stern and majestic tone the young prince announced the judgement: both the hands and
the feet of the Patel were to be cut off. All present were stunned at the firm devotion of
the prince to justice. Not only were they wondering struck but also pleased beyond
measure. The townsfolk began to say to one another: Ah! Look! How devoted to justice our
young prince is He is not in the least afraid of the wicked people. He metes out fit
punishment to all that do wrong. He is kind and loving towards the poor, the downfallen
and the wretched. He is ever determined to help them and to protect them. What is more, he
regards all women as mothers. Surely when he grows up into manhood, not only
will he save our land but also will uphold our Dharma. Therefor let us all stand by him.
Dont you wish to know who this young prince was? He was none other than Shivaji. At
the time of this incident he was just fourteen. His small kingdomcomprised the few small
villages that skirted the township of Poona. His father was Shivaji who served as general
under the Sultan of Bijapur. The father knew only too well the nature of his son. He felt
joyous when he thought of the fearless lion-like disposition of his son, which would never
let him, bow down to any foreigner. How the father became aware of this fearless nature of
his son is itself and interesting story.
On a certain occasion Shahaji took his son to the court of the Sultan of Bijapur. Shivaji
was then not even twelve years of age. Shahaji touched the ground thrice and saluted the
Sultan. He asked his son to do the same thing. But
Shivaji only retreated a few
steps. He stood erect with his head unbent. His dazzling eyes seemed to carry with them
his determination that he would not bow down to a foreign ruler. He walked back from the
court with a lion-like gait and bearing.
Till then no one had dared to behave in that manner at the court of the Sultan of Bijapur.
All were wonder-struck at the boldness of the young boy.
Did such acts of the son enrage Shahaji? They did i not. On the contrary he was mightily
pleased at heart. He had not been fortunate enough to be an independent ruler. He sent his
son to Poona, blessing him that at least he might become an independent ruler.
You may ask. How did Shivaji acquire all these
noble virtues courage, heroism, love for the motherland and love of Dharma? Even when he
was a little child his mother Jijabai used to tell him stories of heroes, of saints and
sages who appear in the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha and the Puranas. As Shivaji listened to
these tales of heroism and Dharmic deeds, he grew more and more eager to be like Rama or
Krishna, Bheema or Arjuna. He was further blessed in that he had for his teacher and
guides such a great man as Dadaji Kondadev was. He was also inspired by the memories of
the glorious empire of the Vijayanagara Kings in Karnataka.