As a boy he dedicated himself to Hindu Dharma. He matched cunning against cunning, courage against courage; he was one of the wisest rulers as he was one of the greatest generals. The hero who escaped from the prison of the Mughal Emperor himself, to become the ruler of a kingdom devoted to Dharma and the service of the people. He was none other than Chhatrapati Shivaji.
On the 13th day (trayodashi) of the first fortnight of the month of ‘Jyeshtha’ as per the Hindu calendar, in the year 1596, the coronation ceremony was held to enthrone Punyashlok Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the King of Hindavi Swaraj. The grand function took place atop the 5,000-ft high Raigad fort in Maharashtra. He became thereafter a full-fledged Chhatrapati – a Hindu emperor in his own right. The occasion holds up for the Hindu people inspiring lessons for their future march – perhaps unequalled by any other single event during the past 3-4 centuries of their history. It is the golden day of glory in the history of Hindusthan and Hindus.
When Hindustan was burning under barbaric attacks by the Mughals and when Hindus were loyally serving the Muslims Adilshahs and Badshahs all over India, there was oppression of women, cows, language and temples.The Sultans had converted the whole country into a slaughterhouse. Hindu society was going towards annihilation under Muslim assaults and the blazing Sun of independence had set. In such adverse conditions, exhibiting great bravery, valour and sacrifice, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj established the independent sovereign Hindavi Swaraj by defeating Mughal kings and thus protected Hindus, Hindu Dharma and Hindustan. It was these almost superhuman challenges that Shivaji had accepted even as a teenaged boy. He encouraged Hindus to obliterate Muslim attackers. He created a great future for Hindustan. Thus unto Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, undoubtedly, belongs the chief credit of lighting up the torch of the final freedom struggle against the backdrop of several centuries of Islamic aggression, and ultimately reducing that foreign slavery to ashes. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj created self-confidence amongst Hindus. He made Hindus realize that they had the might of lions but were leading their lives like sheep.
This uprising by the Marathas was to protect the Hindu religion, to toss away the yoke of foreigners and to establish an independent and powerful Hindavi Samrajya (empire).
He founded the Hindu kingdom in the Deccan against all odds , fighting against the mighty Mughals.He inspired and united the common man to fight against the tyranny of Mughal ruler Aurangjeb, by inculcating a sense of pride and nationality in them.
At the age of 16, he took a pledge to establish a sovereign Hindu state.He clearly outstands all the rulers and generals of India by the exemplary life he lived and is thus respected by the entire cross section of Indians. Shivaji’s military skills could be compared to those of Napolean.
He raised a strong army and navy, constructed and repaired forts, used gureilla warfare tactics,developed a strong intelligence network,gave equal treatment to the people from all religions and castes based on merit, and functioned like a seasoned Statesman and General. He appointed ministers with specific functions such as Internal security,Foreign affairs,Finance,Law and Justice,Religious matters,Defence etc.