Coronation Day of Shivaji Mahārāj
The Saffron morning of the Rising Sun of Hindavi Swarajya
On the 13th day (Trayodashī) of the first fortnight of the month of 'Jyēshṭha' as per the Hindu calendar, in the year 1596, the coronation ceremony was held to enthrone Punyashlok Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahārāj 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.
A tribute to Chattrapati Shivaji Mahārāj
When Hindustan was burning under barbaric attacks by the Mughals and when Hindus were loyally serving the Muslim 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 Mahārāj established the independent sovereign Hindavi Swaraj by defeating Mughal kings and thus protecting the 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 Mahārāj, 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 Mahārāj created self-confidence amongst Hindus. He made Hindus realize that they had the might of lions but were leading their lives like sheep.
Shivaji Mahārāj visited major shrines in Maharashtra before his coronation. He also performed pūjās for Mahadeva, Bhavani and other Deities. The ceremony was going on from 30th May to 6th June i.e. for a full week. The crowning was being done with the chanting of Holy Vēda-mantrās and sprinkling Holy water from seven rivers and seven seas. People from all castes were allowed to anoint (sprinkle) the king with panchāmrut and Holy waters from different places. While anointing him, they used to say. "You are our crowned king (Chhatrapati Raje), you are our protector. We pray unto you to please look after us like a father." Simultaneously theVēda-mantrās were resounding in the hall.
As Shivaji mounted the throne for the coronation, the priests chanted the Holy verses. Musical instruments began to play and the artillery of all the forts fired salvos of their guns. The main priest held the royal umbrella and hailed him as Shiva Chhatrapati. He was conferred the title of 'Kshatriya Kulavantas Sinhasanadheeshwar Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahārāj' by the priest.
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). All efforts of Shivaji were overflowing with intense patriotism. People also had become aware of it and hence he was welcomed every where in India, be it the South, North, East or West, as 'the protector of Hindus'. Hindus thought him to be a supporter of their cause.
The contemporary history, legends and literature of that time are full of appreciation and respect for him. There were requests pouring in for Shivaji to rescue Hindus from many towns and states of India. When the Marathas tore the green flags of Muslims and hoisted saffron flags, no Hindu had dared to get crowned after the fall of the kingdom of Vijayanagar. This crowning ceremony was a blow to the invincibility of Muslims. Shivaji had the feeling that he was not protecting his own kingdom but was striving for the protection of Dharma.
Rightly did the great Hindi bard Bhushana, who forsook the royal favours of the Mughal court to come over to Shivaji to record his glories, sing :
Shivaji na hote to sunnat hoti sab ki ||
(Had not there been Shivaji, Kashi would have lost its culture,Mathura would have been turned into a mosque and all would have been circumcised.)
To remind the people of this day, Shivaji started a Crowning Era-'Rajyabhishek Shaka'. In the fight for independence and establishing his own kingdom, in every aspect Shivaji Mahārāj did everything possible to promote Hinduism. His assembly of eight ministers was formed based on Hindu ideals. One comes across this concept of eight ministers in the Rāmāyaṇ and the Mahābhārat. King Dashrath too had eight ministers. In the Shānti parva of the Mahābhārat also it has been suggested that an exchange of thoughts of eight ministers is necessary. During the coronation ceremony, Mahārāj changed the Persian names of the ministers to Sanskrut.During the coronation ceremony, Mahārāj changed the Persian names of the ministers to Sanskrut as follows–
|Shuru||navis Panta Sachiv|
|Sadra, Muhatsib||Panditrāv, Danadhyaksha|
The motto Shivaji inscribed on his coin even at the early stage of his endeavours amply reflects the age-old Hindu ideal pulsating in Shivaji's mind.
His seal which read in Sanskrit :
Pratipatchandralekheva vardhishnurvishwavanditaa |
Shaahasoonosshivasyaisha mudraa bhadraaya raajate ||
'This Royal Seal of Shivaji the son of Shahaji, ever increasing in splendour like the moon on the first day of the bright half of the lunar month, shall shed auspicious benevolence and commands the homage of the entire world.'
The successors of Shivaji, the Peshwas had carried the Hindu (saffron) flag right up to Kabul and ultimately crippled the Mughal seat of power, which had remained unchallenged for several centuries never to rise again. They had rightly grasped the life mission of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Swami Vivekananda once remarked in these glowing terms: "Shivaji is one of the greatest national saviours who emancipated our society and our Dharma when they were faced with the threat of total destruction. He was a peerless hero, a pious and God-fearing king and verily a manifestation of all the virtues of a born leader of men described in our ancient scriptures. He also embodied the deathless spirit of our land and stood as the light of hope for our future."
Thus the celebration of the coronation day of Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahārāj carries the spirit of victorious resistance against foreign aggression and presents a glorious vision of national freedom rich with its Hindu content. In today's unstable and perilous times, to get inspiration to win over such a situation, it is necessary for all patriots to celebrate this day with great gusto.
FHA's Appeal to all Hindus to celebrate the day of coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji
- All should get up early and have a Holy bath like Diwali festival; then apply 'kumkum' on the forehead
- Perform 'pūjā' of the picture of Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahārāj, make sweets and offer them as Holy sacrament
- Draw 'rangolīs' outside houses
- Put on saffron turbans for the whole day.
- Fly saffron flags on houses and erect 'Guḍhīs' like 'Guḍhī Padwa'.
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