Chhatrapati Shivaji A Great King Who Showed How to Deal With Evil Forces

Chhatrapati Shivaji A Great King Who Showed How to Deal With Evil Forces
Highlights

As the ruler of Bijapur, Adilshah, saw that Shivaji, the great Maratha King, continued to expand his kingdom, he sent one after other many of his warriors to contain him. But, whoever came to fight him was sent back defeated. Lastly, frustrated, he sent his most powerful, shrewd and truculent of commanders Afzal Khan to bring Shivaji dead or alive.

As the ruler of Bijapur, Adilshah, saw that Shivaji, the great Maratha King, continued to expand his kingdom, he sent one after other many of his warriors to contain him. But, whoever came to fight him was sent back defeated. Lastly, frustrated, he sent his most powerful, shrewd and truculent of commanders Afzal Khan to bring Shivaji dead or alive.


Faithful to the court of Adilshah, Afjal Khan was both a strong of a fighter and pitiless of a heart in statecraft, knowing only one language and that of success, come what may. What an able commander he must have been that it was none other then Aurangzeb who had to eat humble pie before him in his campaign of Bidar and Kalyan. It was his good luck that he escaped; otherwise, he would have either been killed or fallen captive in the hands of Afzal Khan.
Taking a big army with him, Afzal now had set out to execute the order of his master. To generate his terror in the heart of adversaries, he ransacked whichever temple fall on his way, savagely slaughtered thousands of cows, set the standing crops on fire and dishonored the women folk. Terror- Faithful to the court of Adilshah, Afjal Khan was both a strong of a fighter and pitiless of a stricken, people began to approach Shivaji, pleading to save them from these infernal miseries. But, Shivaji remained calm. He knew well that he could not take on Afzal’s many times stronger army in direct fight. And that he would have to overpower him only tactically.

Thus, he receded with his soldiers to Pratap fort; and, soon he was joined by Mawal soldiers led by Kanhoji Jedhay.

Now it was insurmountable high rising mountain of Mahabaleshwar was the one to divide Pratap fort and Vai, where Afzal Khan stationed his army. Amid these tense moments Shivaji had to bear one more shock on the personal term— her ailing consort, Saibai, passed away.

Here, on the other side, mistaking Shivaji’s patience for his timidity, Afzal grew evermore brutal. And, he even destroyed the famous Vithoba temple and, more so, Shivaji’s patron goddess Tulja Bhavani’s temple too. Sense of shock and discomfiture prevailed among the people at large. So much so that they even began to lose faith on Shivaji. Hurling abuses on him, many of them even began to comment-“Where is the Hindu Rakshak; where is he hidden now; He, too, seems to be badly scared of Afzal Khan?”

Meanwhile, Afzal sent a message through an emissary, Krsihna ji Bhaskar—‘Hand over to us all the forts and territories usurped by you. If you were to shake hand with us, his highness would still pardon you. And, if not, the punishment to be unleashed by him upon you will know no bound.’

His valor was being challenged, self-respect was being hurt and his integrity to the purpose and Dharma itself was being doubted by his own people, yet Shivaji maintained the patience.

For, he knew how had to move ahead with his own strategy. Pretending to be greatly frightened of him [Afzal Khan], he sent the message to him— ‘I am really scared of you and want to surrender to your refuge, but lacks enough courage to come to you there in Vai. This would be better if sir commander himself come on the foothills of Pratap garh.

There I would surely come to meet you.’ Khan accepted the request of Shivaji; and, time and day was fixed for the meeting. Here, the news through the spies reached to Shivaji of the deception to be masterminded by wily Khan.

Though, Khan knew not that his army was actually surrounded by the mawals lurking inside the recesses of the woods. They were to fall upon them as per strategy chalked out beforehand.

Swelled with the ego soaring at the pretended discomfiture of Shivaji, Khan reached the destined spot before the stipulated time. Meeting was to take place inside the tent erected for the occasion. On the other side, Shivaji also set upon descending the downhill from the Pratapgarha fort for the historical meeting with a Turk commander. Under the muslin kameez, he wore a very thick proof jacket; while to safeguard the head there was steel-helmet on it.

He was well laced with a small sword kept concealed under the kameez. With him at this moment were his ten close confidantes- Kawji Kondalkar, Jiva Mahala Sakpal, Yasaji Kank and such others. Whole Pratapgarh grew tearful to see his beloved king heading to meet unknown future.

Shivaji descended from the fort, but halted mid-way, at a sufficient distance from the tent where Khan stayed with a soldier, Sayyad Banda. This was the news that had reached to Shivaji by his spies.


He sent the message to Khan-‘Sir, I came to know that there is one more person with you inside the tent, which, sorry to say, is in contravention to the conditions of my surrender. Please dismiss him from the tent and relieve me of the fear which has driven all my senses out of me.’

Shivaji succeeded in his move. Under the spell of pretended imbecile mien of Shivaji, Khan’s over-confidence knew no bound. ‘Now subjugation of the rebel, Shivaji, is no far’- Khan was beside himself with jubilation. So was his army stationed in the premise of Koyana. Alert, Shivaji now reached on the door of tent.

‘Should one thus replace sultan by winning some forts, every lane would have its own sultan. And, then who would care for his highness, Ali Adilshah – hence, don’t be obstinate- I would grant you a pardon from Sultan- first, come and embrace to my chest’, outpoured Afzal Khan, gloating over to see Shivaji standing surrendered before him. Shivaji responded and moved into the circle of arms extended by Khan as a gesture of greeting.

Himself assured of having brought Shivaji well into his grip, Khan, then, displaying his true- self, in no time took out knife already kept concealed in his garb, and gored it into a side of Shivaji’s waist. But, armor of proof being there, it could cause no harm to Shivaji.

Then what, in next moment, shivaji discharged a piercing blow of small sword that he wielded deep into the stomach of Khan, tearing open its arteries.

Anyhow escaping from the grip of Shivaji, Khan came out of the tent, crying in excruciating pain- ‘Enemy is out to kill me- slaughter him, ah..!’

As the Khan’s shrieking call fell into the ears of Saiyad Banda standing on guard outside the tent he first shuddered and at very next moment hastened inside the tent and fell upon Shivaji to see the body of khan steeped in the blood. Shivaji would have been finished by him, but for timely intervention of Jiva Mahalay who rushed after him and with one blow of his sword grounded him dead.

uch were the men in thousand like Jiva groomed by the Shiva, who were ready to offer their lives for him, and, that’s too, not for the sake of reward but in return of love and affection they received from him.

Here on the other side, as Shivaji assaulted Khan, drum blared, as was planned; and, with the blaring of drum, a soldier already stationed secretly with his tank high on the nearby hill, fired the shot. No sooner did the sound of fire fall in the ears of already lurking Maratha soldiers, than they fell upon the Khan’s soldiers, wherever they found them, putting them to the swords. Caught into confusion from the unexpected turn of the situation, Turk soldiers tried a lot to escape their commander alive but in vain.

After him his son Fazal Khan and Muse Khan tried in many ways to tide over the situation. But as they sensed the foreshadows of their debacle, they too took to flight from the battlefield, causing stampede among whatever number of soldiers so far rallied behind them. It was complete decimation of enemies in the battle.
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