Monday, September 3, 2012

Administration of Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji was an able administrator who established a government that included modern concepts such as cabinet (Ashtapradhan mandal), foreign affairs(Dabir) and internal intelligence. Shivaji established an effective civil and military administration. He also built a powerful navy. Maynak Bhandari was one of the first chiefs of the Maratha Navy under Shivaji, and helped in both building the Maratha Navy and safeguarding the coastline of the emerging Maratha Empire. He built new forts like Sindhudurg and strengthened old ones like Vijaydurg on the west coast. The Maratha navy held its own against the British, Portuguese and Dutch.
Shivaji is well known for his benevolent attitude towards his subjects. He believed that there was a close bond between the state and the citizens. He encouraged all accomplished and competent individuals to participate in the ongoing political/military struggle. He is remembered as a just and welfare-minded king. He brought revolutionary changes in military organisation, fort architecture, society and politics.
Shivaji was the first king of the medieval world to undertake the revolutionary idea of abolishing the feudal system, 150 years before its worldwide recognition in the French revolution. For a span of about 50 years, there were no feudals in his kingdom. After the fall of Raigad in 1689, Raja Ram started giving land grants to maratha chieftains to fight against the Mughals in the War of 27 years.


Peshwa - Mukhya (main) Pradhan, next to the king, for supervising and governing under king's orders in his absence. The king's orders bore the Peshwa's seal.The organization of Shivaji's administration was composed of eight ministers or pradhaanas:
  • Mazumdar - An auditor to take care of income and expenditure checks, keep the king informed of finances and sign districts-level accounts.
  • Navis or Waqia Mantri - to record daily activities of the royal family and to serve as master of ceremony.
  • Sur Navis or Sachiv - to oversee the king's correspondence to ensure letter and style adherence to wishes of the king and check accounts of palace and Parganas.
  • Sumant or Dabir - for foreign affairs and to receive ambassadors.
  • Senapati or Sar-naubat - To keep troops ready and the king fully informed.
  • Panditrao - to promote learning, spirituality and settle religious disputes.
  • Nyayadhish - the highest judicial authority.

Death Of Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji died on 3 April 1680, on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti. In a span of 50 years he started from a jagir and ended with a vast empire streching from hilly terrains to southern plain.

Statue of Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje Bhosle, who succeeded Shivaji
After Shivaji's unexpected death in April 1680 his eldest son Sambhaji took power after being challenged by his stepmother Soyarabai. Meanwhile, emperor Aurangzeb's son had a falling out with his father and joined forces with Sambhaji, thereafter Aurangzeb personally lead his vast imperial army to attack and completely destroy the Maratha threat once and for all. He threw the full might of the Mughal empire toward this goal and for a while it seemed that he would achieve his objective.
However, after the capture, torture and the murder of Sambhaji -for his refusal to bow down before Aurangzeb and convert to Islam - turmoil and uncertainty gripped the Marathas who were now on the run and were forced to move their capital from Raigad near Pune to Gingee in the south in current day state of Tamil Nadu.
Thereafter the Maratha forces stabilized and were better organized - began to undertake fast raids on the slow moving Mughal columns. Able generals such asDhanaji Jadhav and Santaji Ghorpade were able to take the initiative and effectively bogged down the powerful but slow moving Mughal army in to a protracted 27 year war. In the last few years of this war both the Maratha generals delivered severe body blows to the Mughals on the shifting battlefields in Maharashtra. In 1697Aurangzeb withdrew from the Deccan for the last time in sickness and thereafter recalled his full army a few years later. After this time the Mughals never again posed a great danger to the Marathas.
And within sixty years of Auragzeb's death the Marathas under the Peshwa's leadership soundly defeated the Mughals and forced them to sign the Ahmediya treaty whereby they relinquished their vast empire in the sub-continent to the Marathas. They were allowed to keep nominal control of Delhi while the Marathas were able to collect taxes from vast swaths of present day India and Pakistan, and down all the way to the Southern tip of the subcontinent.

Coronation Of Shivaji Maharaj

     Shivaji was crowned a king in a lavish ceremony at Raigad on 6 June 1674. As per Hindu Calendar it was on the 13th day (trayodashi) of the firstfortnight of the month of 'Jyeshtha'in the year 1596. Gaga Bhatt officially presided over the ceremony, and had a gold vessel filled with the seven sacred waters of the rivers Yamuna, Indus, Ganges, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri. He held the vessel over Shivaji's head and chanted the coronation mantras, as the water kept dripping from the several tiny holes in the vessel. After the ablution, Shivaji bowed before Jijamata and touched her feet. Nearly fifty thousand people gathered at Raigad for the ceremonies. Shivaji was bestowed with the sacred thread jaanva, with the Vedas and was bathed in an abhisheka.
Shivaji then had the title of Shakakarta conferred upon him, as well as assumed the title Kshatriya Kulavantas meaning head of Kshatriyas. He took on the title Chhatrapati, preferring it over Maharaja.
His mother Jijabai died on 18 June 1674, within a few days of the coronation. Considered this a bad omen, a second coronation was carried out 24 September 1674, this time according to the Bengal school of Tantricism and presided over by Nischal Puri.

History of Shivaji Maharaj

         Shivaji ( Shivaji Bhosale) ;( Lived From 19 February 1630 to 3 April 1680), was a Maratha sovereign who founded the Maratha Empire, which, at its peak, covered much of the Indian Subcontinent, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km². Shivaji as an aristocrat of the royal Bhosle clan led a resistance to free the Maratha people from the Sultanate of Bijapur and the Mughal Empire and established a Hindavi Swarajya ("self-rule of Hindu people"). He created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital, and was crowned as Chhatrapati ("sovereign") of the Maratha empire in 1674.
He established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a well-regulated and disciplined military and well-structured administrative organizations. He also innovated rules of military engagement, pioneering the "Shiva sutra" or ganimi kava (guerrilla tactics), which leveraged strategic factors like geography, speed, surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies From a small contingent of 2,000 soldiers inherited from his father, he created a formidable force of 100,000 soldiers. He built and restored forts located strategically inland and on seashores for secure lands and coastline.He revived ancient Hindu political tradition & court conventions, and promoted Marathi and Sanskrit in court and administration usage.

Early Life of Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the Junnar city in Pune district in the year .His exact date of birth has been a matter of dispute among the various historians in the past. The Maharashtra state government now accepts the 3rd day of the dark half of Phalguna, year 1551 of Shaka calendar (Friday, 19 February 1630) as the true birthdate of Shivaji. Other suggested dates include 6 April 1627, or other dates near this day. He was named on the twelfth day after goddess Shivadevi whose temple was in the fort.
Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhosale was the leader of a band of mercenaries that serviced the Deccan Sultanates.His mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhujirao Jadhav of Sindkhed. During the period of Shivaji's birth, the power in Deccan was shared by three Islamic sultanates – Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda. Shahaji kept changing his loyalty between the Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, Adil Shah of Bijapur and the Mughals, but always kept hisjagir (fiefdom) at Pune and his small army with him. Following a treaty between the Mughals and the Bijapur Sultanate, Shahaji was posted toBangalore-based jagir, while Jijabai and Shivaji remained in Pune.

Shivaji drew his earliest trusted comrades and a large number of his soldiers from the Maval region, including Yesaji Kank, Suryaji Kakade, Baji Pasalkar, Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Tanaji Malusare. In the company of his Maval comrades, Shivaji wandered over the hills and forests of the Sahyadri range, hardening himself and acquiring first-hand knowledge of the land. By 1639, he commanded a hardy and loyal band of officers and soldiers.Shivaji was extremely devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. This religious environment had a profound influence on Shivaji, and he carefully studied the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The morality and spiritual messages of the epics made a great impression on him. Throughout his life he was deeply interested in religious teachings, and sought the company of Hindu and Sufi saints throughout his life.
At the age of 12, Shivaji was taken to Bangalore where he was further formally trained along-with elder brother Sambhaji and stepbrother Ekoji I. He married Saibai, a member of the prominent Nimbalkar family in 1640. At age of 14, he returned to Pune with a rajmudra (sovereign seal) and a ministerial council