Sambhaji Maharaj (Born on 14th May 1657) was elder son of Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha King. The entire life of Sambhaji Maharaj is full of battles, adventures, bravery and great success. He fought against the mighty forces of Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb himself had to come to Maharashtra to fight against Sambhaji. It went never easy for the emperor to fight against Sambhaji and his army. Eventually, Aurangzeb caught Sambhaji with the help of some traitors and killed him. Sambhaji was just 32 years old at that time. Aurangzeb killed Sambhaji not according to Shariyat law but the Manusmriti Law!
Even after the death of Sambhaji, Aurangzeb was not able to win the Maratha kingdom and died after a long struggle.
But that is not the subject of this article, so let me write on the original subject I have mentioned in the heading. This was just to introduction of Sambhaji Maharaj, as many readers might not know about him.
We can see few kings in the Indian history who were famous not only for their bravery on battle field, but also for their literary activities. Sambhaji Maharaj was one of such rare kings, who wrote scholarly books. He knew many languages including Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, Kannad, Telugu, Persian, Portuguese, Prakrit and Sanskrit. According to his biographers, he knew at least 11 languages.
Sambhaji Maharaj wrote four books. At the age of 17, he completed his Sanskrit book Budhbhushanam. His other three books Saat Shatak, Nakhshikha and Nayikaabhed are in Hindi.
Budhbhushanam contains Sanskirt Shloks on various subjects. In Shlok No. 422 Vol. II he has written the duties of a King, as following:
A king should not taunt anybody
A king should not speak rudely with anybody
A king should not go away from his kingdom without protection
A King should not take intoxicating things like liquor, opium, Cannabis etc.
A King should not have a harem (Janaankhaana). He should respect other women as his mother.
A king should never kill animals whether they are pets or in the jungles.
A king should beware of gambling.
Sambhaji Maharaj himself had only one wife and he never kept any harem. But what a tragedy, some so called historians in Maharashtra defamed this great king by declaring him being fond of women and being an alcoholic. Why did they have written so? That is a subject of my different article.
Purushottam Khedekar, Supremo of Maratha Seva Sangh and a scholar writer smells impact of Jain and Buddhist literature behind the rules Sambhaji Maharaj has given in Budhbhushanam for the kings. Khedekar writes, “If we study the contents of Budhbhushanam, we come to a clear conclusion that Sambhaji Maharaj had studied Jain and Buddhist literature, Prakrit languages and Brahmi script.”
This article is based on Shivshree Purushottam Khedeksr’s book Saahityik Yuvraaj Sambhaaji Raaje.
The Budhbhushanam with Marathi commentary by Prof. Dr. Prabhakar Takvale (Guide, Pune University) is published by Jijaai Prakashan, 584 Narayn Peth, Near Kanya Shala Bus Stop, Pune 411030. Phone: 020 2447 6539