Shivaji was the founder of Maratha Empire in India. He was the first Hindu to establish a Hindu empire after the Muslim rule.
Shivaji was born in 1627 at Poona. His father Shahji Bhonsle was a Jagirdar. He was in the service of the King of Bijapur.
Shivaji lived at Bijapur. The charge of Shivaji’s education fell in the hands of a Brahmin named Dadaji.
His mother Jija Bai was a very pious lady. Shivaji got best qualities of his character from her. He could not learn how to read and write.
But he became skilful in all sorts of manly games. When he became young, he was master of riding and arts of war and fighting.
Dadaji used to read to him the stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Thus the fire of patriotism was kindled in him when he was quite young.
The stories of the acts of cruelty of Mughal kings upon the Hindus had a great influence on him. He made up his mind to free his country from the cruel hands of the Mughals. With the help of his small army of hillmen he began his work.
He first took some forts and districts of Bijapur state. At last the king of Bijapur sent a General named Afzal Khan to arrest him.
Afzal Khan tried to kill him in a private meeting, but Shivaji was on his guard. He killed Afzal Khan with his bakhna and destroyed Bijapur army. The King of Bijapur made peace with him.
Now he began to quarrel with Auranghzeb. Aurangzeb sent Shaista Khan and other Generals to arrest Shivaji.
Shivaji formed marriage party of his brave soldiers and attacked the house of Shaista Khan. Shaista Khan escaped with the loss of a finger.
Later, Aurangzeb sent Raja Jai Singh to make peace with Shivaji, Raja Jai Singh persuaded Shivaaji to come to Agra and make peace with Aurangzeb, but Aurangzeb arrested him and his son.
After his release from Aurangzeb’s prison he reached Rajgarh. He started war against Mughal emperor.
He got back the forts which he had given to Aurangzeb. He then became the crowned King in 1674 at Rajgarh. He died in 1690 at the age of fifty three.
He was very hardy. He was painstaking. He had wisdom of a statesman. He was a truthful, kind and orthodox Hindu.
He was a great patriot. He respected all religions. He had high regard for women of all castes. He always protected cows and Brahmins. If he had lived a few years more he would have made Hindus great again. India is proud of him.