A NATION SUCCEEDS SHIVAJI

“God, we outer our last fight

Thou dost know our cause is right

Make us march now in thy light

On to Victory!

Let us not thy wrath deserve

In the sacred cause we serve

Let us not from danger swerve

Teach us how to die!! “

SHIVAJI died in 1680 A. D and Ramdas in 1681. They had achieved much, but much more had yet to be achieved. They two died, but even their death would not kill the movement they had brought into being. It was not based on the narrow and shifting foundation of an individual life. It bad struck its roots deep into the. Life of the nation. This is one of the most important features of the history of the Marathas, which we wish to emphasis and impress on the mind of our non-Maratha readers. As it is, the life and work of Shivaji and Ramdas being more or less known outside Maharashtra,and the latter part of Maratha history being more or less unknown or but vaguely and confusedly known, the general readers of Indian or Hindu history feel that Shivaji and Ramdas were the first and the last of Maratha patriots who aimed at the establishment of Hindu-pad-padashahi. Not only this; but the general understanding of Maharashtra seems to be that the real history of the Marathas, not only began, but also ended with the life of Shivaji; all that follows) is confusion worse confounded by selfish and demoralized struggle of stray adventurous bands of freebooters. Both these supposition are utterly wrong.

The fact is that the real greatness of Shivaji and Ramdas lay in the very fact that their movement, not only survived them long, but characters as able and patriotic, Organisers and captains, heroes and martyrs, rose in hundreds and in an unbroken succession and fought for the same cause mightily, pressing towards the same goal of Hindu-pad-padashahi, and achieved such glorious results as would have dazzled the eagle-eye of Shivaji himself. When Shivaji was crowned he had hardly a province under him, and yet it was a great achievement. But was it not an achievement, signal and great, when his successors under RaghobaDada entered Lahore and the Maratha horse pranced triumphantly on the banks of the Indus and a continental country lay at their feet? When Shivaji died, Aurangzeb still lived. It was not Shivaji, but his Maratha Nation, that at last succeeded in burying down Aurangzeb and his anti-Hindu ambitions in a common grave at Ahmednagar. The seed that fell” at Raigad had become so noteworthy on account of the imposing tree into which our empire grew. Otherwise, it would have proved barren and been lost into the dust of oblivion like so many other seeds that never grew into fruitful trees. Shivaji ruled at Raigad ;but the day was yet to come when his people wouldrule at Delhi. Nay, had not Dhanaji and Santaji,Balaji and Baji, Nana and Bhau, Malbarirao andDattaji, Madhavarao and Parusharam Pant, Nana and Bapu risen, thought, fought and won his cause, the results that Shivaji achieved would have seemed so bald and unimposing as those of the founders of some small principalities, like the Patwardhanofthe Budellastates, and could not have claimed such unparalleled and Pan-Hindu significance in the history of our Hindu race. Shivaji is great, because his nation proved worthy of his greatness, could grasp and press on his mission to ultimate success could realise what he could merely hope, could accomplish what he could merely aspire to. The death of Shivaji was the mere beginning of Maratha history. He founded a Hind u principality-—it had yet to grow into a HinduEmpire. This was all done after the death of Shivaji. The real epic opens as soon as Shivaji, after calling into being the great forces that had to act it up, disappears from the scene.’

BY-VINYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR