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Shivaji’s humiliation by “Brahmins” was as abominable as humiliation by Aurangzeb

I hold Shivaji in the highest esteem. I don’t have any heroes any more but he was a hero during my teenage years. In class 10 in school I played a lead role in the school Shivaji celebrations organised (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Picket, Secunderabad) in 1974-75. I wrote an English play about Shivaji, and then directed and acted in that play. I also painted Shivaji’s exploits in watercolour paintings for the exhibition.

Never did I bother to inquire into his “caste” or even his religion (he, too – it is my understanding – was a believer in individual merit, not in someone’s caste or religion).

But yesterday, while exploring the caste system, I came across this fact – that Shivaji was humiliated by Brahmins during his lifetime.

Why? Because he was a “Shudra”!

What kind of a religion is this which disrespects real achievements and contributions but pretends that people’s status must be determined by IMAGINARY past achievements in a life that no one has any clue about! The re-birth myth is a curse on India.

It is unfortunate that Shivaji bothered to get a “Brahmin” to crown himself king (at HUGE expense – he managed someone to FAKE his background). He should have chosen the most learned person in his kingdom, regardless of the person’s religion or caste.

I now feel even more disgusted with Brahminical (caste) Hinduism than ever before.

 “Shivaji keenly felt his humiliation at the hands of the Brahmans to whose defence and prosperity he had devoted his life. Their insistence on treating him as Shudra drove him into the arms of Balaji Avjji, another victim of Brahmanic pride. The Brahmans proclaim[ed] a social boycott of Balaji Avaji who had ventured to invest his son with the sacred thread. Balaji naturally sympathized with his master and tried to raise him in social estimation by engaging Ganga Bhatta who ‘made Shivaji a pure Kshatriya.” [Sarkar, Jadunath. Shivaji and His Times. Calcutta: MC Sarkar & Sons, 1919.


“Shivaji’s descendant, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj, was not allowed to chant vedic mantras. The reasonwas they were shudras and hence had no right to worship or be worshipped in vedic tradition. A very recent example is of Pandarinath Patil of Chikhali dt., Buldhana. He was insulted for chanting the mantra, Omkar. Even today, all Sankaracharyas are Brahmin by caste.” [Source]

Basically, everyone seems to be misusing Shivaji’s legacy to further their “cause”.

‘Dalits see him as the champion of the outcastes because he was one king who employed their services in his fight against his enemies; Hindutva historians see him merely as a Hindu king ranged against Muslims, seeking to establish a Hindu swarajya; Marathas see him only as their foremost leader who fought Muslim rulers on one side and Brahmin bigotry on the other side; while Brahmins have written about Shivaji as a king who achieved greatness because he was guided by Brahmin sant and advisors.’ [Source]

Whatever the political use people are making of Shivaji, one thing is clear: the Brahmins seriously insulted this fine gentleman.

Here are my research findings about Shivaji’s insult from his own religion.

This is what I first came across:

From The Evil of Caste: The Caste System as the Largest Systemic Violation of Human Rights in Today’s World By Chanan Chahal

If birth of the Shudra was so pure just because feet are closer to the mother earth, then what happened in the case of Shri Shattarpati Shiva ji?

It is a well known historical fact that, Shivaji, after having established a Hindu kingdom in the Western part of Maharashtra, thought of proclaiming himself a king by having a coronation ceremony performed by a Brahman. But he was denied by the Brahmans by proclaiming that Shri Shattarpati Shivaji was a Shudra by birth. Therefore the coronation could not be performed, because he was not a Kashatriya. Even though the Kashatriyas had failed to defend the state, or regain it, from the Moguls, it took a Shudra warrior to take it back.

Brahman’s refusal to crown Shivaji, meant lot of the tribes would not follow him in battle, because he was not a legitimate king duly crowned, so Shivaji offered ten times as much to a Brahman called Gagabhat from Benares to perform the coronation ceremony on 6th.June 1674. Even then the Brahman would not touch him with his hands to anoint his fore-head instead he used his left toe. The name of Shivaji is mentioned with great pride throughout India, as one of the greatest warriors who stood up to the mogul might, but to a Brahman he was nothing, but a Shudra.”

Not willing to believe just one source, I investigated further. Here are the results of a few of my attempts to confirm this story. It appears that this is true.

Confirmation 1

“Human rights activist Teesta Setalvad had prepared a hand book of History for the school teachers some time back. In this she pointed out that since Shivaji was a Shudra, the Brahmins refused to coronate him, so a Brahmin Gaga Bhat had to be brought from Kashi, who did the coronation ritual. Since Shivaji was a Shudra this coronation was done with the toe of his left foot by Gaga Bhat.” [Source: SHIVAJI’S STATUE IN ARABIAN SEA by Ram Puniyani, June 06, 2009]

Confirmation 2

“as a Shudra or low-caste person, Shivaji had perforce to enact some ceremony by means of which he could be raised to the status of a kshatriya or traditional ruler. Not a single brahmin was ready to do the coronation ceremonial function of the shudra shivaji. To this end, he enlisted the services of Gagga Bhatta, a famous Brahmin from Benaras, who did the Brahminical thing in falsely certifying that Shivaji’s ancestors were kshatriyas descended from the solar dynasty of Mewar and that too the coronation was made by the thumb of the leg only of shivaji belonging to shudra. This coronation ceremony took on June 6,1674.” [Source:]

Confirmation 3:
Dalit’s Inheritance in Hindu Religion (2009) By Mahendra Singh, Foreword by P.Parameswaran, President, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari

In his book ‘History of India (1000 to 1707 AD)’, Shiva Lal Agarwala & Company Educational Publishers, Agra, Dr. A.L. Srivastava writes “Orthodox Brahmans in Maharastra were averse to recognizing him as Kshatriya …. At his initiation into the rites of the twice-born (Dwija) Kshatriya, Shivaji’s guru and other Brahmans uttered Vedic mantras, but Shivaji was not allowed to utter or repeat them….” . Coming to position of descendants of Shivaji, Dr. Ambedkar in the same above book writes, referring to aversions of Brahmins, “They could do nothing to the two sons of Shivaji, Sambhaji and Rajaram. Shivaji had their upanayan performed in his life-time by Brahmins with Vedic rites. They could do nothing to his grandson, Shahu because the Brahmin had no ruling power in their hands. The moment Shahu transferred his sovereign power to his Brahmins Peshwa their road to repudiation became clear…   There is definite evidence that upenayana ceremony of his successor, Shahu-II, who was adopted in 1777 AD had been performed with Pauranic rites and by the direction of Peshwas. The performance of upanayan of Shahu-II with Pauranic rites was tantamount to his being regarded by the Peshwas as a Shudra”.

Dr. S.V. Ketkar in his book “History of caste in India writes similarly (p. 60) as, “even today I know of a Brahamana of character sufficiently independent to give up all his Jahagir of 40,000 rupees a year and refuse to perform Vedokta ceremonies in the family of Shivaji”.

As an ideal king and able administrator Shivaji helped the poor peasants by distributing Zamidar’s land and taking minimum revenue. He ensured that justice is given to all and never favored his family at the cost of others. He did not have blind belief in orthodoxy and superstitions and undertook sea journeys. He practiced secularism by placing Muslims in his army in good position.

Confirmation 4
“as a Shudra or low-caste person, Shivaji had perforce to enact some ceremony by means of which he could be raised to the status of a kshatriya or traditional ruler. To this end, he enlisted the services of Gagga Bhatta, a famous Brahmin from Benares, who did the Brahminical thing in falsely certifying that Shivaji’s ancestors were kshatriyas descended from the solar dynasty of Mewar. 11,000 Brahmins are reported to have chanted the Vedas, and another 50,000 men are said to have been present at the investiture ceremony, which concluded with chants of, “Shivaji Maharaj-ki-jai!””


Confirmation 5
A Social History of India  By S. N. Sadasivan

A most renowned conversion to Kshatriyahood, scintillating for its pomp, conspicuous for its splendour, exorbitant for its cost and extraordinary for its rituals, was of Sivaji, indisputably, the most prominent of all Maratha leaders. Sivaji was bom in April or May 1627 in the family of Bhosales founded by Bhosavant who was a Patil or a village officer. His father was Shaji, a military officer under the services of the Mughals and the Muslim rulers of Bijapur, who led successful expeditions against the powerful Vijayanagar empire. Shivaji’s mother was Jijabai. His birth was considered to be the answer to her worshipping a local deity Sivai Devi after whom he was named.

Brought up in an ambience of reverence to mythological heroes, Sivaji mastered the art of guerilla warfare developed by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian minister to the Sultan of Ahmednagar. He by his undaunted bravery, formidable political acumen and exceptional organisational ability offered inspiring generalship to a closely knit army drawn from the bold peasantry and the daring hill tribes and conquered vast territories of Aurangazeb who for his religious intolerance was the most hated of the Mughal emperors.

His military genius has belied the mythological monopoly of warfare handed down by the Brahminic fiction to an imaginary warrior clan called the Kshatriy.. As H.G. Rawlinson says: “In appearance Sivaji was a typical Maratha”. The Brahmins vied with one another to get into his services and although he was of the opinion that they should strictly confine themselves to religious life, he had appointed a great many of them in his administration from top to bottom. Sivaji borrowed the administrative system of the Mauryas, but neither they nor the imperial Guptas ever attached any importance to Kshatriyahood; yet it is amazing even to a frozen intelligence why Sivaji wanted to get converted himself as a Kshatriya.

The Marathas to whom he belonged, is a sturdy peasant community which had its own aristocracy. According to Brahminic standard they are Sudras. Capt. E.W. West, Mountstuart Elphinstone, F.W. Sinclair and a host of other students of society in India, are of the definite opinion that the Marathas are Sudras and most of them are Kun(a)bis (cultivators). The other names parallel to cultivators used in upper India and in Gujarat are Kurmis, Koeris and Kanbis who also belong to the Sudra caste. The Marathas would have remained as self-respecting farmers, had not the Brahmins evolved the social framework of Chaturvarnya and arrogated to themselves exclusively the authority for ordaining Kshatriyas. Sivaji was given unstinted support for his military operations by the swordsmen belonging to the Hill Kolis of Mawal who were made later on Marathas by him. The Brahmins did not protest at this upgradation because in spite of their conversion, the Hill Kolis remained as Sudras within the Sudras.

The Brahmins who served Sivaji for manoeuvring his power from behind to their advantage, however, were disturbed when Sivaji legitimately aspired, that he should be made the monarch of the territories he brought by the sword under his control. Unlike in the days of the Mauryas and Guptas or even the Chalukyas, in the 17th century caste system had taken its most monstrous form and the entire mobilisation society was aimed at making caste laws fully enforced in its farthest interpretation. The Brahmins had made everyone a slave of caste and forged laws that the Kshatriyas of their ordination alone were entitled to be crowned as kings.

By his deed (karma) Sivaji would have been a super- Kshatriya but the more he conquered, the more his fame spread, and the more was the intra-communal jealousy and envy against him. The Maratha families who were equal to the Bhosales, did not want to be subordinate to Sivaji whom they looked down upon as a usurper and an upstart while they openly pledged their loyalty to Aurangazeb and the Mohammaden ruler of Bijapur. The hostile Marathas repeatedly endorsed the Brahmin view that Sivaji was a Suclra as any one of them and had no right to be a king although they were happy to be submissive to the imperial authority of Aurangazeb and the sovereignty of Adil Shah of Bijapur.

His prime minister Moro Pant Pingle, himself a Brahmin, was openly opposed to the admittance of Sivaji as a Kshatriya though he apprised his political master that the Maratha Brahmins were prepared to perform his coronation rites in conformity with non-vedic scheme befitting to a Sudra military leader. The great warrior felt insulted and was in a predicament when he found the Brahmins were unrelentingly treating him as a Sudra. He therefore, admitted to his inner circle Balaji Avji, the leader of the Kayasthas who himself was fighting Brahminic insolence. Avji who had the temerity to invest his own son with the cross thread with the help of like-minded others, managed to create a pedigree for the Bhosale family tracing it back to the maharana of Udaipur. Nevertheless, it was not difficult for the Brahmins to defeat the whole genealogical venture.

Sivaji finally approached Visveswar, popularly known as Gaga Bhatta who was a Brahmin theologian well-versed in scriptures and rituals to confer upon him Kshatriyahood as well as to conduct his coronation. Gaga Bhatta was an authoritative provenance to the other Brahmins who had hardened their stand against making Sivaji, a Kshatriya, however conceded to his request on his being assured of a gargantuan fortune he demanded.

As a prelude to the confirment of Kshatriyahood and his coronation, Sivaji visited a number of temples and made lavish offerings. To the idol in the Bhavani temple in Tuljapur alone, he gifted a parasol made of pure gold weighing 1.25 mounds.

The Brahmins drew up a long list of his sins both by commission and by omission including inadvertent killing of cows that he might have unknowingly committed, during raids or battles for the expiation of which they fixed their own sums which Shivaji paid. At the instance of Gaga Bhatta 11, 000 Brahmins with their wives and children numbering in all 50, 000 souls, had to be sumptuously fed and supplied with clothes and other necessities on a liberal scale for four months, the expenses for which were entirely defrayed by their generous patron.

On the coronation day, as Sivaji sat on his golden throne studded with luminous pearls and precious stones, flowers of various kinds made of gold and silver and miniature gold lotuses speckled with jewels were showered over the distinguished gathering. With all the largesse which Sivaji distributed, the Brahmins who suppressed their indignance at Sivaji’s conversion to Kshatriya by ritual purification done by Gaga Bhatta, rose in revolt when Sivaji was to be taught vedic mantras (hymns) befitting to a twice- born. They contended that only Brahmins were twice-bom and there could be no true Kshatriya in the modem age. Gaga Bhatta lost his nerves at the resentment of the members of his clan and he suddenly dropped the item from the rituals listed in the programme of the coronation which was performed on June 6,1674 at Raigarh. Besides many fabulous presents, Gaga Bhatta received a reward of one lakh of pounds in his capacity as the archpriest of the function. The title of Kshatriya Kulavamsa Sri Raja Sivaji Chhatrapati was conferred on the Maratha conqueror. The head of the English factory at Surat, Henry Oxenden was an eye-witness to the grand and glittering celebration. Oxenden who presented Sivaji with a diamond ring, noted that he was not at any time allowed by the Brahmins to attend to any other business than the religious ceremonies and the talks pertaining to them.

The validity of the prohibitively costly coronation of Sivaji according to the vedic rites, was questioned by a Bengali Tantrik priest by name Nischhal Puri Goswami and a few inauspicious occurrences and mishaps that had taken place within weeks of the coronation, he attributed to the inadequacy of the vedic scheme that Gaga Bhatta followed to propitiate the spirits and goblins. On September 24, 1674 Nischhal Puri conducted a second coronation of Sivaji in accordance with the Tantrik rites after which paradoxically mischance only multiplied.

The cost of coronation according to Sivaji’s court chronicler Sabhasad was 14, 20, 000 buns. There is however no agreement as to the actual amount involved but according to Jadunath Sarkar: “The coronation exhausted Sivaji’s treasury and he was in need of money to pay his troops”.

Sivaji passed away on April 4, 1680 little less than six years after his coronation but before completing his 53rd year. Them is a general belief that Sivaji before his coronation had passed through the process of Hiranyagarbhayaga for investiture to be a Kshatriya but the English and Dutch records are completely silent on this. Whatever the ritualistic details of his coronation, it abundantly illustrates that even as late as 17th century A.D., the mightiest warriors have become victims of the lam and temptations of Kshatriyahood by the confirment of which neither had they enhanced their military capability nor durability of their domains.

Confirmation 6:

James W. Laine, A Question of Maharashtrian Identity: Hindu Self-definition in the Tales of Shivaji, in Intersections: Socio-cultural Trends in Maharashtra (2000) edited by Meera Kosambi

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the Shivabharata (1927; hereafter SBH), a Sanskrit text composed by Shivaji’s court poet, Kavindra Paramananda. Though incomplete, and not always accurate in its details, the text provides a rare window not only on the world Shivaji inhabited, but on the view that he wished others to have of him. It is a panegyric which suggests the loftier ideals of the ruling Hindu nobility and their Brahmin servants, and provides a complicated picture of the ways this group at least defined themselves as Hindus and viewed the Hindu-Muslim Kulfurkampf of their era. There are good reasons to see the SBH, like Shivaji’s coronation in 1674, as part of Shivaji’s attempt to claim Kshatriya status and legitimate rule as a Hindu king or Chhatrapati. Indeed, I am sure that the SBH was commissioned at about the same time as the coronation; its language of royal legitimacy presupposes the coronation.

In legitimating Shivaji’s lineage, however, the court poet needed to recount the successes of the Bhosle clan, especially the deeds of Shivaji’s grandfather Maloji and his father Shahaji, and in these stories it becomes clear that the recent rise of the Bhosles was one fostered by Muslim patrons. Of course, in the seventeenth century Deccan, the sultans ruling from Ahmadnagar or Bijapur (the Nizam Shah and the Adil Shah), depended on the service of petty Hindu rajas, or sardars. Shivaji’s immediate ancestors were soldiers of fortune who won the right to tax certain lands by their loyal military service to the Muslim overlords, and although they certainly remained Hindus, they operated in a rather Islamicate world.’ The SBH accurately notes that Shivaji’s father and uncle were named after a Sufi pir, and that their battles were clannish or with rival Hindu rajas.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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56 thoughts on “Shivaji’s humiliation by “Brahmins” was as abominable as humiliation by Aurangzeb
  1. dr bhavin kamani

    I respect shivaji maharaj because its his efforts that I am not a muslim today….the brahmins who insulted the great warrior of my nation should undergo circumcision and should start reading the holy quran instead of veda…they have no right to humilate shivaji because shivajis character suggest that his life was full of vaidic principles….humilation of shivaji is the humilation of veda and mankind…infact such brahmins are not liable to be called as hindus

  2. jalwan

    sanjeev ji i highly appreciate and thank you for ur outstanding article on great son of india who was ditched by selfish brahmans who could do any thing as they have done with saint giyaneswar his mother father brothers sisters , swami dayanand so on not only since couple of hundrad years but more then 3000 years around period of ramayana / mahabharat matang rishi whose asram was being taken care by the ousted bhilani who gave tasted beirs to rama /greatest dhanusdhar eklavya since than brahmans are befooling people in name of caste karma dharma god and its avtars stating parasram 6th avtar arguing with rama 7th avtar born in very old age of dashrath younger to his kulguru vashistha in age group of great great grand father of arjuna grand son of malahin satyavati mother of bhisam of mahabharat and husband of 4th wife subhdra sister of krisna whose father’s sister was kunti mother of arjuna grand son of vyaswho was grand son of vashistha in age group of great grand father of ram that why he broke shiva dhanusha while krishna 8th avtar was in age group of lov / kus , thus avtars r born in india where people are made scared by atrocities in name of caste /karma / dharma /god etc . high caste brahman could marry low caste but not low caste in high caste if so they shall be thrown out of caste in view of hindu scriptures’ laws in view of which people of some castes were not allowed to read ,write or speak or marry according to their choice .brahman woman marrying a sudra caste person who are 85% of the indan populatin was considard sin . THE CHILD SHALL BE CHANDAL FROM SUCH WED LOCK . had shambha ji born from brahman woman he would have been chandal . brahman could marry in all varnas whether brahman akshtriya vaisya n sudra but not others could marry in higher varna . in a court case if a brahman having 4 sons one each from brahman ,akshtriya ,vaisya n sudra wife his property should be made in 10 parts out of which 4 parts to son from brahman wife 3 parts to son from akshtriya wife 2 parts to son from vaisya wife and last 1 part left shall go to sudra wife not to son from sudra wife whose status shall be nishad who must be of higher status than that of vyas son mallahin satyavati who was lower in status as ati pichhda where sudra is pichhda . thus nishad man or woman 50 % brahman and so chandal 50% brahman woman or man if marry the issue from such wedlock shall be chamar which must be better or equivalent to non-hindu man n brahman wife’s son marrying non-indian /non-hindu woman thereby born son who calling himself brahman being great grand son of brahman(ex great leader in india )similar to being sudra kunbi caste married to jat caste claiming sudra as per lahor high order in view of status that of ahirs gujjjars etc and son married to gujjar though great leader in the biggest state of india claims to be rajput (THAKUR WALA) WHILE OTHERS ALSO R RAJAS LIKE NISADRAJ /MALLRAJ /CHAMRAJ PANCHAL RAJA ETC. so in india caste spirit is found in everyone having social status of any percentage 0% – 100% , accordingly shivaji the great also wished in view of jijabai his mother’s advise to call bhatt brahman from banaras and arranged for his son shambha ji in his own time while his grand son ‘s rajvibhesak not known whether peswa brahmans could allow that . everybody is aware that caste is nonsense as young does’t care for parents views what to say of caste / creed / country and leave that for betterment of self / of humanity and nature as whole since everyone wants to live in piece

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’ve approved but not read a word of what you’ve said. Impossible to read without paragraph breaks, etc.

  4. gurnam singh

    sir, it is very nice information about Shiva Ji incarnation. in Indian continent all social, cultural,religious, and political setup based on chatur Varun Vivastha.
    worst suffer are shudra(52% OBC/BC) and Ati Shudra (28%SC &ST) and miorties muslim/cristan (because they are converted from shudra and ati shudras).
    we should work for social, cultural,ecnomic and political change in india as dreamed by medival period saint such as toka ram, ravi dass, kabir shib, shikh guru, Mahatma Joti Rao Pholle, Sahu ji, payerior Rama Swami and ambedkar, kanshi ram.
    please also read books naming Gulam Giri written by Mahatma Joti Pholle and Volga Se Ganga written by Rahul Sankryan. These books are available in PDF at bheem sangh sit www. and markert.

  5. Aniruddha

    You cannot blame the whole of Hinduism for the bigotry of some Brahmins. Nowadays, a Brahmin has propogated Shivaji’s contribution in the whole of Maharashtra- Babasaheb Purandare. Also, the Brahmins like Ramchandra Pant Amatya served under the king as the Peshwa and readily relinquished position when asked by the King.
    The Peshwa had utmost respect for the Maratha kings whom they referred to as swami’s. The Peshwa had expanded the Maratha kingdom from Thavanjur in south to Attock in North. Every Brahmin wasn’t evil.

  6. sarang

    Have you forgotten the Peshwa dynasty??
    After Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji Raje,the Marathi empire was kept alive and expanding like never before by the Peshwas(Brahmins) and m very proud of them.
    People like you just like to create divide between the Marathi people and weaken Hinduism…..

  7. Kabir Singh

    Very impartial commentary
    I would like to ask some questions
    How was then Shivaji made hero of Hindu nationalism?
    Isn’t it a hypocrisy on part of Tilak and subsequent nationalist to use him as a mark of Hindu Pride?
    Was Shivaji’s rule more secular?
    Isn’t it that after Shahuji Marathas became a mere a gang of looters who butchered people of all caste and Creed?
    How to stop this fallacy of Marathas being the champion of Hindu nationalism?
    Atmosphere today is so surcharged that it take lot of courage to speak truth against the extremists who have become popular amongst blindfolded depressed class.
    Kudos for your courageous article

  8. Mayank

    It is justified that you are Anti-Brahmin, but it doesn’t means that you blame the entire Hinduism. If Peshwas were not there, Maratha clan had no existence.

  9. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’m not anti-Brahmin. I’m anti caste. And yes, I’m anti-religion. I published this note since it was an interesting take on history.

  10. Youraj

    If you follow tista setalwad this will happen to you. Don’t follow her. Shivaji was not kshudra he was Maratha, born to maratha sardar shahaji bhosle

  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    “If you follow tista setalwad” – what do you mean by that? In what way do I “follow” her? In what way is this article linked with her?

  12. S. Mukherjee

    Let me begin by saying Shivaji was indeed a great leader and a man of principles. But why blame the entire Brahmin community? You cannot downgrade the contribution of Brahmins from different parts of India for this country’s development. And if Upanayan or wearing a Yagyopavit is a Brahminical tradition, why imitate that? Let the Brahmins keep their tradition of putting a sacred thread.

  13. Proud Indian

    Dear Sir – it was a painful experience to read this article and know that some narrow minded people from Bramhin faith opposed coronation of a person of such a great character like Shivaji Maharaj just because of his presumed lower birth.

    It pains because the people did not see the great achievements of Shivaji Maharaj and the superhuman efforts he put in to achieve them. It truly pains because I myself belong to Bramhan community and since my childhood I have worshipped Shivaji Maharaj as a noble and brave hero of Marathi people.

    It also pains because today after almost 400 years of his birth we are still discussing not about his mountainous achievements but about such small details which should be consciously discounted as we weed out evil things from our lives.

    I have no opinion to give on what is right or wrong since I am not worthy of it, buy I would definitely like to appeal to all, that please do not share such things on social network which would generate doubts and disrespect among the communities and lead to fractured beliefs and minds. It is said that such truth which does not help anybody, better be kept to oneself than told.

    Hope the readers will understand the sincerity of my thoughts and not view it with a preconceived notion..

    Let us all unite like the Shivaji Maharaj’s Mavalas and bring glory to our nation.

    Jai Shivaji !!! Jai Maharashtra !!!

  14. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    First of all, I despise ANYONE who claims to have a “caste”. The idea is obnoxious and unsustainable. However, I’ve made note of this merely to show that caste based approaches lead to even worse outcomes than anyone can imagine.

    So (1) you must be despised for your belief that you are from a “Brahmin community”. There is only a human community; (2) you can see how badly wrong members of your alleged “community” could become when they fail to look at others as humans, and assess their work on their own merit.

  15. Proud Indian

    Dear sir, I’m OK with your views and respect them.

    As far as believing or despising any community is concerned, any community will have some good people and some not so good people. Today I will despise one perticular community for the mistakes they did, tomorrow I will have to despise the other community for mistakes they will do. Ultimately no human is infalliable including me.

    My only point is we should let the history to be history and not allow the demons from it to affect our present or future. If at all we want, we should learn to avoid committing same mistakes again or commit the new ones. That’s all. Thanks.

  16. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I think you’re not getting my point. There is NO “community”. Only individuals. And when I say I despise anyone who claims to have a “caste” – allegedly a birth based “spiritual mark”, I do so regardless of the alleged caste. You could be “brahmin” or “dalit”, all are equally despicable claims.

    Let’s make a new India without these useless confusions about “caste”.

  17. Proud Indian

    Good idea but difficult to sink in even for an open minded individual. We are so saddled to our ways of living that such ideas remain jut that – an idea. And even if we sincerely try the people around us would pull us back to the old ways, sometimes can even endanger our existence. But no harm in trying. Thanks.

  18. Michael Satur

    Hi Sanjeev. Proud to have been your school mate in KVP. Those were halcyon years and bring back great memories. In regards to your article, very strong words and not a day too early. This ‘disease’ of stratification of society still continues today and in many instances quite boldly and unabashedly by the bigots who subscribe to this distorted thinking. The common underlying basis appears to be a pathological obsession to disadvantage a group of people while tring , by hook or crook, to justify their so called superiority. To me it seems to arise from a feeling of insecurity and thus does these people no credit at all, except to confirm that they feel threatened. They prey on the human need to ‘belong’ . When one is secure in one’s self belief, then it takes away a ‘handle’ that others can use to manipulate you ,usually , into submission. Great work and keep going.

  19. Radhakrishna Lambu

    @S Mukherjee: I will explain you. The term brahmin later on became a caste based on set of profession. Vedic brahman , the sanskrit or the indo-aryan, indo-europid and indo-iranian, they were different race altogether. Post vedic period, brahman word got changed into brahmin, and many of the people in this land got brahmanized or sanskritized, and brahmin became a profession. Just to make a point, in vedic era, you will never find surname, even of ram krishna, forget rishi, but surnames like sharma, pandey,tripathi, deshpandey etc came later on. So this is clear that vedic people did not have castes, and castes were based on profession, and as happens in profession, there are higher or lower ranks.

    And also, I will clearly say, India is nation of commoners now. This includes ‘caste brahmin’ too, they are not superior. And the brahmins who opposed ascendancy of shiva as king, they themselves were upgraded to status brahmin. So you can now make out why such opposition, as they might have feared a backlash to lose power. Who does not want to hold power?

    Thanks to the lord,I have shunned this caste brahmin.

  20. Radhakrishna Lambu

    //First of all, I despise ANYONE who claims to have a “caste”. The idea is obnoxious and unsustainable.//

    Because castes are nothing but profession. What people do. Vishwkarman or vaidya’s son can become kulkarni/clerk. So these were the profession or ‘JAAT’ in the Indian parlance, and when someone used to ask ,’ kis jaat ka’, it might have meant, what work you do. But people, even today think that they belong to that caste since time immemorial.

    And I am surprised, why the democratic Indian reformers did not try to shun castes. Only dayananda saraswati was the one who wanted to shun it completely.

  21. A V Raju

    I agree with you Mr Sabhlok that our society reeks with the smell of corruption that has been planted into it over years of racism – Caste. That it has added another dimension of monetary corruption is not a surprise. I agree with you totally.
    I am pained that the voice of an independent and rational thinker has not been covered in the news and the journalists , actively but latently supported by their managements, had an eye on a possible additional gratification (whilst , covering the item and popularising the ideas of an unbaised thinker is the basic duty of these people), speaks volumes on the degradation of the ilk.
    But does the pain of people like us matter to any body on the morally and intellectually fragmented society we live in? Yes, it does encourage me in my resolve to lend voice to you and rather aggressively , if only ,in the interest that it might sew the torn fragments of our society that lay spread out and asunder.
    I regard your voice a service to the nation- and not that I agree on every aspect ; but certainly you do demand a listening , in the interest of a bright and prosperous nation. Our employment in various fields of public life though at very different levels needs to be penned and put out both to the present and for the posterity, awaiting a critical consideration by people . This you have been doing . Thanks and regards

  22. Prabhakar Samal

    Late i read history ancient history the monopoly and supremacy of Brahmanism in India great loss to us. the greedy behavior of Brahmans deepened the sorrows Sudra. Shivaji Maharaja and Gautama Buddha could not corrected them in the name of god, they cheated lot and yet cheating . now time has come we have to show them the real light of knowledge.
    the topic is a eye opener. defiantly many more bad pratice are to be eradicated from the society.

    thank u sir

  23. Venkat

    Dear Sir,

    First of all , I agree that Shivaji is a great Patriotic King of India who wanted to remove the oppression of persecution and oppression.

    Since it is about Hindu coronation ceremonies , I am stating a few points :

    (1) Shivaji was again coronated a Second time (with Agamic or Tantrik rites) by Nischal Puri Swami of Bengal after Rajmata’s death. On midninght of 23 or 24 or maybe 25th September
    1674. (Amavasya day).

    (2) Most Hindu Kings of those days practiced Puranic/Agamic rites for Coronations . The Puranic/Agamic mantras also are in vogue today by almost all Hindus for ceremonies like House-warming, Marriages , Naming ceremony etc. Treating them as”inferior” is a mistake .

    A common Puja like “Ganesh Puja” or “Satyanarayan Puja” technically cannot be done by Vedic mantras alone. Even Puranic rites use Vedic mantras in them.

    (3) Most Hindu Kings in South India used multiple coronation ceremonies using different methods (Shaiva-Puranic/ Vaishnava). Many Kings like Shivaji also had a Second Agamic/Tantrik ceremony the next Amavasya.

    (4) I would like to state that the family of blood-relatives of Shivaji belonging to Tanjavur Bhosale clan (descended from Venkoji half-brother of Sivaji) has produced great Sanskrit as well as Tamil scholars. They have also established the famous Saraswati Mahal library (the greatest collection of all Sanskrit/Telugu/Tamil) . It was established by Chatrapati Sefoji who also knew Greek, German and Latin as well as Vedas or Puranas.
    Most rulers of Tanjavur Bhosale Clan were Scholars and no Brahmin or anyone prevented them for learning any Sanskrit document.

    (5) My conclusion is that even though local Brahmins sometimes tricked people in the name of this or that ceremony, it was still possible to invite anyone from Kashi or Rameshwaram or anywhere else to do any ceremony one wants as long as one is ready to pay !! Previously such grand coronation ceremonies were done by Hemu (who ruled Delhi briefly after Babur), Salivahan (Sarter of Saka Era- Gudi Padwa ) and Vikramaditya.

  24. Pratap AP

    Thanks Sanjeev ji for this brave article
    Chhatrapati Shivaji faced strong opposition by Braman’s due to Shudra, it’s true. Why Braman’s did this? Becoz they didn’t want such benevolent King. They wanted Braman King to rule or all shudras under Braman’s rule. But The Shudra like Chhatrapati Shivaji made different history for Mulnivasi people, for their betterment. & that’s why Braman opposed Coronation.
    Jai Shivaji

  25. Indian

    Brahmin caste is much like Muslims… The bad weighs the good so much that any person who is aware of the deeds of Brahmin caste will need help of God to find the right word for them.

    The Rai Dynasty of Sindh that had protected India against 16 invasions by Arab Muslims was brought down by treacherous Brahmin Chach. Chach unleashed casteism and alienated warrior Jats and also Buddhists. Dahir married his bastard sister Bai. Dahir was the one who lost the first battle against Arab Muslims and Mohammad Bin Quasim arrived in India. As irony would have it, Brahmin Dahir was given away by another Brahmin Shudh Dev. This probably was God’s hand to Punish Brahmin Chach and his lineage.

  26. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    As a general rule, caste is a **really** bad idea. Grouping the behaviour of “castes” is fundamentally incorrect. I published this blog post not to write against “Brahmins” but to note how terrible is the religion that divides people in this manner.

    There are no “Brahmins”, no “Dalits”. All are humans and no more, no less.

  27. Amar

    Your article is a figment of imagination. This could be for a simple reason, you are born in Sudra caste and might have faced humiliation in life. It does not matter even if Shivaji is born as Sudra as Hinduism tells Varna is not based on his birth but by his actions. As per History Shivaji was a born Kshetria in Bhosle caste. If even not born as Kshetria, as per Hindu vedic law, by his actions he has become one. Stop this bigotry of diving people in the name of caste in this modern age. If you are against caste, stop writing articles which incite caste and cause friction. Learn to behave please.

  28. Indian

    Sabhlok ji, what you say is idealistic in nature. There have been many idealistic people but they could not equalize humans.

  29. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I’m not just against caste, I’m against all religion. If you even remotely think this article is promoting caste, read again.

    However, the quibbling you have outlined (“Hinduism tells Varna is not based on his birth but by his actions”) does qualify you to be a great liar.

    The reality is clear: Manusmriti is the REAL Hinduism. And that does prescribe a hereditary caste system. You better not try to mislead the world with your deception.

  30. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I don’t care about what others do or did.

    I hope you understand that this is about ME. I spit on caste ideas and reject all religion. That’s all. I reject such nonsense.

  31. vilas

    Yes sir what you said is right if u see the history of india the great buddhist and jainism empire kings are murdered by brahmins thus you can see some brahmin empires in india like shunga empire.Brahmins want only hinduism kingdoms.they were always against low caste people.
    some people are saying shivaji empire was strong due to peshwas actually shivaji empire was strong due to marathas and dalits.if peshwas are strong empire then why peshwa empire was declined in 1818 anglo maratha war .its because there were many attrocities and torture on low caste people so low caste people supported british and there was victory for british after two anglo maratha war u can read this in Battle of koregaon

  32. Kiran

    Sir thanks to you first for putting light on real things….please carry on with your intellectual blogs which is hard for caste supported people to believe as they have been guided in such a fashion for this long period of time with self made stories which have no supportings

  33. Raj Sehgal

    Im against all caste based discrimination, I believe that both women and dalits should be allowed to be pundits. But for me the fight is with brahmin suppremists and NOT with the entirety of hinduism. The manasmriti is a religious scripture. It was a satanic law book, if you want true sanatan dharm, then look at the Bhagavad Gita As it is by Swami Pabupada. We need to reform our religion but not fight it, i hope you will consider my words and thank you

  34. Raj Sehgal

    The manusumriti isnt a religious scripture. It is evil and all hindus should reject it, caste is a human invention and not by god,
    That being said … i my blood boils when i see any dalit denied entire into a temple

  35. Radhakrishna Lambu

    // This could be for a simple reason, you are born in Sudra caste and might have faced humiliation in life//

    Again, same mistake, thinking that sudra means lower class. Sudra, in reality, means, commoners, who are not into position of authority to make laws etc. They are like middle class people who do vocational jobs for survival. It has nothing to do with any higher or lower.

    Caste is not the basis of grouping people together. After hard study, I am surprised, that why castes were not banned.

    And those ‘Brahmins’ who are fearing for their extinction, I will again re-iterate that these brahmins themselves are sudra or commoners. Brahmin is like an elite profession, similar to clearing IIT-JEE.

    Vedic civilization, or proto-indo europeans were brahmans. They were group of invading conquerers, and that era is over long time back.

    Even Pandit Nehru understood that brahmins means an elite profession.

    However, still, lot of races do exist in India, including indo-aryan,indo-european,balkans, and other too.

  36. Radhakrishna Lambu

    //if u see the history of india the great buddhist and jainism empire kings are murdered by brahmins thus you can see some brahmin empires in india like shunga empire//

    There was no India.

    Sunga, kanva, shashanka, mayura sharma , till peswha, they were group of indo-aryans/indo-empire.

    Buddha was from afghanistan, who was trying to protect his race.

    The jain which you talk about has its root in today’s area in karnataka. Those were kshatriya, and in order to protect their own race, they created jainism. Earlier scholars of jainas were vedic brahmans.

    Later on, as these things started to get expanded, lot of people started to enter into these folds. This applies for brahmanism also, when many people got brahamnized.

    All the people here either read leftist marxist history, which blames everything on brahmanical hierachy and tyranny, or RSS based hollow chauvinistic hindu based history, who try to impose through brahmanical hierarchy. Fact is brahmin, kshatriya, sudra were meant for funtioning of society. These are not castes, but classes, for a certain race, and that race is almost over, and there population is very low.

  37. Narayanan

    Get the right history. When a Hindu was ready to become a king, everyone was happy. Later he donated money to that pandit.

  38. Lalitha

    Brahmins at the time was in very danger. They had been assassinated by Aurengazeb. So, what is the need for them to refuse a Hindu King?

  39. Anand Kulkarni

    I Think most of people here against Bramhins , Please let me know which bramhin treat you bad, Its bullshit that Bramhans are opposite to coronation, truth is that era nobody was King in Maharashtra so nobody knows proceedings of Coronation so they called Gagabhatt(the person who hide Shambhu Raje to save him from Aurangjeb after escaping from Agra and where he met lifelong friend Kavi kalash).

    Its very dirty minded people who are enjoying beggars life because as they are getting reservations, atrocity,etc.. facility the mistake done by politicians to take political advantage , till date these so called people who humiliate Brahmans have proved they don’t have own brain to think – Is only bramhins were living that era and mistreated other person, no other religion was present????

    Where was these people when Shivaji Maharaj fought with their own relatives??

    Where this so called marathas when Aurangzeb captured ShabhuRaje and Kavi Kalash, Why not they took efforts to save them??????? now some people of b grade taking mis-advantage during morcha? If the morcha to support Kopardi issue or farmers then why so much expenses , the expenses did by these person could saves some farmers if they really care of them but no they dont want it seriously they wanted to spread wrong information about Bramhins, they want reservation , it was surprising when i saw Mercedes kind of lots of luxury cars during Morch, are these people need reservation who has luxury cars??????

    Why you forget Savarkar, Agarkar and Tilak who fought for you against own community?????

    Please stop this bullshit and come along to make our future right way.

  40. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Anand, I don’t know about who’s against whom, but I am clearly against the idea of caste.

    I trust you’ve stopped using caste? If not, I suspect, you’re part of the problem.

  41. Veeraswami N

    As long is Hinduism based on Sanatan system continues, no one can destroy caste system from India.I have read, E.V.R.Periyar once said that ask Government to Ban Brahmins as Pandits in temples, the very next minute they will declare that there is no God and we were living on this profession. Dwarka incidence where the chief priest surrendered with pleading for life in front of the dangerous Mohal invader.
    One can equate these caste system with Japan:

    In France, when the Revolution broke out and demanded equality the governing class in France voluntarily came forward to give up its powers and its privileges and to merge itself in the mass of the nation. For it meant the surrender of their most ancient and valuable privileges. Yet a good part of them agreed to the demand of the Commons and gave France a constitution based upon liberty, equality and fraternity. It is the similar footing wherein, in Japan there were four communities in Japanese Society: (1) The Damiyos, (2) The Samurai, (3) The Hemin or the Common folk and (4) The Eta or in fact untouchable outcasts, standing one above the other in an order of graded inequality1, which was akin to Indian Varnavivastha of four category viz., Brahmin, Shatriya, Vaishiya and Sudra. SC/St are nowhere near in this system. They were treated as sub-servant.

    At the bottom were the Eta numbering a good many thousands. Above the Eta were the Hem in numbering about 25/30 millions. Over them were the Samurai who numbered about 2 millions and who had the power of life and death over the Hemin. At the apex were the Damiyos or the Feudal Barons who exercised sway over the rest of the three classes and who numbered only 300. The attitude of the governing classes in Japan during the period between 1855 to 1870, a period in which the Japanese people were transformed from a feudal society into a modern nation—was even more self-sacrificing than the attitude of the governing classes in France.

    If the Brahmin Community like Damiyos of Japan declare that they disown all the privileges and merge with mainstream Indians. Then there is chance to wipe out the caste system from India. So it is in the hands of Brahmins only.

    1-James A. B. Scherer.1926. The Romance of Japan, through ages. George H. Doran Company.,New York,pp-361.

  42. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    There are no “Brahmins”. I recognise NO CASTE. Bad luck for those who think they have a caste! They need to face me – and be shown to be the donkeys they are.

  43. Nilesh

    Hello Mr Sanjeev Sabhlok..

    I would like to know.. considering during 12th to 16th century was under Mughal rules in Maharashtra.. How and where Bramhins were getting trained for performing Rajyabhishek.. a throne ceremony.. I mean its easy to target Bramhins.. but if you can provide some facts where bramhins were trained, whom all did they perform rajyabhishek if opposed shivaji..

  44. Riyaz Shaikh

    Excellent article and thanks a lot for all the efforts in collecting all the facts together and presenting them in a simple manner. I’m just glad that a Non-Muslim has written this simply because if a Muslim had written it, he would have been termed anti-national, regardless of how true it is. We need to be one, regardless of our beliefs and respect each other’s beliefs. We need to understand who makes us fight and how, so that we all live peacefully together. Most importantly, we must ask questions and demand answers. If we let the culprits go free, history will repeat itself and we will not need external enemies any more to destroy our beloved country and our oneness and our diversity. Thanks again. Jai Hind.

  45. williemore

    Imprecise written account of history. These days you have the “web researchers” writing columns based on individual accounts of history. Does Teesta claim to have access to National Institutes of history? And most importantly have claimed to read thru “modi” script? All written accounts of Shivaji’s coronation are in modi.

    Chattrapati Shivaji was born a Kshatriya, son to a semi-stately king Shahaji. The gene pool for Bhonsale is still fairer than most Shudras. The shudras are simply the oldest migrants to the Indian subcontinent that have gone through a genetic mutation.

    The Brahmins had suspicions over self-coronation, as the coronation was not an inheritance, which was mostly a practice during the period. And they didn’t necessarily agree that the marathas were genetically kshatriya. He established the maratha clan with peasants from the neighbouring villages. The peasant community back then was itself a mix of castes. The maratha clan later grew to a conglomeration of 96 families (or tribes) and hence Maratha 96K. These families were rightly a mix from all stratas of castes. Like the Yadava marathas who could be categorized as OBC today, but were neither Kshatriya not Brahmins. Kunbis are similarly categorized lower than the kshatriya status given today due to either sardarhood in the maratha clan system or their participation in the maratha army.

    Many legit kshatriya clans on the other hand have even played politics over the reservation system to legitimately claim backwardness today, and tried to associate themselves with kunbis or shudra professions for selfish gains. In short, the answer is quite complex, more so than an online research. DNA is the answer.

  46. Naveen Kumar Manglur

    A well researched blog unlike most others. Excellent piece Sanjeev sahib.
    Naveen Kumar 1982 IA&AS

  47. tim

    “There are no “Brahmins”. I recognise NO CASTE. Bad luck for those who think they have a caste! They need to face me – and be shown to be the donkeys they are.” —-> But Mr Sabhlok, the indian government provides caste certificates.

  48. tim

    “Then there is chance to wipe out the caste system from India. So it is in the hands of Brahmins only.” —- lol, brahmins aere only small % of the population . Inter-caste marriage % is barely around 5%. Nothing is stopping the jaatis from marrying each other so why aren’t they doing it ?

  49. RAHUL D

    Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was never born as a Shudra. He was born as Shatriya.
    Some group of Brahmins are really did work bad against him.. and against his Bravest son Sambhaji.
    Yes, Babasaheb Purandare did study on Chhatrapati shivaji maharaj But he was one of them who dis-respect Sambhaji maharaj.
    Chhatrapati Shivaji maharaj is also known as a Father of Indian Navy.
    He and his son actually never followed the caste system.. and this was against some group of Brahmins.
    Chhatrapati shivaji & Chhatrapati Sambhaji both had a people from all types of castes, Brahman was also there, Muslim and pathan was also there in their military.

  50. Tatva

    Now, now, Sanjeev:

    1.) You are quoting sources that are secondary and predominantly of a certain ideology. So show us some primary (preferably contemporary source) about the opposition of local Brahmins to Shivaji’s coronation as you mention. All the stories of using the left toe to anoint are pure unadulterated imaginary stories! Again, you’ll need to prove it with contemporary or close-to-contemporary sources and I will be more than happy to accept it!

    2.) Do you even know that Pandit Gagabhatta had met and knew Shivaji Maharaj from at least 11 years prior (from 1663) to the coronation? His family was from Maharashtra and he used to travel there from Kashi often to preside over religious councils. If there was a revolt by local brahmins, they would have even revolted against the opinion of Gagabhatta – whose family was also ultimately from Maharashtra!

    3.) If the local Brahmins were so opposed why do you think the great, courageous Shivaji Maharaj had the majority of his ministers Brahmins? The Brahmins would have disregarded the coronation of a “shudra” isn’t it? or Shivaji would have kicked them out because of the trouble they caused him.

    Whether you name it as caste or not every person has an inclination/combination to intellectual, business, martial, labor, and criminal pursuit – that mindset was called a “varna”.

    All in all, remember a mindset which then got associated with the profession and then unfortunately to birth is what happened with caste. Almost all the rishis of yore were born to Shudras. What we see today is the fermented and deformed aspect of very logical truth.

  51. Satyender

    Thanks for penning down the info.

    I just would like to point a print mistake which is mentioned as “The coronation date as 1974” instead of 1674.
    ( ‎6 June 1674 )


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