Tales of Shivaji Maharaj

Sajjangad - Ram Das Temple, Satara (India)

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Conversation at Swami Ramdas Temple, Satara (India), 30 December 1982.

In the music score, I must say the Western people have done so much better. What about the Indians? When are they going to take to music? I mean, there is no progress as far as music is concerned. We have great musicians in this Sahaja Yoga group like Mrs. Venugopalan and all that, but somehow or other, I find that the music is not coming up. What’s the reason?

In Maharashtra, of course, we’ve so many people who can do something about it. They haven’t done anything. Better get these things translated. You can’t sing that fast in, I don’t think in Indian way. Beautiful, fantastic, is the word, I tell you. So now, we are ready for the war, is it?

You play that very well eh? [Aside comments] Where should I keep it safe? [inaudible……] 

Is everything safe? All these stones, are these stones [unclear]. If you could ever do that, is to go to a place called Bhilwara. There you find huge big marble stones. I feel this is not real marble. This is something like marble, but not real marble. But real marble, worked out in one big stone, the whole thing worked out like that and very beautiful. This is only one of them, you can see. But this is not real marble. Marble is on the sides. Sides are marble. All is marble, here down below. But all this is a kind of a stone which is being carved out.

Now these, if you see, these are the, all these are eight, they’re called as digpalaks, means they look after all the directions. All the directions are there. These are put in the directions. And then these are nine grahas. See, grahas are the stars, see, nine stars which are protecting here, all of them. This is the Sun with so many horses. You see, that’s the one Sun and the rest are there. All of them. You saw the eclipse? No. That’s good. The moon was under eclipse, you see, when we were coming. And I gave, was giving it a bandhan. When the eclipse was over then only, we reached here, thank God. And you didn’t see it. I’m very happy. The moon you saw was, must have been the moon, which was full. It was.

Sahaja Yogis: Yes, yes.

Shri Mataji: Good.

Sahaja Yogis: It was very full. Yes.

Shri Mataji: But in the beginning, we did see it. All right.

So now, there are matrikas [models?] outside, you can see. And this side is the right side, is all Brahmadeva, Agni, and all these Devtas [deities] on this side. Outside they are carved and this side, there are ganas and Ganapatis on this side. And in front, is Shri Hanuman, like that. It’s a beautifully done thing, I must say. Typically, Indian, and this is the statue of here if you see, on the right hand side, is Shri Ram Das Swami, the one who was the Guru of our great king Shivaji Maharaj, you see. And Shri Rama, they used to respect him because he was the ideal king, you see, and Ganesha here, and Hanuman standing.

Sahaja Yogi: It’s a very beautiful thing.

Shri Mataji: It’s a very beautiful place. And now they have made some place for us for sitting down.

He worshipped from his childhood, and because Hanuman is an angel, you know that, and he doesn’t marry. But he was forced to marry. So, when he was getting married only, he ran away from that place. Because when they said, “Sawadhaan, Sawadhaan,” means now after marriage they say, “All right, be careful, be careful.” Just before the marriage took place, he just ran away from there, without getting married because he cannot be married. He told them, they would not listen and he couldn’t bear it anymore, so ran away.

Then he went and he came back again when, in the time of Shivaji and then Shivaji became his disciple. But he took some tests of his disciples. I do not take any tests but he took some tests.

First of all, he said, “I’m very, very sick and I’ve got a very big wound in my foot and it has become an ulcer now. It’s all full of pus and full of all blood and pus and all that, and only a, my disciple can only suck it out. Otherwise nobody can suck it out”. So, all his disciples got a fright of their lives. They said, “How can we do that? It’s too much!” But Shivaji said, “All right”. Shivaji came and took out his crown and he just sat down, sucking his wound. And it was nothing but he had tied a big mango and he was just …. (laughter).

But then he told Shivaji and others that they, said that, “I’m very sick now. You must get me the milk of the tigress. You must go and get.” Those days there were lots of tigers and tigresses here, but not nowadays. So, he said, “You must go and get the milk of the tigress for me.” They all thought, how they can go and milk the tigress? It’s very difficult. Shivaji said, “All right, I’ll go down.” He went in the village and then we went to the forest. And there he saw a tigress. He went and told the tigress, he just bowed before the tigress and said, “See, I don’t want to disturb you but my Guru wants your milk. So, you please allow me to take your milk?” And the tigress came and stood before him and he milked the tigress and took the milk to his Guru and gave it to him.

So, the Guru, so people asked him, “How did you manage? How could you do that?” He said, “Don’t you know what our Guru is? He is the Hanuman himself. He is God himself. What is there? I just went and told and tigress knew about him. She just said, ‘All right, if your Guru wants it.’ How can she trouble me? If you have to do anything for your Guru, whatever you have to do for your Guru with full faith and understanding about the Guru, then of course the animals understands. Then why not human being?” So, he said, “I can’t understand why you are very afraid of it? It’s nothing much.” And that is what it is. But in those days, all the Gurus used to take such parikshas (tests – ed.), but when ultimately you see after his all training, the king who was Shivaji, was crowned.

After crowning, one day this Ram Das Swami went to his house and wherever he went he used to ask for some alms. Only from one house he used to get and he used to go and just knock his, he had something he used to carry with him that he used to knock and he used to say that, “Jai Jai Raghuveer Samarth”. He used to say like that. He went and said that.

His disciple was the King there and he understood that, his disciple understood that, “My Guru has come. I have to give something as a dakshina. What can I give him?” So, he wrote a letter that, “All my kingdom is yours. I give everything to you, Sir. I own nothing.” And he sent that letter to him. So, when the letter came into his dish, in which he was asking for alms, he opened it and read it and he laughed and he called his disciple. He said, “You see, I’m a Sanyasi (one who has renounced worldly goods.). So, you can’t give me anything. What will I do with a kingdom? I don’t know how to run the kingdom. But you have to run the kingdom. But you must now, as you have given it to a Sanyasi, do it with a detached mind.” Whole thing should be done with the detached mind of a Sanyasi and for that you must use this, my – he used to cover himself with a loincloth, with a double type of loincloth, which you’ve seen how little loincloth he was wearing. This should be used as the flag to show that just a loincloth of a Sanyasi is the flag of Marathas. And that’s how this orange-coloured flag was hoisted as the flag of Shivaji and now it is used politically also by some people. That’s a wrong thing to do. But this is the flag, which you must have seen in My, all My, most of My processions, they use it, is the flag which was taken by this King Shivaji Maharaj as his own flag to announce that he is doing this, he is running this kingdom with the detached mind of a Sanyasi.

So, there are many stories about them, lots of stories about Ram Das and his disciple, this king, and how he used to tell him how to run his administration. And Shivaji was the ideal king that we had in this country. Ideal king. A very good character, a very dharmic fellow and a very nice person. And because he wanted four people, four kingdoms to join together, they said that, “If you marry our daughters, only we’ll accept you.” So, he had to marry four women. He married them, and looked after them very well. And he was a very good character and a very nice person and a very good king and he is such a great source of inspiration to Maharashtrians, and he used to worship all these Gods and Rama specially, and when you will go to Tuljapur also you will see how he used to come by his horse all the way from miles together to visit this Devi’s temple.

There is another temple formed by the same Shri Ram Das who found a statue of the Goddess and he calls it Angla Devi [or Anglaidevi]. See now Angla in Sanskrit means English. Can you imagine? Something surprising, isn’t it? And he called it Angla Devi. He put that statue in a temple there and he has called it Angla Gaon [gaon means village]. Angla in Sanskrit means English, you see. Angla. It’s very surprising, isn’t it? So, I think, at least the English Sahaja Yogis must go and see. Already he must have thought of an English goddess, you see, from London. When they do my puja, sometimes they call me Londonpur Vasini (One who resides in London – ed.).

(some portion of speech is missing here)

Shri Mataji : No end to it.

Sahaja Yogi: Can you tell us about his mother?

Shri Mataji: No end to that, either. He was a very obedient son, very obedient son. And his mother had given him a sword which was called, she said that this is given to him by Bhawani. The Goddess Herself has given you this,” and he always used to carry it with him. But then, when the English came here, they took away that one and now it is lost. They don’t know. It was said that they’re willing to give it back. I don’t know what happened. And then people went down there and I think they, it’s a funny thing you see, they don’t realize the value of that. It’s still lost there, but with vibrations, one can find out. But I don’t think they realize the value to us of that sword that’s called as Bhawani Talwar. The Chief Minister from Bombay had gone – he was himself a Muslim – to ask for that and he was denied. I don’t know English people, when will they understand the subtleties of life? I hope sometime to convince them.

His mother was that. She was a very clever woman, and his father was Shahji Rao. Actually, her mothers’ family was Jadhav (a Maratha clan – ed.) and my mother’s family, also same. They come from same family. My mother’s family and Shivaji’s mother’s family is the same family, and they, it so happened that she found out in Shivaji’s childhood that the husband is quite subservient to the Muslim kings, you see. And the Muslim kings are just over-powering everyone here. And then Aurangzeb came in, too. Aurangzeb was one of the worst of all. I think Khomeini must be Aurangzeb. He used to kill at least in one year. So, he was a very thin man, you know, a right-sided, horrible, absolutely thin person. And he used to kill Brahmins or Hindus who would wear this thread. We wear that thread for the [inaudible…] Even the Kshtriayas also wear that and the weight of those threads had to be as much as that of Aurangzeb’s body. He was like that – horrible – this Aurangzeb. And this lady then decided that he, Shahji Rao, was at Golconda and all those places in the south. He was, he was the sort of, you can say, subservient to the Muslim kings. So, she decided to elope with her son Shivaji in the night and she put her son on the horse and with few of her people from her own family, Jadhav family, she eloped. But he tried to follow and capture her but she somehow or other escaped and then she came and stayed in one of the forts.

Now you’ll go and see tomorrow another fort where there is the Samadhi, means the tomb of Shri Ram. That you should see. I think you’ll be happy to see that Sajangarh, is on the fort. You have to go. I think you have to walk at the most for a furlong or so but most of you can go by your buses. And then she came there and there was she found a Guru for her son – Radha Pundir – and made Shivaji learn from him about Sanskrit and everything and about how to run a country with valour, honesty, upright way, I mean, in a virtuous and in a righteous way. And then she told him that, “We have to fight the Muslims and the Mughals.” And the Mughals were very powerful, very powerful and extremely cruel. So, the only way was to do a hide and seek game, called as Gameenivika, we call it, guerrilla warfare. So, in these hills and rocks, she collected her own people who were ordinary villagers. She called them Mawade. These are the people whom she collected and made an army for Shivaji, and that’s how Shivaji started fighting and looting these people and harassing them in these mountains. Where you are moving is all Shivaji’s kingdom, and all these are Shivaji’s forts. So, Aurangzeb called him the rat of the mountains because he could never catch him and at every place, he tried to oust the Muslims from here. Ultimately, they had to give in also because Aurangzeb’s sons, four sons he had, they only fought their own father and perhaps he was killed, God knows what happened. But his tomb is in Aurangabad, just down south, you see. He was here. He was very busy with Shivaji, fighting him, and ultimately, he died and he has got a tomb there, this Aurangzeb.

Now this Shivaji fought in different ways. There are different stories about him, how he fought. When you went to Poona, I don’t, if you saw that Shaniwarvada, I didn’t know whether you had time to go and see that place Shaniwarvada. It is the same place where, in the center of Poona, where Shivaji used to live. But he had gone onto a fort when they, there was one fellow called Sahistyakar, who was in the court of this Aurangzeb, who said that, “I will catch Shivaji and bring him down.” And he came and settled down himself in his big house, which was called as Shaniwarvada in Poona. So Shivaji came back as in a marriage party and Sahistyakar said that, “Nobody is allowed to come in a group here. No group is allowed but a marriage party.” He could not refuse. So, they said, “There is a marriage party that is going around.” And in the marriage party, all these people were all dressed up like marriage party people but inside they were all dressed up like soldiers. And he knew all the ways and roads and at the back they went and he entered through some sort of a place, tunnel or something inside, and then Sahistyakar was sleeping. And he woke him up and said, “Get up now. I’m here. I’m Shivaji, I’ve come now. Now, why don’t you catch me?” Sahistyakar got such a fright that he jumped out of the window. And, but Shivaji wanted to, see, kill him, so he hit him but only hit him on the fingers, so his life was saved. His fingers were lost, and then Shivaji occupied the place and Sahistyakar ran way. Everybody ran way. So many stories like that.

Then once, I mean after this, they all got very frightened but they tried to follow Shivaji back and Shivaji coming back, you came by that circuitous route on top of the Katraj. They called it Katraj ka Ghat, but there’s no English word for ghat. I mean the circuitous road, which takes you on top of the hill. Is there any way? There is no name for that. We call it ghat. There are so many ghats you are seeing that but this is one of the famous. See, he came on the Katraj Ghat, and what he did, he lighted a kind of a beacons, on the horns of many bulls and made the bulls run on one road, you see, and he himself climbed over this Katraj thing. So, all of them thought that, “This is way Shivaji has gone,” and they followed the other way around and they followed them for quite long distance. Then they found out that they were just bulls, you see, and they were tied with these beacons which were burning. And they thought, “This was Shivaji,” and Shivaji went to his own place.

Once Shivaji was followed like that, many a times. It’s very interesting stories, how he was arrested and came out of Agra and all that. I will have to tell you how he did all that. Very interesting. There are so many stories that I can’t tell you just now. (Mother says something in Marathi)

But tomorrow, they want to take you to Sajjangad. Early in the morning. Morning. I think you should all just get up and go, that’s better. All right? Early in the morning say about… Morning you take your tea and go there. By six o’clock, you should be ready to go. All right. Take your tea in the morning time. By six o’clock you be ready to go because it will take about two hours or so, two and half hours, about nine o’clock. Then you go and have your breakfast and by 11 o’clock, there’s a little puja from 11 to 12. Then we’ll have our lunch and then after lunch, we are going to Kolhapur. It’s rather hectic but we have to do that way, what can you do? We have so many… If you have to see Sajjangad, because that is nothing but what you have to go is to pay homage to Hanuman Himself, you see, who took his birth on this Earth. So, it would be a good idea for you to go. Little hectic but I have been there to Sajangarh, long time back. I had come here to play in a [inaudible…]. In 1938 or something, I was here. 1938, I should say. Yes, 1938, I was here. Then we had gone to see [unclear: sounds like Achintyakara]. There are two but this has more value because is a, the, is just barren, nothing but his samadhi is there. His tomb is there. So, I think you would like to take darshan. It’s a very beautiful thing to see.

Sahaja Yogi: The tomb of whom, Mother? Whose tomb?

Shri Mataji: Ram Das Swami’s. Shri Ram Das Swami’s tomb is there.