The people of that time believed that the work undertaken by "Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj" was their own work. They identified themselves with his mission. There are innumerable instances, which shows this.

Siddi Johar and Fazal Khan, with a huge army & armory,

had laid siege to the Fort Panhala. The noose was not loosened even a bit after months. Netaji Palkar, with the help of Siddi Hilal attempted to break the siege. The attempt was frustrated. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's General, Chief of army, had to retreat, badly beaten.

Chatrapati's loyal Siddi Hilal, who had tried to save his son, had fallen into the enemy's hands. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj trapped in the siege, could not find a way out.

A plan was hatched to use the smallest of a chink in the siege escape away to the Fort Vishalgad.

As part of this plan, a duplicate or dummy Shivaji Maharaj was made ready. This dummy Shivaji Maharaj sat in a palanquin & fell into the enemy's hands. Before he was identified, Siddi Johar had no clue that Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj already escaped.
This dummy Shivaji Maharaj was a poor barber called Shiva. Shiva barber very well knew what his fate would be. He was sure that he would be captured. He knew beyond doubt that he would be killed. Yet he took Shivaji Maharaj place; & as expected, he was captured & killed.
Shiva barber embraced his death with his open eyes, not with a hope of earning a reward, becoming a landlord. He firmly believed that die he might; Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj must live. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's cause was his own cause. It was the people's cause.
Shiva barber was convinced of this. And Shiva barber was not alone in this in such conviction.

History has recorded numerous such instances, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had to concede defeat against Mirza Raje Jai Singh,a satrap loyal to Aurangzeb. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
had gone to Agra to present himself in Aurangzeb's court after having accepted humiliating terms of truce dictated by Mirza Raje Jai Singh.
Aurangzeb put Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj into prison. No way out of Agra confinement could be seen. Once again he thought of a clever
trick & escaped. Two persons remained behind. One lay in bed disguised as Shivaji Maharaj. The other sat massaging his feet. The plot was designed in such a way that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would get enough time to get away as far as possible before the act of his
disappearance came to light.

Who were those who chose to remain behind, to face certain death? They were Madari Mehtar (a Muslim) & Hiroji Farjand. It was more than certain that the plot would be revealed,sooner or later. Were Madari and Hiroji not aware that they would be
arrested & killed ruthlessly? Of course, they were; yet, why, were they prepared to embrace death? Once again, the same answer. The task undertaken by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was invaluable. It had to be successfully completed; it had to be sustained. Whatever

offerings were required, had to be given.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj performed miracle, a miracle which made his followers believe that his life was more important than theirs. They might die for his life. Other kings could not perform this miracle. Of course, it was not

that there were not many who fought for those kings. Sure, many died fighting for those kings. But they died to earn wealth or fieldom or both. There was not a sacrifice for a noble cause.

Not only warriors participated in Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's mission.

More importantly, the common people, peasants, did their bit for a greater cause. When the people participate in a cause, that cause is certain to succeed. It succeeds because it no more remains the cause of a king alone. It becomes the common cause of all.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj tolerance for Muslim religion is recorded in many ways in historical documents;A passage,taken from the Muslim historian Khafi Khan,is very eloquent in this subject
"Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had made a strict rule that wherever his soldier went
they were not to harm mosques,the Quran or women. If he found a volume of Quran,he would show respect to it & hand over to his Muslim servant. If any helpless Hindu or Muslim found,Shivaji Maharaj personally look after them until their relatives came to take them"
Panditrao quotes one such command by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his letter dated 2nd November 1669.
It is very clear in his respect.
"Shrimant Maharaj (has ordained) that everybody is free to follow his religion,nobody is allowed to disturb it."
Those who r using
Maharaj in order to obtain people's consent will have to answer for this historical truth. If there are any buyers for their hatred for Islam they should sell it on their own merit. They should not sell their commodity in Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj name.
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