ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

King Shivaji and his vision

Updated on May 26, 2017

This hub is in continuation with my earlier article "King Shivaji - The rise of an Indian Legend". While we explored about the circumstances that lead to Shivaji's rise as a legenday King, lets explore his vision and contributions in the context of Indian History.



  • Shivaji’s contribution and vision
  • Did Shivaji hate other religions? Here are few facts
  • Diplomacy and Strategies
  • Why Shivaji is more respected and revered
  • Shivaji’s place in history
  • If Shivaji wasn't born

Shivaji’s contribution and vision

  • He was the first King in India to have his own powerful Navy and he took help from Portugese to build few of his earlier ships
  • Shivaji invited British and the other European traders for his coronation ceremony and always kept a close eye on their activities
  • He also trained his men to use modern weapons like muskets and upgraded to a better artillery.He was not only a great warrior but also a strong leader, a smart diplomat who believed in modern warfare.

  • He believed in army that is agile and quick in response. He discarded war elephants. His ultimate aim was of causing most damage to the enemy, with least cost on his side. He believed in mobile defense and never hesitated to retreat and regroup if he found himself in a disadvantageous position.
  • While Europe had made great strides into navigation, sea faring and have started trading with the eastern countries, the east was still fighting political wars for regionals power and the religion was a huge factor in all such wars. Shivaji realized that and he went on modernizing his army by getting equipped with better artillery, building his navy and sea forts and also understanding about the western weaponry.

A painted scroll depicting different types of ships of the Marathan Navy including some captured English ships
A painted scroll depicting different types of ships of the Marathan Navy including some captured English ships | Source
  • He created a vocabulary in Sanskrit, which was corrupted with Farsi and Urdu words and had diluted our culture
  • He was a visionary and carved out a kingdom to be known in world history as Maratha kingdom, which was based on the principles of free homeland and equal rights to his citizens. The very Maratha kingdom expanded across India and protected Delhi even during the hay days of Mughal empire. British might have taken over Indian subcontinent much earlier, in the absence of formidable force that they saw in Marathas.


Did Shivaji hate other religions? Here are few facts

  • There is not a single instance of Shivaji destroying any mosque and Muslim literature
  • During the time when he was kept hostage by Aurangajeb at Delhi, Madari Mehtar, his close royal servant was always with him
  • Shivaji believed in modernizing his army and he developed artillery. His chief of artillery was Ibrahim Khan
  • One of the seven brave chieftains who crashed Behlol khan’s army in rage was Siddhi Hilal
  • Siddhi Ibrahim was one of his body guards
  • His navy was led by Daryadarang
  • He had strict orders to all his soldiers against maltreating women or children of any religion
  • During surat loot Shivaji did not plunder the houses of French, Dutch or Portuguese missionaries

In spite of the character of a crusade which Ramdas’s blessings gave to Shivaji’s long struggle, it is remarkable how little religious animosity or intolerance Shivaji displayed. His kindness to Catholic priests is an agreeable contrast to the proscriptions of the Hindu priesthood in the Indian and Maratha territories of the Portuguese.Even his enemies remarked on his extreme respect for Mussulman priests, for mosques and for the koran.

— D. Kincaid says in “The Grand Rebel”

Diplomacy and Strategies

  • Instead of a head-on fight between two unequal armies,Shivaji decided to meet Afzal Khan in person. Although it involved risk, ultimately that avoided huge bloodshed and ended up getting Afzal khan out of his way.
  • The strike on Shahista Khan was no less than today's surgical operation where Shivaji's selected commanders got into Lal Mahal through procession and carried out a operation with minimal losses.
  • Shivaji knew the futility of getting into a war against powerful army of Jaisingh of Jaipur. Instead of fighting he strategically signed a treaty with Mughals
  • Some people say that going to Delhi was his biggest mistake, but he had to take that risk for two reasons. One to keep Jaisingh busy for some time and earn his respect and to evaluate the real intention of Aurangzeb. He used all his resources carefully to ultimately get out of detention.
  • He knew that kingdom's do not survive only on valor and does need funds. Surat loot was carried out very systemically making sure that people are not harmed.

Surat Loot
Surat Loot | Source
  • Coronation gave him recognition as a king and it was his statement to the kingdoms around that a ruler, who is protector of people of the land and strong enough to crush the onslaught of cruel sultanates is at rise and be aware.
  • Although a Muslim sultan, he did allied with Kutub shah for fight against Mughal, since he was focused on his ultimate goal and understood the real threat. He was never emotional during his decision making and was very focused.
  • Shivaji owned one of the best intelligence agency of those times, headed by Bahirji Naik, who was master of camouflage. They played vital role during Surat loot and his escape from Agra.

Why Shivaji is more respected and revered

Although there have been great kings before and after Shivaji in and outside India, Shivaji claims his uniqueness through the circumstances and intent. He was not born as a king, but rather he carved out a kingdom out of nothing, in the middle of fierce opposition and difficulties. He was a freedom fighter and wanted justice for his people.

He had inspiration from Mahabharata and Ramayana and consented Ramdas Swami a great saint of his times. His mother Jijabai was a woman of courage and believed in the valor and bravery of Marathas who were tough, faithful and loved their land. She trained and inspired her son to rise above and become the savior for the people of the land, who were severely oppressed and were undergoing continued sufferings through brutality of existing rulers and had nobody to look up to.

He promoted the term called “People’s State” and did everything to promote prosperity, freedom and respectful life for his people. The “Astapradhan Mandal” (Senate) made sure that the justice is unbiased and on time. Several projects were undertaken to resolve issues of water, irrigation, protect religious places and saints. The antisocial elements committing crime against women and children were severely punished and there wasn’t any mercy for these elements.


Shivaji’s place in history

Shivaji was never born as a king. He did not inherit any kingdom. What he did inherit was the desire for freedom and ending the brutal, insensitive religious rule and establish a kingdom based on Indian values and traditions, that protected women and poor and was more towards wellbeing of people than the king himself.

He did not have a huge army or established kingdom to go out and conquer the world like Alexander or Julius Caesar. He was more of a William Wallace. He was King Arthur of the land. He was a visionary and above all he had clear intent and great ethics.

Wonderous mystic, adventurous and intrepid, fortunate, roving prince, with lovely and magnetic eyes, pleasing countenance, winsome and polite,magnanimous to fallen foe like Alexander, keen and a sharp intellect, quick in decision, ambitious conqueror like Julius Caesar, given to action, resolute and strict disciplinarian, expert strategist, far-sighted and constructive statesman, brilliant organizer, who sagaciously countered his political rivals and antagonists like the Mughals

— A.B. de Braganca Pereira

The Maratha empire at its zenith

Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire | Source

I think Shivaji ranks among the greatest men of the world. Since we were a slave country, our great men have been somewhat played down in world history. Had the same person been born in a European country, he would have been praised to the skies and known everywhere. It would have been said that he had illumined the world.

— Indira Gandhi

If Shivaji wasn't born

  • India could have been another chaotic country with Hindu's in minority
  • The great Indian culture would have died long ago and the world might have never seen the beautiful historical architecture of temples and monuments, but rather been converted to Taj Mahals and Kutub Minars
  • There would not be any Maratha history and Maratha empire to talk about, which consolidated the rule in India for few years, until they fell to British
  • Even the great contributions of India like Yoga, Vedas, Bhagwat Geeta, Ramayana, Mahabharata, the classical dance forms might have died under the radically religious Muslim rulers.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Darshan Vartak profile imageAUTHOR


      23 months ago

      Hi John, thanks for your comment. It must be interesting to be a teacher overseas and surely quite an experience. Happy hubbing !!

    • johnsmither profile image


      2 years ago from Sichuan, China.

      Very interesting article on this period of India's history that I knew very little about.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)