We heard many many stories about greatness of Chatrapati Shivaji. Shivaji always followed the path of Dharmam. He never enjoyed the bhogas of a King. He had no vyaamoham on stri and never went even near by any suraapaanam (see this too). He gave daanam of his Raajyam to a Sanyaasi and ruled the Raajyam as his pratinidhi (this is the recommended way of ruling a kingdom according to our Shaastras). He never used to put unnecessary taxes on people (see this too). Even his own Pattaabhishekam he did with his own money.
Shivaji maharaja had para-mata-sahanam, even though in his Raajyam the others were in minority. He did this even though he knew that in the neighbouring kingdoms the Moghul emporers suppressed, killed the Hindus and destroyed many many Devaalayas. Daya and Karuna were his svaabhaavika-lakshanas. This small story happened when he had his Durgam (fort) at Raayagadh.
Shivaji’s Durgam at Raayagadh was impenetrable. It protected him and his kingdom from many enemy kings. Security of the Durgam was of ultimate importance for the Raajyam. The Simhadvaaram of the Durgam used to be heavily guarded and it was strictly opened during 6am to 9pm only. Raaja-aagnya was that no one must be allowed in or out from the Dvaaram except in these times.
Heerakaanii was a ordinary women. She used to supply Goksheeram to the Raaja-aasthaanam. Everyday she used to come and go, for this purpose, into the Raayagadh Durgam.
One day, wife of one of the Sainikas was having Prasava-vedana. Heeraakaanii helped her and in that she became late. By the time the work was over, it was past 9pm and the Simhadvaaram was closed. Heeraakaanii told the Dvaara-paalaka to let her out. She said if she doesnt go back to her house, her baby will not get her milk. The Dvaara-paalakas took pity on her but they did not go against Raaja-aagnya and followed Seva-dharmam. They adviced her to take rest in the Sainika’s house and since Heeraakaanii’s husband is there in the house, he will manage feeding the baby.
The next day morning as soon as it passed 6am, the Dvaara-paalaka searched everywhere for Heeraakaanii, to send her out of the Durgam. He didnt find her. They searched everywhere and found signs that Heeraakaanii crossed the Durgam!! The Sainikas were ashtonished because even great great mahaaveeras can never cross the Durgam; how come Heeraakaanii crossed it? Fearing insecurity, they immediately reported the news to Chatrapati Shivaji.
Shivaji immediately came to the Dvaaram and checked what happened. While everyone was wondering how this happened, Heeraakaanii came before Shivaji and told Shivaji that she didnt follow Raaja-aagnya because she had to feed her baby. She said she was very sorry and was ready to take the punishment for her mistake. She said she herself didnt know how she managed to cross the Durgam and went out.
Shivaji fell at Heeraakaanii’s feet, did Saashtaanga pranaamam to her and ask her to pardon his mistake! He said “Amma! Your Maatruhrudayam I can understand. Please excuse me for not being able to send you out. No rule is greater before a Maatruhrudaya-karuna. This watch tower will be named on your name in order to respect your Maatruhrudayam”. From that time onwards the tower became famous as Heeraakaanii Buruzu and people never forgot the greatness of Shivaji and Heeraakaanii.
Morals in the Story:
- The story clearly showcases the importance our people gave to a mother and a women. Shivaji though being a Chatrapati maharaja did Saashtaanga-pranaamam seeing the Maatruhrudayam of Heeraakaanii.
- The paropakaara buddhi of Heeraakaanii was well shown in the story. She immediately helped the Sainika’s wife, whenshe was in need.
- The Maatru-prema of Heeraakaanii was so high that even the impenetrable Durgam was easy for her to pass through
- The qualities of a good ruler are shown well by Shivaji. He gave daanam of his Raajyam to a Sanyaasi and ruled the Raajyam as his pratinidhi. The Sanyaasi never wanted the bhogas of a King and asked Shivaji to rule the Raajyam without going against Dharmam.
- Para-mata-sahanam (does not even remotely mean we follow other people’s religion) was always recommended by our Shaastras. Shivaji was a firm follower of it.
- Seva-dharmam is one of the most difficult Dharmas to follow. The Sainikas of Shivaji firmly followed it.
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