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Śivajī

(1627—1680)


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(1627–1680)

The leader of the Marāṭhā resistance to the Mughal rule of Aurangzeb. He successfully established an independent kingdom in Maharashtra, and at his coronation in Pune in 1674 (conducted by the Sanskrit paṇḍita, Gāgābhaṭṭa) he had himself declared a kṣatriya Hindu king. His teacher was said to have been the Vaiṣṇava sant, Rāmadāsa. Subsequently deified by his followers, Śivajī has proved a hero to nationalists such as Tilak, who inaugurated a festival in his name; and in 1966 Bal Thackeray (Thakare) named his militant Maharashtrian Hindu nationalist organization, Shiv Sena (‘Śivajī's Army'), after him.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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