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Shriman Yogi by Mr. Ranjeet Desai

Hello, my name is Seema Kale. Starting today, I will be translating Hindi and Marathi novels for newsindia readers. I am from Maharashtra, and as such am very fond of King Shivaji. Thus I will be starting this project with a translation of a novel “Shriman Yogi” by Mr. Ranjeet Desai, which is based on Shivaji’s life and career.

Since this is a new project, I would like to receive comments from all the readers. Please send your comments and suggestions to Send an email

Before we go to the actual novel I would like to give you some background information about Shivaji and his contemporaries.  

This period of history unfolded during early to late 1600s. There were about 500 Royal families in India at the time. India was ruled by Muslim sultans-- northern India by Sunni Moguls and southern India by Shiite AdeelShah, and Nizam. Most of the Hindu Royal families at the time were somehow connected to these Muslim dynasties, and were not in charge of their own states. Shivaji stands alone between them as the only person who created a Hindu state where there was none. He did neither military nor financial backing from either Muslim dynasty; rather, he faced resistance from all sides. He fought consistently for 29 years for this Hindu state, and became beloved of one and all.

Shivaji’s father Shahaji was born in 1602. Shahaji served  Adeelshah and Neezam for most of his life. His loyalty was only towards himself not towards those he served. His agenda was to keep northern Sunni Muslim Mogul dynasty at bay with the cooperation between southern dynasties.

 

Shivaji later on followed the same policy.

Shahaji’s first wife – not his favorite one, due to the falling out between him and his father-in-law Maloji, was Jijabai. Jijabai had six children all together, but only two of them lived to adulthood. The elder one was Sambhaji, and the younger one Shivaji. Jijabai was abandoned by Shahaji for all practical purposes. He lived in southern state of Karnataka while Jijabai was left behind in Maharashtra.

Shahaji sent Dadoji Konddev – one of his trusted servants – to take care of Jijabai and baby Shivaji. He put him in charge of city of Pune and surrounding territories which were under his care at the time. And this is where Shivaji grew up this is where seeds of free Hindu state were sewn.

Certain people and certain incidents from this period are important to understand for enjoyment of this novel.

After destroying Yadav dynasty Malik Kafir tried to take over the valley of Jawali in Maharashtra. Even after fierce fighting he did not win and so he and future Muslim kings adopted a policy of leaving the caretaker of Jwali named Chandrakant More alone. Shivaji recognized the importance of this valley early on and was on friendly terms with More family. When elder More died, Shivaji named his adopted son Krishnarao as a hire, sidestepping his natural son Yashvantrao. Yashvantrao was getting more and more restless.

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