Siddi Misri (nephew of Siddi Sambal, who switched sides to Shivaji
along with Siddi Sambal and died in battle for Sambhaji fighting
Siddi Qasim of Janjira).
Haider Ali Kohari (he was a warrior and also an Islamic scholar.
He also served as Shivaji's secretary).
Antaji Konde-Deshmukh (Antaji Konde-Deshmukh was associated with
Shivaji in his initial period when Shivaji first came to Pune from
Shivneri and got settled in Lal Mahal. It was 1636 when, the family
met Jijabai and offered her their own house to stay. He was
associated with Bapuji Mudgal deshpande at Khed).
Santaji Ghorpade (later played a prominent role after Sambhaji's
death in battling the Mughals).
Dhanaji Jadhav (son of Sambhaji Jadhavlater played a prominent role
after Sambhajis death in battling the Mughals, along with Santaji
Balaji Avaji Chitnis (Shivaji's secretary).
Rango Narayan Orpe Sarpotdar (defeated the Adilshahi army at
Vishalgad, later made the killedar of Vishalgad fort).
Kavaji Kondhalkar (First Battle of Shivaji Maharaj - Shirval khot).
Sambhaji Jadhav (laid down his life in the
Battle of Pawan khind).
Raghunath Ballal (killed Hanumantrao More of Javli.
important role during the expedition of Tale, Ghosale, where he fell
ill and died).
Vyankoji Datto (played an important role during the expedition of
Bhimaji Wagh (early aide of Shivaji).
Sambhaji Kate (early aide of
Shivaji Ingle (early aide of Shivaji)
Bhikaji Chor (early aide of
Bhairav Chor (early aide of Shivaji).
Godaji Jagtap-Patil (early
aide of Shivaji).
Ragho Atre (early aide of shivaji. Played an prominent role while
routing Afzal Khans army).
Hussain Fahn Miyan, Siddi Wahwaha, Siddi Ambar
Wahad, Sultan Khan.
Daud Khan, Harji Nimbalkar, Fullaji Prabhu Deshpande, Gangadhar
In the early days of Dadoji Kondeo, the council of
ministers was composed of four officers only: the Peshwa (chief
minister), the Majumdar (auditor), the Dabir (foreign secretary), and
the Sabnis (paymaster). After the death of Dadoji, Shivaji added a Sarnaubat (master of the horse
and commander-in-chief of the army), and
a second Dabir to the four positions mentioned. After the conquest of Javli
(1656), the council was further expanded by creating a Surnis (superintendent
to keep the palace accounts), and a Waqnis (chronicler), and two
distinct commanders for the infantry and the cavalry. After his
return from Agra, Shivaji appointed a Nyayaadheesh (lord justice) to
try all suits in the kingdom according to the Sanskrit law books. By
1674 (at the time of his coronation), the number of ministers had
risen to eight, and were known as the Ashta Pradhan (the council of
eight ministers). The role of these ministers was more or less
advisory and Shivaji kept all the strings of the administration in
his own hands. (Source: J Sarkar.)
Shivaji's army organisation
Every fort and outpost was placed under three officers of equal
status: the Havaldar (chief constable), the Sabnis, and the
Sarnaubat. Stores and provisions for the forts were under the care of the Karkhanis.
In the state cavalry (paga), the unit was formed by 25 troopers (bargirs),
over 25 men was placed one havaaldar, over five havaaldars was one
jumlaadaar, over ten jumlaadaars (or 1,250 men) was one hazari. Over
five hazaris was the sarnaubat.
The Silahdaars, or troopers, supplied their own horses and arms and
acted under the Sarnaubat.
In the infantry, there was one Nayak (corporal) to every nine
Paiks (privates), over five nayaks one havaldar, over two-three havaldars one
jumladar, and over ten jumladars one hazari. Over seven hazaris were one
Sarnaubat of the infantry.
Shivaji inspects his naval forts
Shivaji rather graphically severs the fingers of the fleeing Shaista
Shivaji's revenue system and administration
Earlier it was seen that the revenue collectors for
the sultanates (the Patils, Desais, Deshmukhs, etc), were powerful in
their own right and at times challenged even their king's armed
They often behaved like tyrants in their fiefs, often harassing the
ryat (citizens). Shivaji therefore saw to it that the castles and
armies of these revenue collectors were dismantled. Even the
military fief holders were divested of any political power. Their
land was subjected to assessment like the fields of the other ryat .
Also, it was ensured that no one was given proprietary rights over an
entire village. The revenue officers were kept on a fixed salary.
By this means, no individual officer was made powerful enough and was kept
under the purview of the law just like any other citizen.
Shivaji also ensured a fixed tax that was to be taken from the
unlike before. Shivaji provided seeds, fertilisers, soft loans to
the farmers. He evenly distributed his land between his subjects. He
took into consideration the rain and the harvest before levying his
Shivaji's religious policy
Though a devout Hindu, Shivaji had a very liberal
policy towards other religions. Shivaji's spiritual teacher was Swami Ramdas,
whom he had had seated in Fort Parali, and who was later named Sajjangadh. But Shivaji had tremendous reverence towards seers of
other faiths as well, such as Pir Baba Yakut, a Sufi saint. Shivaji's
respect for the holy book, the Quran, is even conceded by his critic, Mughal historian Khafi Khan. Shivaji had given standing instructions
to his men that in any encounter, if they came across any holy book
including the Quran, it was not to be defiled, but treated with
the utmost respect. Also, religious places belonging to other faiths were
not to be desecrated.
At the same time Shivaji was a proud Hindu, and was always quick to
take up the Hindu cause. When Aurangzeb levied the Jaziya Tax on his
non-Muslim subjects, Shivaji sent him a bold letter castigating him
for his intolerance and bigotry. But Shivaji himself never was
fanatical about his religion. He never advocated forceful
conversions to Hinduism. He allowed people of other faiths to
practice their religion without the fear of persecution. No wonder
he had such a large number of Muslim officers in his army, even in
the highest ranks.
In keeping with the prevalent practice of those
times, Shivaji had eight wives. His marriages were matrimonial
alliances which gained him the support of the powerful families
His first wife was Saibai from the house of the Nimbalkars of Phaltan.
He married her sometime in 1641 (she died in September 1657). She bore him his
eldest son Sambhaji and three daughters:
Sakwarbai, also known as Savitribai, who married Mahadji Nimbalkar of Phaltan;
Ranoobai, who married into the family of the Jadhavraos; and
Ambikabai, who married Harjiraje Mahadik (later governor of Jinji).
His second wife was Sagunabai, a close relative of his commander,
Netaji Palkar. She became mother of Rajkunwarbai, who married Ganoji
Shirke (he was in the service of the Mughals).
Shivaji's third wife was Sakwarbai from the house of
(married on 10 January 1657). She bore a daughter called Kamlabai who married the
son of Netaji Palkar. Sakwarbai's brother, Sakhoji, was blinded by
Shivaji, allegedly for a moral lapse.
Shivaji's fourth wife was Kashibai (who died
on 6 February 1674), from the
family of Jadhavraos. She had no issue.
Shivaji's fifth wife was Putlabai (married 15 April 1657) from the
Ingle family. Putlabai performed Sati on the death of Shivaji.
Shivaji reconverts Netaji Palkar back into the Hindu fold
Shivaji's sixth wife was Soyrabai from the family of Mohites. She
bore him a son named Rajaram and a daughter named Dadubai aka Balubai. Soyrabai
died on 27 October 1681, allegedly after being imprisoned by Sambhaji
after she tried instating her son Rajaram onto the throne after the
death of Shivaji. Rajaram succeeded to the throne after the death of Sambhaji.
Shivaji had two more wives, Laxmibai and Gunwantabai. Not many
details are available about them.
Shivaji's character and personal attributes
Shivaji was a person of impeccable character. This
probably was something to do with the upbringing of his mother,
Jijabai. She had raised him to be a man of virtuousness and had instilled
into him the values of rectitude. He was always conscious of the
honour of the womenfolk. Shivaji was very chivalrous in his behaviour
towards them. He never gave free rein to his lust and also
expected the same moral high standards from his men. He had issued
orders to his army that no womenfolk were to be touched during
raids into enemy territory. There are records of him having
punished even his close relatives for moral infringements against
women. There are stories of him returning the captive daughter-in-law of the
Muslim governor of Kalyan (who was taken a prisoner
during a raid), unharmed and with full honours.
Shivaji was a great judge of human character. No wonder he was able
to hand pick gems from amongst the people who ably supported him in his
goal of swarajya. He inspired people with his personal morality and
loftiness of aim, and people willingly gave their lives for his
Shivaji's bravery is also without doubt, after all
he dared to challenge the supremacy of two great powers, when his
contemporaries preferred meek submission to them. But at the same
time Shivaji was never reckless. When the moment arose, he always thought
it prudent to retreat rather than to risk lives. But after waiting
patiently for the right opportunity, he struck back at the enemy
with equal vigour. His military astuteness is very evident.
Shivaji was very austere in his tastes. He never spent lavishly
on constructing magnificent palaces, rather he spent his wealth
constructing strong and practical forts which provided security for
his kingdom. He never indulged himself in the worldly pleasures,
rather he preferred spending his time and money on his people and
their welfare. Shivaji was devoid of vices.
He lived his life like a puritan as per the code of morality set up
by his mother Jijabai and his spiritual guru, Ramdas Swami.
Shivaji's greatness is not gauged from the territory he added, nor
by the treasure he left behind, but as J Sarkar says, from the
survey of the conditions amidst which he rose to sovereignty. His
other achievement was the feeling he gave his ryat, that the kingdom
he had formed was their own kingdom, created for their well being.
Shivaji was a devoted son, very
respectful towards his elders and
seers, a loving husband, and a doting father. Shivaji had in him all the
prerequisites of an ideal man (a Maryada Purushottam, like Lord Ram).
No wonder Shivaji was deified as a demigod in his state.
Tanaji climbing the walls of Fort Kondana
Bendre, W S and Patil, Vishwas - Works on
Duff, James Grant - History of the
Mahrattas, Associated Publishing House, New Delhi, 1971
Kincaid G A - A History of the
Maratha People, Oxford University Press, London, 1918