“He was a great king, reflecting true loyalty to India. He gave shape to future generations of Indians. He had a dream of uniting the kingdoms of India into Akhanda Bharat ” – Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda on Shivaji
The below incident between Swami Vivekananda & Dr. M.C. Nanjunda Rao (a famous doctor and disciple of Swami Vivekananda) puts Shivaji in perspective. Dr.Nanjunda Rao had written this in the 1st & 2nd parts of Vedanta Kesari magazine.
“It was a beautiful moonlit night. Swamiji was seated in the verandah of Bhattacharya’s bungalow, and was conversing with the secretary of the Maharaja of Khetri, Munshi Jagmohanlal. Shri Munshi had come to take Swamiji to Khetri. The Maharaja of Khetri had invited the Swamiji saying that it was only due to his blessing that God had bestowed his grace upon him and the Maharaja had got a son.
I entered as this conversation was going on. Suddenly Swamiji began to sing sweetly. The song was long and in Hindi. The meaning of the last two lines of the song was as follows:
दावा दृमदंड पर, चीता मृगझुन्द पर
Dawa Drumdand par, Cheetah Mrug Jhund par
भूषण वितुण्ड पर, जैसे मृगराज हैं !
Bhooshan Vithund par, Jaise Mrugraaj hai
तेज तमअंस पर, कान्हा जिमि कंस पर
Tej Tam Ams par, Kanha Jimi kams par
त्यों म्लेंच्छ बंस पर शेर शिवराज हैं !
tyon mlechha bans par, Sher Shivraaj hai !
‘Like the effect of fire on the trees of the forest, Like the effect of the panther on a flock of deer, Like the effect of a tiger on a herd of elephants, Like the effect of sun on the darkness of the night, Like the effect of Krishna on Kamsa, Such was the effect of Shivaji on the Mlechcha (muslm) gangs.’
I was simply surprised to hear this song from the lips of Swamiji because I had only learnt that Shivaji was unprincipled, thieving, murderous and lethal.
As soon as I expressed my doubt, Swamiji stopped singing the eulogy to Shivaji and roared at me with anger, ‘Doctor, this is a matter of shame for you. You are a Maratha and yet you do not have a proper and true picture of the greatest king of India over the last three hundred years ? Shivaji was like a God or a personified divine incarnation. There were even revelations predicting his advent before his birth. The sages and saints of Maharashtra were awaiting his birth with great eagerness. A protector of Hindu Dharma and of those standing up against the Adharma of the Mlechchas, was going to be born.
Foreign historians ignorant of the culture,traditions and conventions, and fixated with prejudice, did not have the ability to understand Shivaji. What leader, saint, devotee or king greater than Shivaji was every born ? A wonderful king like Shivaji can only be seen in poetry. He was a great king, reflecting true loyalty to India.
He gave shape to future generations of Indians. He had a dream of uniting the kingdoms of India into Akhanda Bharat’.
Full text of the poem quoted above is by Mahakavi Bhushan :
इन्द्र जिमि जृम्भा पर बाडव सअंभ पर
रावण सदंभ पर रघुकुल राज है !
पवन बारिबाह पर संभु रतिनाह पर
ज्यों सहसबाह पर राम द्विजराज हैं !
दावा दृमदंड पर
चीता मृगझुन्द पर
भूषण वितुण्ड पर
जैसे मृगराज हैं !
तेज तमअंस पर
कन्ह जिमि कंस पर
त्यों म्लेंच्छ बंस पर
शेर शिवराज हैं
– महाकवि भूषण