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Dharmaveer Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj
6th April is the Jayanti (birthday) of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was a true Dharmaveer, who did not bow before Aurangzeb though Aurangzeb brutally tortured him for more than 40 days. Hindus must learn how to sacrifice for Dharma from Sambhaji Maharaj. He was a scholar of Sanskrit language. He single handedly fought with massive army of Aurangzeb for 9 years. He kept Aurangzeb in Maharashtra for 27 years, which finally resulted in foundation of Hindu emperors in North India. Sambhaji Maharaj also fought against the Portuguese in Goa, as they were doing conversions of Hindus and demolishing Hindu Temples in Goa.
The details about Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj is as follows:
Sambhaji lost his mother Sai bai at the age of 2. After her death, his paternal grandmother Jijabai looked after him. Initially his stepmother, Soyarabai, also doted on him a lot. Sambhaji was a cub of tiger in true sense. He was extremely handsome and possessed immense bravery. He was a scholar of Sanskrit and eight other languages. In 1666, he was married to Yesu bai, and later the couple had a son – Shahu. On June 6th, 1674 at the time of coronation of Shivaji Maharaj, he was declared as the prince of the Sovereign Maratha Kingdom. Many visiting dignitaries at the coronation ceremony have written about his acumen, intelligence, personality and most important of all, modesty. As a prince, Sambhaji proved his bravery and military brilliance on more than one occasions. He led and won his first war in Ramnagar at the age of 16. During 1675-76 he led successful campaigns in Goa and
The politics fuelled by Wife of Shivaji Maharaj - Soyarabai with some other courtiers led to Sambhaji's estrangement. For almost one year, Sambhaji left Shivaji's kingdom and joined Aurangzeb's commander, Diler Khan as part of politics. This came as a rude and extremely sad shock for Shivaji. This process caused further widening of the rift between Sambhaji on one side, and Soyarabai on the other side. As a result, Sambhaji was not invited for Rajaram's wedding and moreover he was not even informed of sudden death of Chhatrapati MAHARAJ Shivaji a few days thereafter. Rajaram was child of Shivaji Maharaj & Soyarabai.
Soyarabai and her supporters plotted to arrest Sambhaji at the fort of Panhala, where he was staying at the time of Shivaji's death. They wanted to crown Rajaram and to not allow Sambhaji to become the Maratha emperor. However Sarnobat (the then Supreme Commander of Maratha forces) and Soyarabai's brother, Hambirrao Mohite supported Sambhaji since he was the rightful heir to the throne. At the time of Shivaji's death, there was news of impending attack of Aurangzeb's army on Maharashtra and at such a crucial juncture, a strong leader like Sambhaji was need of the hour. Therefore Hambirrao did not support his own sister and sided with Sambhaji.
Within a year or so of Sambhaji's coronation, Sultan Muhammad Akbar took shelter with him and sought his help in winning the Mughal throne from his father Aurangzeb. The Mughal Emperor invaded the Deccan vowing to destroy the Maratha state that had been founded by Shivaji. He headed the full strength Mughal army, which at the time was perhaps, the largest land army in the world. Sambhaji led the Maratha fight against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. It was to be the final war in both men's lives, and would last all of 27 years.
Sambhaji Maharaj fought with Portuguese in Goa who were very busy in forced conversions of Hindus through various ways like ‘Inquisition'. He was very angry on them due to these conversions & demolition of Hindu Temples in Goa.Portuguese were very frightened to the assault of Sambhaji Maharaj, which reflects in their letter to British where they wrote that ‘Now-a-days Sambhaji is most powerful person and we have experienced it'.
We all know that Shivaji Maharaj reconverted Netaji Palkar to Hinduism. Similaraly Sambhaji Maharaj started one different office for the reconversion of Muslims & Christians to Hinduism. Many converted Hindus came back to Hinduism due to efforts of Sambhaji Maharaj.
In early 1689, Sambhaji called his commanders for a strategic meeting at Sangameshwar in Konkan. In a meticulously planned operation, Ganoji Shirke ( Brother of Sambhaji's wife Yesubai) and Aurangzeb's commander, Mukarrab Khan attacked Sangameshwar when Sambhaji was about to leave the town. A small ambush followed and Sambhaji was captured by Mughal troops on 1 Feb, 1689. He and his advisor, Kavi Kalash were taken to Bahadurgad. Aurangzeb humiliated them by parading them wearing clown's clothes. Later, Sambhaji and Kavi Kalash were tied upside down to camels with Mughal soldiers throwing stones, mud, and cow dung at them.
With Sambhaji's death, Maratha confederacy was thrown in disarray. He was succeeded as leader of the Marathas by his younger brother Rajaram. The Commander in chief of Maratha army, Mhaloji Ghorpade, who succeeded Hambirrao Mohite, died in the ambush at Sangameshwar. A few days after Sambhaji's death, the capital Raigad fell to the Mughals and Sambhaji's wife and son were captured. However, Sambhaji's torture and heroic death unleashed an unprecedented unity and heroic spirit among the Marathas. Aurangzeb continued his grim war against the Marathas for another 18 years but could not subjugate the Maratha state.
There is some dispute among historians about Sambhaji's ability as a ruler. These disputes came mainly from British & Mughal historians like Khafikhan & Grand Duff. These historians have portrayed him as ineffective and alcoholic. Other historians, notably S.G. Shevde, portrayed Sambhaji as a capable ruler. However many historians like Babasaheb Purandare, Shivaji Savant have let the truth out about him to society.