Historical Figures

17. Misconduct of Sambhaji

Shivaji's son, Sambhaji, had become a victim of addiction due to being in contact with Prince Muazzam for a long time. Once a beautiful Brahmin woman came to Shivaji's palace to participate in some religious event. Sambhaji broke his modesty by force. When Shivaji came to know about this, he imprisoned Sambhaji and threw him in the Panhala fort. Shivaji had been thinking of dividing his kingdom for a long time. He wanted that the share of Karnataka should be given to Sambhaji and the part of Maharashtra to the minor Rajaram, but in the meantime Sambhaji committed this misdeed. So Shivaji postponed this plan. When Diler Khan came to know that Shivaji had kept Sambhaji a prisoner in the Panhala fort, Diler Khan contacted Sambhaji through letters. On December 13, 1678, Sambhaji got his wife Yesubai to wear men's clothes during the night and both the men escaped from the fort taking advantage of the darkness. When Diler Khan came to know about this, he received Sambhaji and took him to his camp. He wrote to Aurangzeb about the whole incident and recommended that Sambhaji be placed in the service of the Mughals on the mansab of 7000. The emperor was very pleased with this success of Diler Khan, but he also suspected that it was not a trick of Shivaji!

When Shivaji came to know about Sambhaji's escape, he sent his men to find Sambhaji, but Diler Khan kept the information of Sambhaji's arrival so secret that Shivaji's men could not get any news of Sambhaji. Detectives were hired to find Sambhaji. Within a few days Shivaji got information about Sambhaji being in Diler Khan's camp. Shivaji attacked the Mughal camp with his two troops to get Sambhaji. Both these units attacked simultaneously from two sides to shatter the back of Diler Khan's army. One of these forces was led by Shivaji himself and the other was led by Anandji Makaji. Shivaji did not get success in this campaign.

After some time Diler Khan campaigned on Bijapur. Sambhaji also accompanied Diler Khan in this campaign. On the way came the fort of Bhupalgarh where Shivaji had stored a lot of his treasure. A fort named Firangoji Narsal, appointed by Shivaji, guarded this fort. Sambhaji told Diler Khan that a huge treasure of Shivaji was kept in this fort. Diler Khan stormed the fort. Firangoji Narsal got worried. Because if he had fired cannons at the Mughal army sitting besieged on the fort, then there was a danger of Sambhaji also being killed. Therefore, Firangoji left the Narsal fort and separated and on 23 April 1679, Diler Khan easily took possession of Bhupalgarh. Diler Khan got all the people located in the fort killed and looted the state treasury.

When Shivaji got the news of Bhupalgarh, he strongly reprimanded Firangoji Narsal that why did he not shoot a sinner like Sambhaji! Diler Khan, filled with the item of victory, now reached the territory of Siddi Masood. Siddi Masood knew that he would not even keep a straw-like chessboard in front of Diler Khan's power. So he wrote an emotional letter to Shivaji, pleading for his protection. Shivaji sent two of his troops to fight Diler Khan as soon as he received the letter. Shivaji's soldiers beat Diler Khan tightly, due to which Diler Khan, trembling, took the siege from there and returned. On the way, he planned to capture Panhala fort. Diler Khan's army would plunder and completely ruin the village through which it passed. Many moneylenders hid in Tikota with their money and families, but Diler Khan found them and caught them and inflicted terrible torture. Many men and women jumped into wells and stepwells to escape these tortures. Diler Khan's army took several thousand men and women captive and demanded liberation money from them.

When Sambhaji saw Diler Khan's army doing all this, his soul started crying. It was his father's subjects who were being robbed and dying in front of Sambhaji's eyes. Diler Khan got information that there is a possibility of getting a lot of money in Athani village. Therefore Diler Khan ordered his army to attack the village of Athni. In this village, the army of Diler Khan committed inhuman atrocities on the Hindu subjects, seeing which Sambhaji was completely broken. The Hindus of Athni village fell at Sambhaji's feet and prayed to him to save the Hindus from the brutal atrocities of Diler Khan. Sambhaji requested Diler Khan not to oppress the subjects, but Diler Khan turned down Sambhaji's request.

When Shivaji saw that Diler Khan was oppressing the Hindu subjects, Shivaji also launched a fierce attack on Jalnapur near Aurangabad. This city was under the control of the Mughals and many wealthy merchants used to live here. Shivaji had made a rule that he did not oppress the public and did not rob the common man, but this time Shivaji broke this rule so that Diler Khan could be stopped from committing atrocities on the Hindu subjects. Some Muslim merchants entered a dargah with a lot of money. He knew that Shivaji does not attack religious places, but this time Shivaji's soldiers also entered the dargah and caught those Muslim traders. There lived a cleric named Syed Jan Muhammad, he forbade Shivaji not to do so in the religious place, but Shivaji's soldiers also insulted the Maulvi.

Shivaji got a lot of gold and silver, diamonds and jewels, jewelery etc. from Jalnapur. A large number of elephants, horses, camels also fell in the hands of Shivaji's army, with which this army started returning, but a Mughal general, Ranamast Khan, took a huge army and attacked Shivaji's army from behind. He also called a huge Mughal army lying in Aurangabad. His plan was to encircle Shivaji's army from all sides. So that Shivaji could be surrounded and killed in this field battle. A Hindu soldier named Keshari Singh, serving in the Mughal army, sent a secret message to Shivaji that he was going to be besieged here. So don't stop here, leave as soon as possible, more Mughal army is coming from Aurangabad.

It was not possible for Shivaji to overcome the huge Mughal army in the field battle. Shivaji had very few soldiers with him. So Shivaji ordered Nimbalkar to block the way of the Mughals with 5000 soldiers, I proceed with the rest of the army. Nimbalkar sat down with a front and Shivaji, with the help of local people, left overnight with the rest of the army through a secret mountainous route. He continued for three days and three nights. All the looted items also had to be left on the way.

Shivaji was constantly trying to get Sambhaji out of the clutches of Diler Khan. He informed Aurangzeb that Diler Khan and Sambhaji had fled after losing from Bijapur. Aurangzeb got furious on receiving this information and sent a message to Diler Khan that Sambhaji should be taken prisoner and sent to Delhi. He also removed Diler Khan from the south and re-appointed Bahadur Khan in his place. On hearing Aurangzeb's orders, Sambhaji was in great trouble. He spoke to a Maratha chieftain named Mahadji Nimbalkar. Mahadji was a relative of Sambhaji and was working under Diler Khan at this time. He warned Sambhaji that Aurangzeb would get Sambhaji killed at any cost. One night Sambhaji asked his wife to put on men's clothes and both of them escaped from the Mughal camp in the village of Athni.

Sambhaji and his wife Yesubai, instead of going to Chhatrapati Shivaji, went to Shivaji's friend Siddi Masood and prayed for his help. Siddi Masood gave refuge to Sambhaji and his wife and sent information to Shivaji. When Diler Khan got this information, he lured Siddi Masood with a hefty bribe and asked to hand over it to Sambhaji and his wife in return. Sambhaji came to know about this. Now here too his life was in danger. So in the midnight of 20 November 1679, Sambhaji participated once again with his wife. On the way, the couple met a military party of Shivaji. This team was searching for Sambhaji only. Sambhaji surrendered to these soldiers and this team reached Panhala fort on 14th December with Sambhaji and his wife. According to the orders of Shivaji, Sambhaji was again kept in captivity.

After leaving the Panhala fort, Sambhaji stayed in the Mughal camp for about a year, but he was again imprisoned in this fort after being stumbling by fate. This time Shivaji made special arrangements for the security of Panhala fort so that Diler Khan would not run away with Sambhaji.

Meanwhile, Shivaji received information through Pandit Raghunath that Vyankoji has become indifferent to the administration, spends time sitting in solitude and wishes to take sanyasa. Shivaji felt sad to know such condition of his brother. He wrote a poignant letter to Wynkozzi asking him to continue on the path of duty, explaining that our father's ideal was to keep working. You should not spend the day sitting in solitude, but facing adversity should proceed on the path of duty. Would you like to see the enemy outnumber your armies, snatch your property and damage your body too! I am older than you, I will protect you in every way. You don't need to be afraid of me. Raghunath Pandit is a qualified person, take a decision after consulting him. If you get fame and fame, I will be very happy. Take care of yourself This proved to be the last letter from Shivaji to Vyankoji as Shivaji never again got the opportunity to know Vyankoji's news and advice.