Campaign for construction of Shri Ram temple at Ayodhya unified Bharatvarsh

Credits to Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra (@ShriRamTeerth)
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Mar 6
Even as the world’s biggest campaign since January 15, 2021, for construction of the grand temple of Bhagwan Shri Ram at Ayodhya completed on February 27, 2021, it unified Bharatvarsh from east to west and north to south.
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Mar 6
We have succeeded in achieving our goal of Samarpan in 400,000 villages. Contact was also made in all the wards of the urban areas. Although the statistics of the families contacted are yet to come, but it is estimated that we have touched about 100 million families.

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Mar 6
Samarpan (contributions) have been received from every quarter. During this drive, many such occasions and episodes also came which moved the minds and hearts of the volunteers. At many places, even the beggars, daily wagers & small farmers also made their prayerful offerings.

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Mar 6
About 900,000 Karyakartas in 175,000 teams contacted people from door-to-door. The Samarpan amount was deposited in Banks through 38,125 Karyakartas. The app, created by Dhanusha Infotech, has acted as a digital bridge among the Karyakartas, banks and the trust.

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Mar 6
To maintain transparency of the entire campaign, while 49 control rooms were working across the country, 23 qualified karyakartas led by two chartered accountants at the main centre in Delhi, were constantly in touch with the entire network to monitor the accounts

Even if the final figures are yet to come, it can be said, based on the banks’ receipts till March 4, that the Samarpan amount would cross INR 2500 crores. This month, the audit of the campaign in every district of the country would also be completed.
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Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra
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Mar 6
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From the North-Eastern region of Bharat, Arunachal Pradesh have contributed INR 45 million, Manipur INR 20 million, Mizoram INR 2.1 million, Nagaland INR 2.8 million, Meghalaya INR 8.5 million, & from South, Tamil Nadu contributed INR 850 million, and Kerala INR 130 million.
Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra
@ShriRamTeerth
·
Mar 6
The devotees who missed this Samarpan (contribution) drive, can still make their contributions through our website https://srjbtkshetra.org/donation-options/.

Devotees from outside Bharat are requested to wait a little more. They will be notified upon completion of FCRA formalities.

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Declaring tribals as non Hindus shows lack of understanding of Bharat

-Dr Manmohan Vaidya

It is not mere coincidence that Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh that are at the epicentre of the activities which form the subject matter of this write-up, have been hotspots of conversion activities.

The Jharkhand state government recently passed a bill with majority that deems Sarana Dharma followers as non-Hindu and claims “Sarana” to be a separate religion. At around the same time Andhra Pradesh government declared that with the view that the members of Scheduled Tribes are non-Hindu they will be listed as just “Scheduled Tribe” in the 2021 census. These developments are an indicator of a lack of realisation of Bharat and correct understanding of Hindutva (Hinduness), which is combined with an insatiable hunger for political power on the part of these decision-makers.  Hindutva is not some religion. Even the honourable Supreme Court of the country honoured and established the fact that it is a view of life. One hallmark of this view of life is that it is based in spirituality. Notwithstanding language and worship-related differences, countless lineages of people born in the Bharatiya sub-continent have identified themselves as Hindu from time immemorial. Deep identification with this view of life has led to a distinct outlook and personal character of these people.

“Truth is one, but the wise call it by different names.” This shloka from the Rig Veda means the truth or god is one but there may be many paths to its realization and all paths are equal. This tenet of the Hindu view of life was well-ingrained in the Hindu psyche and the people here have been practising this for long. Jews, Parsis and Syrian Christians fleeing religious persecution and conversion in their countries of origin sought asylum in different kingdoms of Bharat, at various points in time. The itinerants, though ethnically, religiously and linguistically alien here, the treatment given by the kings or the locals who granted them asylum were equally liberal and respectful. They were welcomed, accepted and nurtured within each of those geographies.  This behaviour was an outcome of their adherence to the Hindu view of life. To see unity in diversity is the hallmark of this view of life. We’ve held that one Spirit (Chaitanya) manifests in different life forms and therefore the ability to see the underlying oneness among seemingly apparent diversities is the default view of Bharat. This is why diversity is not perceived as differences here. Bharat has the unmatched capacity to take all the apparently diverse expressions together while protecting the uniqueness of each of those units while assimilating them into one cohesive whole. The third uniqueness of Bharat is the recognition of the fact that every soul (man or woman) is potentially divine. The very goal of human life is to manifest the divinity within to ultimately merge with the Supreme Divinity. Different people may walk different paths to manifest their divinity and each of those paths may be called their religion or faith. The body of thought with an amalgamation of these unique qualities has been popularly perceived as “Hindutva” around the world. Whether someone refers to it as Bharatiya, Sanatan, Indic or any other name, the essence is the same.

Now the question is which among these unique features is un-relatable or offensive to the Sarana people or other Scheduled Tribes?

The first President of independent Bharat, Dr S. Radhakrishnan referred to Hindutva as “Commonwealth of All Religions”. Swami Vivekananda in his 1893 Chicago address at the World Parliament of Religions described Hindutva as the “Mother of all religions”.

The view that sees diverse people as one, that accepts and assimilates different paths and faiths is what Hindutva is. This civilisation that predates 10,000 years has seen people worship different deities at varied points in time. To be able to keep pace with evolving faith-based norms and to accept changes is what Hindutva is all about. Swami Vivekananda propounded this very fact by reciting this shloka in his famous 1893 Chicago address.

Meaning: O Almighty! Innumerable paths lead one to you—Sankhya, Vaishnav, Shaiva, Vedic ways of life, etc. As per their orientation people choose any one path, but like many rivers eventually converge into one sea, all these paths lead to the same, Eternal Truth. It is true that regardless of the path we choose we can all realise the Divine.

The beauty of this Bharatiya view of life is that it recognises the fact that in tandem with man’s continuous evolution he is sure to discover and worship newer deities. Nurturing the old while making space for newer deities is Hindutva.

Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur explicitly stated: “To experience unity in diversity and to establish unity amongst variety—this is the inherent Dharma (the spirit) of Bharat. Bharatvarsh never interpreted diversities as hostility and, neither considers the outsider as an enemy. Thus, without sacrificing our own, without destroying others, Bharat aspires to assign a distinct place to everyone in one vast ecosystem. Thus, it is willing to accept all ways of life, and acknowledges the greatness of each in its own way.

“As Bharatvarsh possesses this trait, we would never get frightened by visualising any society as our opponent. With every new dissension, we inevitably will grow. The Hindu, Bauddha, Muslim and Christian would not fight with each other and die in Bharat. Rather they would find a balance, a meeting point here. This balance will not be non-Hindu, but very specifically Hindu. However foreign may be its body parts, its life and spirit will of Bharat.”

This holistic approach and assimilation are intrinsic to the Hindu view of life. Given this definition, what deems Sarana and Scheduled Tribe members as radically distinct from Hindutva is a mystery. Because Hindutva does not emphasise on the Almighty to be one definitive form, rather appreciating the common thread underlying all manifestations of the Divine is Hindutva.

Some years ago, a survey was conducted in North-Eastern states in the Assam region that has a sizable population of the Scheduled Tribes. Representatives of 18 Scheduled Tribes present at the conference expounded their responses over: 1. Their concept of God. 2. Their view of Earth. 3. What do they pray for? 4. Their concepts of virtue and sin. 5. Their opinion over faith-based practices of those from other religions. And lastly, 6. If they wish to compel followers of other faiths and religions to forcefully convert to their religion.

Their responses were consistent with the views of a common Hindu living elsewhere in the country. It was surprising for the surveyors to note that despite apparent language differences their beliefs are more or less similar and reflective of the age-old spiritual tenets of the Hindu belief system. That which unifies the diverse religious and faith-based beliefs and practices of this geo-cultural unit of Bharat is Hindutva and our spirituality-centric holistic, unifying and all-encompassing Hindu view of life.

The Semitic basis of Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam prevents those religions from having a similar view of human life. In fact those religions divide the human race into binaries, which cannot coexist in harmony. It is for the same reason that these religions have a bloody, violent, deceptive and greed-ridden history of conversion. Among the tribals of the North-Eastern states of Bharat also the Christian Church propaganda to impose the view that those tribes are non-Hindu has been underway for a long time now, first with the support of the British colonial ruler and later by those in power after our Independence. This is the direct cause of the emergence and strengthening of separatist militant groups in the region. As part of their agenda, they lured the people of the land with the temptation of a new and separate identity and uprooted their cultural roots to start “soul harvesting”. But the tribals of the region have understood that this barter with the Christian missionaries may be too costly. It can lead to a complete disappearance and annihilation of the rich, faith-based realisations of their ancestors. They also realise assimilating with the Hindu society will prevent such a fate and in this way they can preserve and pass on their unique customs and traditions to the future generations. This belief is taking a firm hold over their consciousness with each passing day and has resulted in the emergence of indigenous faith movements like “Donyi Polo” and “Seng Khasi” in those areas. Leaders of groups like the Sarana and other Scheduled Tribes must learn from the experiences of the organisers of these indigenous faith movements reconnecting to their roots so as to preserve their unique cultural and faith-based practices and further enrich their culture and people.

With “ ” meaning, “the entire creation is habitated/dwelled by the Supreme Spirit or Isha” as the basis of faith mankind invoked, venerated and worshipped the formless Divine Truth even at the time when gods and goddesses hadn’t yet been personified. Thereafter that same truth began to be pursued by the means of worship of various gods with a definite form. However, the worship of nature and that of the five basic elements is eternal. Many self-realised men or so-called Avatars added newer paths to the list of faiths, yet the worship of nature in the form of worship of earth, water, fire, air and space continued. Therefore, nature-worship is eternal, only newer practices and dimensions emerged with the march of time. Nature worship also features in several forms in the Hindu culture. It is for this reason that Hindu society sees itself as one with those who strictly worship only nature. But certain elements are bent on projecting the variations in practices as differences and disillusioning people.

In fact it is not only true of the Sarana or the Scheduled Tribes. For the last several years, organised drives to brainwash members of many communities are underway across Bharat into believing that they are not Hindu. Operations to splinter Hindu society are being carried out at an international level by  distorting and erasing from people’s memory the propensity of Hindutva to appreciate oneness in diversity, and instead highlighting and misrepresenting the diversities among different faiths as differences among people. If Hindus remain united, society remains united and hence the country remains united. And the country will progress only if it is united. All those elements who have a vested interest in preventing the country from progressing are engrossed in the fragmentation of Bharat.

Several fact-based, well-researched books that illuminate the details about such efforts (breaking India forces) and drives are available in the market. One key player in that scheme is the Christian church. Their aim—to increase the number of believers in Bharat by converting more people—finds an explicit mention on the websites of all their proselytising agencies. Some agencies that have assumed fake identities are working to first create disillusion, then opposition and then fragmentation in the society, which would ultimately result in separatism. They connote conversion as “harvesting”. These organised efforts of “harvesting” have been ongoing since the British era. But Bharat’s cultural roots run deep and are strong. Many ascetics and enlightened people took to reigniting the spiritual and cultural conscience of our society from time-to-time. No tribe or caste is devoid of the inheritance of such knowledge, as such ascetics were born in every tribe and caste that ever lived on this land to share the nectar of their realisations. It is for this reason that the conversion efforts of missionaries have been comparatively less fruitful in Bharat, thus compelling those agencies to adopt newer tactics to fulfil their agenda. The elements that aim to fragment Bharat work closely and cohesively to actualise each of their agendas. Incessant efforts of the ascetics and social reformers to facilitate socio-religious and spiritual and cultural enlightenment, generation-after-generation, has resulted in a firm cultural foundation of the society. Therefore, successful conversion requires uprooting the deep religio-cultural roots of the potential converts. Where the foundation is weak and roots bared loose, harvesting is easier. Therefore, brainwashing drives wherein false and unreasonable claims are being concocted. We will all have to remain alert and aware of these dangers.

Famous Bharatiya poet, Prasoon Joshi, writes in one of his poems:

“Gather the soil around you, oh tree,

Else you will wither.

The deeper your roots,

Greener your leaves will be.” It is not mere coincidence that the two states that are at the epicentre of the activities which form the subject matter of this write-up have been hotspots of conversion activities. Uprooting is imperative for harvesting. If we see and analyse the forces working on this agenda and their funding sources, one can understand that creating such misconceptions for uprooting various groups from their cultural moorings is part of a larger conspiracy hatched over a period of time.

Dr Manmohan Vaidya is Sah Sarkaryawah (Joint General Secretary), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Courtesy: The Sunday Guardian

Rathasapthami and Surya Bhagwan

I was reading the Adityahrudayam, from the Ramayana (Yuddha kanda, canto 107) and came across this verse that describes the water cycle.

नाशयत्येष वै भूतं तदेव सृजति प्रभुः।

  पायत्येष तपत्येष वर्षत्येष गभस्तिभिः॥ 23

“Salutaions to the Sun God, who destroys everything”

Link https://www.indiawaterportal.org/sites/default/files/iwp2/hydrology_in_ancient_india_nih_1990.pdf

14th Dec 2019 Tweet

That was and creates them all again and whom, by his rays, consumes the waters, heats them up (into water vapor) and brings them down again as rain.” Naturally I went looking for Vedic references to the hydrological cycle and came across this book which is a veritable gold mine.

14th Dec 2019

The Ṛg Veda, Atharva Veda, Linga Purana, Matsya Purana, Mahabharata, Kishkinda Kanda of Ramayana, etc all contain scientific explanations and elaborate descriptions of the water cycle. For example, here is what the Vayu Purana has to say:

the water evaporated by sun ascends to atmosphere through the capillarity of air, and there gets cooled and condensed. After formation of clouds it rains by the force of air. Thus, water is not lost in all these processes but gets converted from one form to other continuously”

(51. 14-15-16). Similar descriptions of surface and groundwater, hot and cold springs, origins of perennial vs seasonal rivers, weather phenomena, etc. are all described, and Varahamihira’s Vraht Samhita (550 AD) has three chapters devoted to Hydrometeorology.

It is not news that credit to scientific discovery is highjacked by the west. But despite all the ancient evidence stacked against them, guess who is credited? Frenchman Bernard Palissy is often credited as the “discoverer” of the modern theory of the water cycle, the “pioneer” of hydrology, published Discours admirables, de la nature des eaux et fontaines, tant naturelles qu’artificielles, des metaux, des sels et salines, des pierres, des terres, du feu et des maux (Paris, 1580). Prior to him, Aristotle (384-300BC) is known to have speculated the nature of the water cycle but struggled with explaining how rivers flowed in the absence of rainfall. His predecessors, Anaxagoras and Plato both maintained that the source was fluvial water was a giant cavern within the earth, but Aristotle was the first to reject this notion.

Palissy was also one of the first Europeans who maintained that fossils were once living organisms, and contested the prevailing view that they had been produced by the biblical flood/astrological influence. (note: Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, Garuda Purana etc all state that Salagrama stones, which are Ammonoid/mollusc fossils of the Devonian-Cretaceous period from 400-66 million years ago, are to be worshipped as Lord Vishnu himself, each representing an avatar of Vishnu. it is implied that they have organic origin but not sure if explicitly stated)

Palissy was a Protestant, imprisoned for his beliefs and sentenced to death. He died in a Bastille dungeon during the French Wars of Religion which was a prolonged period of war between the Catholics and Protestants/Calvinists.

Lastly, Newton in 1666 is credited with proving the compostite nature of white light but the Ṛg Veda (II, 12.12), at least 3000 years prior (a conservative estimate) describes sun light containing seven colors of rays. We know pythogoras theorem wasn’t his original work either

-Credit to Sai Priya ji (@priya_27_)

What does Ayodhya Ram Mandir mean to us youngsters ?

(Nidhi Samarpan Event – 7th Feb 2021 – Panel talk)

Vaishnavi Palreddy

When I was first asked to speak as part of the panel and on behalf of the youth of India, I wasn’t quite sure about what to talk. So, I decided to give my friends a call and ask them what they think of Rama and the Ayodhya Ram mandir. They said he is a great king, one who chose his people over his family. And that the principles of Rama, honesty and self-discipline, are essential for life and success. On the other hand, the Ayodhya Ram Mandir was either an unknown concept or an unseen one between school, exams, assignments, family and friends and of course, who can forget, COVID. Of them all, one line that struck me as particularly odd was ‘how would I know about something I’ve never seen?’ 

In this global world, we do many things and hashtag and re-share many more while being on opposite ends of the globe. So maybe the reality is that we couldn’t care less. That it isn’t a priority. After all, why should we know of a place that doesn’t exist, hasn’t for a very long time? A place that we never heard of before, a place that we will probably never see unless we are dragged to. Because it is an integral part of our  region, an integral part of the foundation of the society we live in. A piece of land with hundreds of millions of stories. A piece of land for which lakhs of people were gladly willing to give up their lives and so much more. 

Why is Ayodhya so important? Yes, I have been told that Ayodhya is the birth-place of Rama, but so what? Does it truly deserve the hype? Or is it just another one of those over-done, over-stated things? I remember when for the first time after 18 years, I went to Seattle, the place where I was born. A place I have no memories of, I was only a few months-old baby when we moved to India. A place that I found out I was born in, only when I looked at my birth-certificate. But when I went there, I had a strange feeling. A feeling of… apnapan. A feeling I’ve had in every house I have ever lived in. A feeling I have when I visit the place of my parents’ birth and upbringing. A scratch on the wall, a crack on the floor, a half-broken glass pane, every nook and corner, everything seems to have a story hidden inside. An exciting adventure worth telling and re-telling. And just like it feels easier to breathe – the weight on your shoulders seems to have lifted as soon as you get home. That’s just the magic of home, isn’t it? The magic of birth-place or even of birth in general. 

Another point that one of my friends raised is – everyone keeps telling us that we are fortunate. Our generation is privileged that such an important temple is being built in our lifetime. But what does that mean? Why are we privileged? I’m pretty sure every year – or maybe even every month – probably around 100 temples are built throughout the nation. I mean in such a big country for such an important God. So, what makes this one so special that we are fortunate? Why is this generation privileged? Why not people presently in their 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. After all, isn’t a temple just a place of worship? And people of older age groups typically pray the most. So, shouldn’t they be the privileged ones? After all, they got a brand-new spot for prayer? 

Uhh, kind of – not exactly. Like we’ve discussed before, this particular temple is extraordinary. Even more so, because 500 years ago, in a show of dominance, Babar- a famous king who invaded India, tore down the temple present in the premises and built a structure to commemorate their victory. In that sense, winning the court case and building the temple can be taken to say that the Indian ideology is not beneath any religion practiced in the world. 

On 15th August 1947, India was officially declared azad from the clutches of the British. From 200 years of oppression. However, this winning of the court case and building of the Ayodhya Rama mandir is slowly but surely winning the round II of azadi from 492 years of struggle. From 1000 years of invasions. 25 whole generations, some more than others, fighting for a single cause. Azadi from the pacifist mentality we have adopted. This is us beginning to fight for what is ours. And just like the previous round, azadi brings benefits to all in the society, but the greatest are always reaped by the up-and-coming. After all, azadi is a time when the past and present are fighting for the future. And this azadi is worth a century of celebration. 

Rani Ahilyabai Holkar

Revamping of Kashi Vishwanath corridor or construction of Sri Rama’s temple at Ayodhya are in the focus today. However, a few centuries ago, not just these two temples but hundreds of other temples were renovated due to the single-handed devotion of one woman, Queen Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, while the regions in which these temples are situated were under the rule of Muslim kings. It also raises the question, why were temples destroyed in the first place?

In 1293CE, Allauddin Khalji/Khilji raided Bhilsa and looted temples and public wealth. Bhilsa had numerous rich temples with idols of gold, silver, diamonds and other precious stones. The residents of Bhilsa concealed idols in the riverbed of Betwa to prevent the loot but he hauled the idols from river. Khilji moved to South when he heard about the riches of Devgiri under the rule of Ramadeva. After a few battles Ramadeva had to surrender and Khilji took away:

2400 kilos of gold
4000 kilos of silver
28 kilos of pearls
8 kilos of precious stones

With the looted wealth, Allauddin Khilji built an army to conquer Malwa region in 1305CE. Until Marathas strengthened themselves and defeated them, the invaders continued looting temples and public wealth.

Rise of Holkars:

After Marathas conquered Malwa region, Malhar Rao Holkar was appointed as an officer under the ruler Shahu I. He helped Marathas spread their kingdom to Northern states and was granted the estate of Indore in 1733 by Peshwas. Peshwas (Brahmins) gifted the kingdom to Holkars who were Dhangars (occupation of raising cattle), contrary to the narrative that upper castes suppressed so-called lower castes.

Ahilyabai Holkar:

Malhar Rao’s son, Khanderao died at a young age in 1754 during the war of Kumher. Malhar Rao ruled Malwa region with the support of strong cabinet of ministers till 1766, and during this period, Malhar Rao trained his daughter-in-law Ahilyabai in military affairs and state administration. After his death, his daughter-in-law Ahilyabai Holkar became the queen in 1767. Ahilyabai was born on 31st May1725CE in the village of Chaundi, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Her father, Mankoji Sindhia (Shinde) was the Patil of that Village. She was married to Khanderao Holkar in 1733.

Sir John Malcolm, the Scottish historian who seized the province from Ahilyabai’s successors in 1818, devoted 21 pages praising Ahilyabai’s reign in his book “Memoir of Central India”. While doing research he said that “The more enquiry is pursued, the more admiration is excited.” He also mentioned “In the most sober view that can be taken, she was one of the purest and most exemplary rulers that ever existed”.

Ahilyabai Holkar is always known and admired for her contribution in restoring the temples and monuments which were destroyed by invaders. Ahilyabai not only developed big cities, but also smaller villages and constructed wells, tanks, canals to support irrigation. Her efforts and grants to renovate the temples and dharmic places were not just restricted to her kingdom, but are visible Pan-India. It was in her reign that 4 Jyothirlingas were restored – Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi, Vaidyanath of Parli, Somanath of Gujarat, Grishneshwar of Ellora, Maharashtra. She renovated dozens of old temples including Gaya, Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchi, Avanti, Dwaraka, Badrinarayan, Rameshwar and Jagannath Puri. The Ramachandra temple in Puri, Hanuman temple in Rameshwaram, Vishnupad Temple in Gaya, Bihar and the Sarayu Ghat in Ayodhya were all built with her contribution. Most of the ghats on the banks of Ganga in Varanasi were constructed during her reign. She facilitated the water delivery to more than 30 temples in the south from river Ganga. Ahilyabai wrote letters to Kings of different regions, seeking permission for reconstructing the demolished temples.

State Administration

Ahilyabai Holkar personally handled the state affairs and administration. She sat in durbar daily to pay attention to complains and issues of her subjects, she was always accessible to her people. During her reign, the crime rate greatly dropped as she vigorously encouraged trade and farming, supporting business and agriculture.

Ahilyabai moved her administrative capital to Maheshwar, while Indore was the business capital. During her reign, Maheshwar became a center for music, arts and literature. She focused on developing industries especially textile industries, Maheshwar is the home for the world-famous Maheshwari sarees. Ahilyabai was also successful in managing the local tribes in her kingdom, and employed tribes to protect the travelling merchants. She had got her daughter married to Yashwantrao, a poor but brave man, who defeated a dacoit.

Ahilyabai was known as the `Philosopher queen’. She was reluctant to impose the death penalty. She held that all mortals are works of the almighty and it was not in human authority to commit violence upon his creation. However at the same time she was firm and exercised a strong control over her kingdom. She had a reliable and trustworthy team of ministers and administrators throughout her reign. Ahilyabai Holkar died in the year 1795 at the age of 70.

American historian Stewart Gordon writes that a definite proof of her ability as a ruler was that her territories in Malwa were not engaged in local battles during her reign, though there were wars all around in the country. According to Gordon, “Ahilyabai had one of the most stable reigns of the 18th century.”

Joanna Baillie writes about the queen in 1849 as:

“For thirty years her reign of peace,
The land in blessing did increase;
And she was blessed by every tongue,
By stern and gentle, old and young.
Yea, even the children at their mothers feet
Are taught such homely rhyming to repeat
“In latter days from Brahma came,
To rule our land, a noble Dame,
Kind was her heart,
and tright her frame,
And Ahlya was her honoured name.”