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 Ghorpade).
Balaji Avaji Chitnis (Shivaji's secretary).
Rango Narayan Orpe Sarpotdar (defeated the
Adilshahi army at Vishalgad, later made the killedar of Vishalgad
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. Played an important role during the expedition of Tale, Ghosale,
where he fell ill and died).
Vyankoji Datto (played an important role
during the expedition of Danda Rajapuri).
Bhimaji Wagh (early aide of Shivaji).
Sambhaji Kate (early aide of Shivaji).
Shivaji Ingle (early aide of Shivaji)
Bhikaji Chor (early aide of Shivaji).
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 Pant.
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, probably accompanied by his
havaldar (chief constable), sabnis, and sarnaubat, the three
senior officers for each fort
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
forces. 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 ryat, 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 taxes.
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
the Gaikwads (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 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 cause.
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,
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
A dramatic reconstruction of 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