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Great Indian Leaders

Shivaji Maharaj
By Sanjeev Nayyar, March 2002 []

Chapter :

The article has five parts indicated by serial number 1 to 5.

1. Rise of the Bhosles       
On the occasion of Shivaji (S) Jayanti, May 5, this essay is dedicated to him, Guru Gobind Singh and Rana Pratap. Where ever possible have tried to draw an analogy with current events for e.g. the policy followed by Maharaj Shahu with the Maratha chieftains is similar to what the BJP is pursuing with its allies today. The article was first written in 2003 and updated in 2008. Short forms used are Maratha is Mts, Mughals is M, Shivaji is S, Aurangzib is A, P is Peshwa. 

The Rise of the Bhosles (B)
The Bhosles claim descent from the Sisodia Ranas of Chittor and Udaipur and possibly a branch of the family migrated south after Alauddin Khilji devastated Chitor. The three Maratha families associated with the rise of Shivaji are the Yadavas (Y) of Devagiri (Daulatabad), the Bhosle’s of Verul and Nimbalkars of Phaltan. After being subjugated by Akbar, the Yadavas took service with the Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar. Thanks to an able organiser Malik Ambar, the Nizams stood up to the Mughal onslaught. In Malik’s struggle were associated S’s father Shahji and grandfather Maloji. Three generations of the Bhosle’s family fought against three Mughal emperors ie Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzib.

In 1605, Shahji was married to Jija Bai, daughter of the Yadavas. After crushing the Mughals in 1624, Shahji lost out to Shah Jahan in 1636, was expelled from Maharashtra and had to seek refuge in Bijapur. Subsequently, he spent a lot of time in the regions once ruled by Hindu kings of Vijayanagra, devastated by the Muslims in 1565. During this period, he imbibed the spirit of Hindu independence. Proud of her Kshatriya tradition with clear memories of the splendor of her ancestors & years of suffering, Jijabai developed in Shivaji a spirit of defiance and self assertion. With such parents, it was only natural that their son had to be fired with the spirit of Swaraj.

2. Early Life and Conquests      
Shivaji was born in 1627 in the fort of Shivner (about three hrs drive from Pune). Friends have been to the fort, it is a must visit. Subsequently, Shahji deserted JijaB and married Tukabai who gave birth to Ekoji, who later on the founded the kingdom of Tanjore. Hard pressed by the Mughals, Shahji had to flee leaving wife and son to his trusted agent Dadaji Kondadev. The jagirs entrusted to Dadaji by Shahji were the valleys to the west of Pune roughly from Junnar to Wai. Dadaji taught Shivaji the nuances of administration & the art of creating correct impression amongst people.

Shivaji had a persuasive tongue, was alert, never scared to take risks, could judge people at first sight, held secret negotiations with companions on the liberation of Bharat and put an end to the persecution of Hindus. On the other hand his Mother, Jijabai was angry since the Nizam Shah had openly murdered her father and brothers. Poor administration under Muslim govts and violation of women’s honor etc increased the anger. The mothers thoughts and experiences greatly influenced her son, Shivaji. Under the guidance of Dadaji he converted his small jagir into Swarajya, a well knit unit where law and order prevailed, justice quickly rendered and wealth secure.

Shahji was employed by Adil Shah of Bijapur, used to conquer erstwhile regions of the Hindu Vijayanagar kingdom, pour the wealth from Hindu shrines into Muslim coffers. This upset Shivaji and Jijabai. Meanwhile stories of Shivaji activities reached Bijapur, upset Adil Shah. Summoned to Bijapur, Shivaji revealed uncompressing character who punished the wrongdoers irrespective of the consequences. On his return, Shivaji formed an independent state where Hindus would not be persecuted. While the father could not openly support his son, he helped him by deputing some key officials to Maharashtra.

How was money collected by Shivaji? Seven years of efficient mgmt of the Maval jagir began to bear fruit in the form a substantial income that Shivaji used to maintain an infantry, repair forts and improve administration. With the help of an enthusiast Kanhoji Jedhe, Shivaji acquired possession of the 12 Maval forts, west of Pune; started building a new fort, Raigarh that later became the principal seat of his government.

Shivaji captured important forts around Pune. He had two objects now, to secure the welfare of his people and to have well guarded frontiers that he could hold. He proclaimed his independence by using official papers that ran “This seal of Shiva, son of Shah, shines forth for the welfare of the people and is meant to command increasing respect from the universe like the first phase of the moon.” This happened around 1648.

By taking Shivaji’s father Shahu as prisoner, Adil Shah managed to wrest the Sinhala fort from Shivaji. By defeating a ally of the Shah, Mores of Javli in Mahableshwar range, Shivaji let all know the fate that awaited them if they dared to oppose him. A small compact kingdom comprising of Pune and Satara came into shape. To protect the conquest of Javli, he erected a new fort of Pratapgarh near Mahableshwar. Having seen the fort, I would say that it is must to see. Like Daulatabad, it is tribute to the grey cells of our ancestors.

Next Shivaji captured Kalyan and the Shah’s treasure moving from there to Bijapur. Presented with a Muslim women as a trophy of the war, Shivaji refused and reprimanded his subordinates for thinking wickedly (compare it with Alauddin Khilji’s approach). Having captured North Konkan, he turned South by constructing a series of naval forts at Suvarnadurg, Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg and Kolaba and created a powerful navy with shipbuilding yards and arsenals for trade and defence. (Foresight na, while the Muslims entered India thru Khyber, the Christians came through the sea, he was probably aware of the European threat).

The widowed queen of Adil Shah vowed to crush Shivaji and deputed an intrepid soldier Afzal Khan. Leaving Bijapur in 1659, A Khan came down heavily on Shivaji’s territories destroying what ever came his way. Unable to take A Khan head-on, Shivaji moved into Pratapgarh. After several round of discussions, A Khan agreed to meet Shivaji below the fort in a specially erected tent. A Khan possessed a powerful body and was confident of overcoming the slim Maratha. Shivaji took all precautions by wearing chains under his vest, a metal cap over his skull, a long white coat covering a daggar in one hand and claws in another. As A Khan sought to embrace him and stab Shivaji with a daggar, he used the claws to rip A Khan’s bowels. Subsequently, the Marathas took on A Khan’s armies and sent them packing.

Quoting from Chanakya’s Arthashastra “ A king shall have his agents in the courts of the enemy, the ally, the Middle and the Neutral kings to spy on the Kings as well as their high officials. (1.12.20). Miraculous results can be achieved by practicing the methods of subversion (13.1.21). It is better to adopt such policies as would enable one to survive and live to fight another day. ( 7.15.13-20,12.1.1-9 ). The last verse was ably followed by Shri Bhutto in 1972 when he conned Indira Gandhi into signing the Simla Agreement. Fought back have they not! What on earth is the low intensity war all about?

Now compare this with Shri Vajpayee’s Lahore yatra. Caught in by the hype over the India – Pak bhai bhai, perhaps with some subtle hints to the army, he goaded them to let their guard down. Does anybody at all, least of all a PM, expect a country whose reason for existence is hatred for Bharat, fought three wars, is out to balkhanise our country, going to be taken in by his visit. What Chanakya would have done is to propose friendship but kept the armed forces on alert. Look at Shivaji. In view of A Khan’s animosity towards him, being on weak wicket, he agreed to meet him, a la Lahore, embraced A Khan but was alert and prepared for any eventuality.

3. Clash with the Mughals       
Shayista Khan was nominated by Aurangzib to crush Shivaji. Unable to take the full might of the Mughal empire, for nearly three years, Shivaji became a homeless wanderer. When in adversity, ingenuity saves you. With the help of secret agents, Shivaji obtained minute details of the Khan’s camp and arranged a surprise attack at night. With about fifty followers, he entered the Khan’s harem on the evening of April 15, 1663. After midnight, Shivaji and his men attacked the inmates and hacked people indiscriminately. In the confusion, Khan escaped loosing his forefinger. This incident proved eminently successful for Shivaji. Khan was transferred to Bengal and the danger was averted.

In 1664, S ransacked Surat to collect money for his war efforts. The plunder must have been app Rs 1 cr. S took care not to inflict any wanton cruelty innocent habitants. Hearing that the Mughal armies were coming, Shivaji returned with as much booty as he could carry and took it straight to Raigarh Fort to be spent in fortifying it. Shivaji sacking of Surat was the severest blow to Aurangzib and a direct affront to his power/prestige.

S submits to Jay Singh. Aurangzeb placed his new expedition under Jay Singh (JS) who arrived in Pune in March 1665. Shivaji was busy fighting Bijapur, therafter led a huge naval expedition to the Malabar coast. While offering devotions to the deity of Gokaran in Karwar he learnt of the attack by JS. Unable to bear the brunt of JS’s attack, Shivaji sued for peace and signed a treaty on June 12 surrendering the important forts and agreed to serve the emperor loyally and cooperate in J Singh’s war against Bijapur.

The above paras indicate that Shivaji was a student of Chanakya. He made able use of spies to overcome his enemies. When pushed into a corner, he was practical enough to sue for peace and live to fight for another day. It also indicates the absence of an overriding Ego.

Having advised Shivaji to visit Agra, J Singh convinced Aurangzeb on the futility of fighting Shivaji and suggested that he be made an ally. Undecided to go or not to go, Shivaji thought that a visit would enable him to obtain a first hand impression about the inherent strength of the empire and make it feasible for him to carry out his dream of a Hindu padshahi. Shivaji left for Agra on 5/3/1666.

Having reached Agra, Shivaji made his way to the Durbar. After paying his respects to Aurangzib, Shivaji was asked to stand in the third row of the nobles. Upset, Shivaji complained of a breach of the terms of the agreement upon. Shivaji left his place and moved to a corner, vehemently protesting and created a scene unprecedented in the court. Aurangzib asked the Durbar to be closed and asked Shivaji to be taken away after which a strict guard was kept on Shivaji. It was decided to shift Shivaji to a new residence. For nearly three months, he remained captive. On 19/8/ he and his son squeezed themselves in two separate baskets of sweetmeats and were carried away.

He surfaced on 12/9/ at Raigarh. It was the most thrilling exploit of all his wonderful deeds which added a halo to his personality, made him an all India figure. Shivaji spent the next year or two reorganizing his resources. The new Mughal governor Muazzam adopted a policy of conciliation. Aurangzeb conferred the title of Raja on Shivaji and his son Shambuji was sent to the Mughal camp at Aurangabad. Golconda and Bijapur too made peace with Shivaji by paying him annual chauth. Thus, Shivaji was accepted as the ruler of Maharashtra.

4. Fanatism + Karnataka       
A Fresh Wave of Fanatism: Shivaji was quiet for the next two years. In April 1669, A issued orders to destroy the sacred temples of Mathura and Kashi and construct mosques in their place. All Hindu ceremonies and fairs were banned. Upset with Aurangzib’s actions, Shivaji took revenge by plundering a number of towns under Mughal control. He plundered Surat for three days in 1670. This continued for three years. In 1671, Shivaji fought a war with the Mughal for the conquest of Saler on the Gujarat/ MP. Border. Shivaji captured the fort in 1671, his PM, Moropant Pingle earned a unique name for valor. A renewed war with Bijapur put Shivaji under strain but what it brought out was the true Maratha character – a spirit of sacrifice and cooperation, a sense of national unity which made Maratha’s a respected name throughout India. This was Shivaji’s greatest achievement. I have often wondered who inspired Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Veer Savarkar. Was it Shivaji? 

The Coronation happened in 1674. He appointed eight ministers. Shivaji appears to have borrowed his departmental division from ancient Hindu scriptures. Shivaji was an autocrat and allowed no independent powers to his ministers.

The Last venture Karnatak. With all the splendor assumed by Shivaji, his actual domain was hardly more than 200 hundred square miles in length and even less in breadth. The Siddis of Janjira and the Portuguese were his constant enemies. While the North was under Maratha rule, the South remained free for his ambition. The south was loosely held by the states of Bijapur and Golconda. With the death of the kings of these two states around 1672, confusion prevailed. In Golconda, two Hindu ministers managed the administration ably and made common cause with S for the uplift and regeneration of the Hindu empire. Unfortunately, Shivaji’s brother, the ruler of Tanjore, Ekoji was against him and collaborated with the Muslims against S. His PM Raghunath Pant’s disagreed with him and resigned to join hands with Shivaji. Shivaji left Raigarh in 1677, having already dispatched strong parties to subjugate Muslim chiefs who were against his scheme of bringing South India under Hindu rule. An agreement was reached with the Sultan of Haidarbad for jointly resisting Mughal advances. He went to Gingee and captured Vellore after a years effort. On his return to Raigarh, Shivaji seized most of Ejoki’s possessions in the Mysore plateau. Ekojis wife brought reconciliation between the two brothers.

The biggest benefit of the Karnataka conquest was that when Aurangzeb invaded the Maratha lands, Shivaji’s son, Rajaram found a hospitable area in Gingee and the Mughal threat was warded off. In 1679, Aurangzeb reimposed Jaziya on all Hindus inviting the ire of Rajputs and Shivaji. Unfortunately, Shivaji did not live long enough to fight Aurangzeb. He passed away around April 4, 1680 from an attack of fever.

5. Bottom Line + Rajaram      
Bottom line, Shivaji set an eg of inate Hindu capacity and left a name which would continue to fire the spirit of man and shine forth as ideal for ages yet unborn. Quote from J.N. Sarkar’s book House of Shivaji. Did Shivaji aim for a Hindu empire ? Shivaji realized that religious freedom cannot be obtained without political control. Subsequent to his visit to Agra, he was convinced about the hollowness of the empire and thereafter exerted himself to bring India under Hindu control. If he had lived longer he might have just deposed Aurangzeb, a fact emphasized by his son Shambhuji in a letter to Ram Singh. This kingdom belongs to the Gods and the Hindus. Mahaji Sindia felt he had achieved some of the glory when he captured Delhi in 1784. Having said that Shivaji never hated Muslims. A number of them were his trusted aides. Shivaji’s heroics inspired Guru Gobind Singh to create a national awakening in Punjab.

Shivaji’s administrative measures were a marvel of that time. He prohibited the granting of land in lieu of military service. Unlike the Marathas’s Shivaji created innovation in every branch of administration. Shivaji spent heavily on repairs of forts. Many western authors treat Shivaji as a plunderer, rebel. When a person is trying to free his country of foreign domination he is bound to be rebel till he wins. Shivaji plundered but never harassed innocents unlike the Mughals. Shivaji’s plunder was more in the nature of a modern levy. The French envoy, German who visited Shivaji near Tanjore in said “ The camp of Shivaji was without women, pomp, no baggage’s , just two tents”. Aurangzeb wrote on Shivaji “He was great captain and the only one who had the magnanimity to raise a new kingdom while I have been endeavoring to destroy the ancient sovergeinities of India. My armies have been employed against him for nearly 19 yrs and yet his State keeps increasing”.

According to J Sarkar, “ Shivaji called the Maratha race to a new life. He raised them into an independent self reliant people conscious of their oneness and high destiny and his precious legacy was the spirit that he breathed into the race. Shivaji has shown that the tree of Hinduism is not dead and that can rise from beneath the seemingly crushing load of centuries of political bondage.”

How did Shivaji compare with Maharaj Ranjit Singh of Punjab. While Shivaji’s legacy survived nearly hundred yrs after he died, Punjab came under British rule within a decade of Ranjit Singh’s (RS) death. RS never crossed swords with the British because he knew it was a battle he could not win. Although he defeated the Afghans, unified Punjab and the hill states of the north, he never took on his biggest adversary the British. RS lacked Shivaji’s moral character. “He passed from war to wine and from learning to hunting with breathless rapidity.” The absence of any organized system of administration did not provide stability to the new kingdom unlike the Asht-pradhans instituted by Shivaji.  If RS had joined hands with the Marathas, the history of Bharat might well have been different. What India needs in Kashmir is a combination of the Maratha and Sikh regiments. If given a free hand, I am sure that the Pakis and Afghans will be history.

Aurangzeb failed to gauge the real strength of the Marathas (Does India continue to underestimate the firing power of its neighbors). He allowed Shivaji to grow, did not capitalize on the times when he had an upper hand, allowed him to escape from Agra etc. After the death of Shambuji, in the absence of a Central Maratha authority, local Maratha chieftains like Dhana Jadhav and Santaji Ghorpade inflicted heavy losses on the Mughals by their guerilla tactics. While Aurangzeb captured the Deccan it was not possible to man every nook and corner of the country allowing the Marathas to have a field day.

Shivaji’s son Shambuji was interested in the good things in life, was captured by the Marathas’s in 1689 and put to death in the same year while his son Shahu was taken prisoner. Shivaji’s other son, Rajaram became king then. Unable to stand the Mughal onslaught, he fled to Gingee referred to above. The fort was captured by the Marathas’s in 1698 but Rajaram fled to Vellore and then to Vishalgarh eventually making Satara as the seat of the King. Rajaram’s flight to Gingee gives one more evidence of the great political foresight of Shivaji. By establishing a long list of fortified possessions from Konkan to Tanjore via Bangalore, Vellore he formed a new line of defence to be utilized if the need arose.

Rajarams’s reign was an eventful one paving the way for the future greatness of the Marathas. Credit goes to his wise councilors and brave generals. A significant change in military administration by him was the system of granting lands to the military commanders in lieu of cash as followed by Shivaji. This single change was greatly responsible for the expansion and the fall of the Maratha empire. Rajaram died in 1700 to be succeeded by his 4 yr old son Shivaji III whose mother was Tarabai. A capable administrator, she inspired valor amongst her followers, guided military operations moving to different forts.

And so ended the reign of Shivaji and Rajaram. Shivaji laid the foundations for the Maratha empire and the Peshwas capitalized on his efforts.

Reference book – The History and Culture of the Indian People published by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan

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[4] Comment(s) Posted
  1. Comment By - sanjeev nayyar Date - 09 Oct 2015 Time - 5:03AM
  2. Mangesh re read article. Mentioned Shivaji Maharaj year of birth as 1627. Per Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan book he was born on 6th April 1927. In Maharashtra his birthday is celebrated based on the Hindu and Christian calendars. It was always celebrated by Hindu calendar but Congress NCP changed that sometime in the last 10 years. Let me know.

  3. Comment By - mangesh pralhad jadhav Date - 07 Oct 2015 Time - 8:41AM
  4. It`s my kind request that check the Chtrapati shivaji maharaj`s birth date and correct it

  5. Comment By - Jaskamal Singh Saimbi Date - 28 Nov 2011 Time - 11:17PM
  6. Character of Maharaja Ranjit Singh: By K. K. Khullar During my visit to Pakistan in 1983 I was pleasantly surprised to find that the people there regarded Ranjit Singh as "their" king in whose reign Punjab regained its lost glory. The guide at Lahore Fort described Ranjit Singh as the bravest and the most benevolent king of the 19th century. He said that the Punjab peasantry still remembered the king in whose rule the strong were just and the weak secure. A book entitled "The Real Ranjit Singh" by a Pakistani historian, Syed Fakeer Waheeduddin, the great grandson of Fakeer Azizuddin, Maharaja`s Foreign Minister, brings out the secular character of the Maharaja giving very intimate facts based on family records and archives. According to the book the Maharaja is fondly remembered by one and all, not only by people who once lived there but also by those who still reside there. Even during his conquests he was regarded more as a liberator than a conqueror as at Peshawar, Multan or Kashmir. Wherever the soldiers of Ranjit Singh went they were treated as friends, not foes. Maharaja`s standing orders to his armies were that during their movement, no religious place, no religious book, no place of learning, no standing crop was to be destroyed and no woman dishonoured. Capital punishment was abolished. "Never was so large an empire built with so little criminality", says Princep. The Maharaja is not known to have taken anybody`s life although his own life was attempted at more than once. His special care for the `Kisan` (farmer) and the `Jawan` (soldier) made Punjab a very livable place. The result was that people from Delhi, UP and Rajasthan came and settled in Punjab. George Keene, a very keen observer of the Punjab scene, states: "In hundreds and in thousands the orderly crowds stream on. Not a bough is broken of a wayside tree, not a rude remark to a woman". Writing sixty years after the Maharaja`s death, Griffin said: " His name is a household word in the province. His portrait is preserved in the castle and in the cottage alike." Jacquemont, the French botanist who came from Paris to Punjab in search of roses and who met the Maharaja, said, "His conversation is a nightmare. He passes from one subject to another with the speed of a tornado. He remembers by heart the names of all the villages of his empire, the village heads, the cash crops, the flora and the fauna." He was a modern mind unfettered by nationalities, religion and faiths, an internationalist who looked much beyond his frontiers. The French visitor called Ranjit Singh "the first inquisitive Indian" who completely identified himself with the joys and sorrows of his people. Magnanimous to the fallen foe and generous to the injured and the insulted, Ranjit Singh was the last Indian king in whose reign the common man felt real freedom. The repartee and the freedom of speech that existed in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh could be the envy of any parliamentary forum. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was one of those rare rulers who remained humane even on the battlefield. He possessed an informal yet a disciplined mind, with a hilarious yet an equable temperament, humorous yet not given to levity. A man of unusual presence of mind and exceptional balance, he could surprise even the wittiest Westerner. When Dr. Joseph Wolffe asked the Punjab ruler what was the easiest way to reach God, the shrewd king replied: "By immediately concluding an alliance with the East India Company!" His retorts were gentle, his humour pungent. A son of the soil, his humour was an integral part of the Punjabi character. Like all Punjabis he loved the banter and burlesque, yet suffered no fools. When his Muslim wife formerly a courtesan, asked him where he was when the God Almighty was distributing beauty, the Maharaja twinkled his only eye and said: "I had gone in search of a kingdom." And what a great kingdom he established. During his 40-year rule there was not a single communal riot in his kingdom, no forced conversion, no second-class citizenry, no disrespect to a shrine or a mosque. On the other hand he donated several mounds of gold for the Vishwanath Temple at Benares and Saraswati Mandir at Kurukshetra. He gave liberal grants to mosques and the Madarsas (Muslim schools). He was a far-sighted man who made many Punjabis learn English. He established the first printing press in Gurmukhi (Punjabi language script) at Lahore. He respected talent and asked the Punjabi traders to go abroad and trade with other nations. He thus freed Punjab from the slavery of eight centuries, brought peace and prosperity to the land of five rivers. The ravaged fields smiled once again, Punjab once again became the cherished "golden sparrow". Maharaja Ranjit Singh had a tender heart. He released the young cub, which he had caged with care. Asked why he said: "The lioness, the cub`s mother, had been crying and wailing throughout the night. I could not bear the cries of a mother." Nobody could shoot a sailing swan or hurt a singing nightingale. With the onset of Monsoon he would order a 102-gun salute to the rising moon. No king anywhere had done it before or ever since. The Indian Prince of Hyderabad, the Nizam, extended his hand of friendship to him and sent enormous gifts. The Kings of Nepal, Burma, the Czar of Russia and the Emperor of France wanted their embassies to be established at Lahore. When Fakeer Azizuddin, Maharaja`s emissary, was asked by Lord Auckland at Simla which of the Maharaja`s eyes was missing", he replied: "The Maharaja is like the Sun. Sun has only one eye. The splendour and the luminosity of his single eye is so much that I have never dared to look at the other eye!" Lord Auckland was so pleased with the reply that he gave his wristwatch to Maharaja`s emissary as a present. No wonder that when he fell seriously ill in the summer of 1839 there were continuous prayers, non-stop recitations in the temples, the mosques and the Gurudwaras for the recovery of their own `Badshah` (King). On 27th June, 1839, he breathed his last. He died 159 years ago. But he is still the ruler of the mind of Punjab, nay the whole of India. The author, a historian, is a freelance writer. Source: India Perspective

  7. Comment By - Ravneet Singh Date - 30 Mar 2010 Time - 10:23AM
  8. "Having said that Shivaji never hated Muslims. A number of them were his trusted aides. Shivaji’s heroics inspired Guru Gobind Singh to create a national awakening in Punjab. " Although I wouldn`t deny the great character and achievements of Shivaji Maharaj, still I would say that Guru Gobind Singh Ji wasn`t inspired by Shivaji Maharaj for an awakening in Punjab. Sikh Gurus had been fighting for justice and against some tyrant mughal rulers who oppressed the Hindus, and used force on them to make them convert to islam. Right from Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first Guru of the Sikhs, he openly criticised Babur (the first mughal ruler in India) and was even arrested for that, but Guru Nanak Dev Ji didn`t give in to the force. Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred by the Mughal emperor Jehangir. here are some excerpts from wiki: Many reasons have been given for this tragedy. It is stated that Jahangir was annoyed because Guru Arjan Dev ji gave his blessings to his rebel son, Prince Khusrau Mirza. There are also some Mughal accounts which state that Guru Arjan Dev ji blessed the rebel son of emperor Jahangir which prompted the emperor to take action against him.[6] But the memoirs of Jahangir make it clear that he in fact was looking for an excuse to, in his own words to bring him into the assembly of the people of Islam. The 9th Guru Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji also gave his martyrdom to protect the Indian hindus from oppression of Aurangzeb. here are some excerpts from wiki: The Delhi Emperor, Aurangzeb cherished the ambition of converting India into a land of Islam. This philosophy was also pleaded by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (1569–1624), leader of the Naqashbandi School, to counter the liberal policies of Akbar`s reign. The Emperor`s experiment was first carried out in Kashmir. The viceroy of Kashmir, Iftikar Khan (1671–1675) carried out the policy vigorously and set about converting non-Muslims by force[citation needed]. A group of Kashmiri Pandits (Kashmiri Hindu Brahmins) approached Guru Tegh Bahadur and asked for help. They, on the advice of the Guru, told the Mughal authorities that they would willingly embrace Islam if Guru Tegh Bahadur, did the same[citation needed]. Orders of the arrest of the Guru were issued by Aurangzeb, who was in present day North West Frontier Province of Pakistan subduing Pushtun rebellion. The Guru was arrested at a place called Malikhpur near Anandpur after he had departed from Anandpur for Delhi. Before departing he nominated his son, Gobind Rai (Guru Gobind Singh) as the next Sikh Guru. He was arrested, along with some of his followers, Bhai Dayala, Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das by Nur Muhammad Khan of the Rupnagar police post at the village Malikhpur Rangharan, in Ghanaula Parganah, and sent to Sirhind the following day. The Faujdar (Governor) of Sirhind, Dilawar Khan, ordered him to be detained in Bassi Pathana and reported the news to Delhi. His arrest was made in July 1675 and he was kept in custody for over three months. He was then cast in an iron cage and taken to Delhi in November 1675. The Guru was put in chains and ordered to be tortured until he would accept Islam. When he could not be persuaded to abandon his faith to save himself from persecution, he was asked to perform some miracles to prove his divinity. On his refusal, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in public at Chandni Chowk on 11 November 1675. Guru Ji is also known as "Hind Di Chadar" ie to save Hinduism, Guru Ji gave his life Guru Gobind Singh ji, the 10th guru of the Sikhs and the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, is known to have asked his father to help the Kashmiri Pandits from the oppressions of Aurangzeb. For justice and to protect the weak from the tyrant Mughal ruler, he fought against his oppression his whole life, and awakened the Sikhs in the creating the Khalsa panth to rise against oppression and tyranny. He is known as "sarbans daani" which means he donated everything he had for the sake of justice and freedom of the people, his whole family and even himself. It is interesting to note that Shivaji considered Samrath Ram Das Ji as his spiritual Guru, and Samrath Ram Das Ji was very much influenced by the teachings of Guru Nanak, and even met Guru Hargobind Ji (6th Guru of the SIkhs) in Kashmir, and exchanged views with him. Historically, Samrath Ram Das Ji was surprised to see Guru Har Gobind Ji with swords even when he was a successor of the same religion started by Guru Nanak Dev ji, who is considered as a symbol of peace. But Guru Hargobind Ji explained everything in detail to him, and Samrath Ramdas ji was satisfied. Samrath Ram Das ji was the Guru of Shivaji, and here Guru Hargobind Ji was succeeded (after two more gurus) by his son Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and further by grandson Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

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