*Today is the birthday of Chatrapati Shivaji.
Shall we imbibe into our intellect just droplet from the ocean that is the life saga of that great hero?
Time: A day about three and three fourths of a century ago
Place: Near one of the gates of Vijayapura Fort which was occupied by Adil Shahis
A harmless cow which was hallmark of innocence was being heinously hauled for being hacked to death. The rope with which the merciless marauder yanked the cattle resembled rope of Yama, together with the sword which he savagely swung with his steely wrists as though seeking to slit the throat of the sacred mother and the cruel expression on his face gave an aura of death to the entire atmosphere.
Merciless Massacre of a motherly life for no reason! Among the scores of submissive souls who saw the savagery there was no soul who spoke against! Who had to speak? The one who was mercilessly being massacred was mother who could not speak; though she was being killed what else she could do apart from mooing!?
Those who were around were guilty of grave inaction! Brainless bunch of people who equate mother with a heap of meat! Sadists who celebrate slaughter holding swords in their hands and poison in their paunches! For the scores of supporters of Sultan with tear-less steely eyes and emotion-less hearts causing pain to cow is practice of religion! To top it, it is cause for celebration because it amounts killing of the mother of Hindus! Cry of dolour or cry of death is just a cry in wilderness for those who believed in the principle “savagery is celebration, brutal bloodshed is bash’!
Yes, there were Hindus who believed cow to be mother and place where all deities reside- they believed cow to be a temple in motion; but there was hardly any difference between their presence and absence! While cow was dumb because she could not speak, they were dumb because they did not! The heavy head which they could not lift was hoisted on their torso; they could not breath heavily though they continued to breath; the heart which had frozen for the fear of Sultan refused to melt even for the massacre of the mother; those eyes were blind with amnesia of the self when Kamadhenu was being killed in front of their eyes! Those hands which failed to rise in protest were paralyzed with pusillanimity! These ‘**Bha-Ratas were in fact **Bhi-Ratas!
After all, it was not the story of a single cow; neither was it the story of a single day. Merciless massacre of the mother was a daily routine on the sides of “Mullagasi” (this is the name the locals have given to that particular gate of the Vijayapura fort). It is the same even today! But the script was not the same on that day; because the scene was seen by the sparkling eyes of the heroic lad who was to eventually rewrite the story of BharataVarsha one day! The small but strong heart was filled with uncontrolled rage; breath got heated up; fists were clenched; face reddened; the boiling lava within the crater spilled to breach its brim!
Who was that tsunami’s son who resembled Goddess Girijabai’s son Kumaraswamy? He was Shivaji, the spark of the inferno, whom Mother Jijabai delivered and whom Ma Girijabai blessed with a sword! Now he was the bud of a brave soldier! A Sun dawned in Maharashtra to shine the MegaRashtra called Bharat!
But all of that came later; today he is just a kid; in front of his gaze is ghastly slaughterer; even imagining what would happen next is a cause of fear! Can a ball of butter brave a boulder? “Alas! What a quirk of fate! Did the kid breathe its last with the cow!?” – the gentlemen around were aghast.
But, does fire go through childhood? Even a spark of fire still causes burns! A tender snake is still a snake; it can kill someone if it bites! Similarly, though Shivaji was tender, his heroism knew no tenderness! It was not within his nature to suffer the agony of a heinous scene of cow slaughter being staged before his eyes!
In the next moment…
Did his hand move towards the sword? Or did the sword jump towards his palm? Only Shiva* knows!
Reminiscent of a king cobra exiting from its dead skin, Child Shiva’s sword exited from its sheath, reached his hand and rose to the sky. What a similarity! Shiva in Kailasa there, Shiva in Vijayapura here! Sacred snake beaming in Shiva’s nape there; dreaded sword shining in Shiva’s grip here!
Before blinking of an eyelid Shivaji had crushed with his sword the hand that had risen to slash the neck of the cow! State of the slaughterer’s hand that held the sword looked like branch of a big tree which fell to the ground due to the strike of a thunderbolt! Life of the cow was saved, limb of the coward that came to kill had severed; the name “Vijayapura” (meaning ‘the land of victory’) had earned some significance! After a long recess rays of young Sun had beamed on the horizon of Bharat!
The cow looked – with a thousand-fold affection than it would look at its own offspring – at the child prodigy who had kept the motherhood intact. That was the hour that witnessed the averting of sacred mother. Cow is nothing but ray of Sun; on that day, a ray of the Sun with invaluable sanctity must have entered Shivaji’s heart.
Can anything equal the affection of the mother! That too – can there be an adversary who can match a person who is blessed with the boon from the mother of all mothers? Fort of Vijayapura surrendered before the sword which saved the scruff of the mother. Vijayapura was just the beginning; innumerable forts across the nation were waiting to surrender before Shivaji. Ultimate shine from the ray of benevolence beamed by mother cow was the great opportunity to be enthroned as a sovereign ruler of the kingdom of Sanatan Dharma with the title “Chatrapati”.
While the severed limb of the slaughterer lay witness to the saying “result of cow slaughter is fall”, the rise and rise of Shivaji, the great man recorded by history, lay bears witness to the saying “result of cow protection is ultimate ascent”.
Translated blog of Sri Samsthana SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji
*Original Kannada blog was written by SriSriRaghaveshwaraBharathi Mahaswamiji on the birthday of Chatrapati Shivaji
**Bha-Ratas – those who rejoice in light
**Bhi-Ratas – those who rejoice in fear