Unknown voice tells, “Listen to me, King!
Righteousness will make you win,
Honesty brings victory – that’s God’s doctrine.
Celebration started in Maharashtra as Shivaji came back defeating Mughals using his clever strategy and without losing anything. People in the towns and villages, on the roads and fields went on discussing the possibility of his waging war against Aurangzeb. They wanted him to drive the blasphemous away from his Hindu empire.
He had taken many attempts, still could not acquire Bijapur. The Emperor turned down his repeated requests for help. He received only 3 million rupees from Emperor Aurangzeb as the expenses of this campaign, but no armed force. He had spent 10 million rupees from the collections of his ancestral kingdom. Deccan anyway remained impenetrable. Finally he could understand the emperor’s objective to tarnish him along with his army. He turned towards Aurangabad leaving Bijapur. He knew he was perishing – still remained loyal to the emperor – did not neglect his duty under any circumstances. He realised that he had to leave Maharashtra, at the same time he could not collect information about Shivaji. Didn’t his son Ram Singh communicate that he was supporting Shivaji? Probably no – every person follows own principle. Ram Singh might have listened to own heart while his father valued oath. He considered maintaining the emperor’s hold on Maharashtra in own absence a duty of him; hence deployed emperor’s force in the forts of Lauhagarh, Sinhagarh, Purandar, and destroyed some other forts which was not possible to acquire for the Emperor, so that the enemy would not be able to capture and use them against the Emperor in future.
Nevertheless the news of his failed attempts pleased the apprehensive Emperor Aurangzeb. He had every reason to suspect that Jai Singh had secret pact to assist Shivaji and Sambhaji to escape. In order to humiliate him further, he summoned him to Delhi removing him from the position of the resident ruler of Southern India. Jaswant Singh replaced him. Unlike other generals who had failed in the Deccan, Jai Singh was awarded severe punishment. The old warrior unable to tolerate this humiliation fell seriously ill on his way to Delhi. He did not know the Emperor had held him responsible for his son’s actions. He wrote a letter to one of his officials, “ …in four ways losses have fallen upon me—first my honour is gone, second the districts of my kingdom have been taken away thirdly what I spent on this war is gone, and fourthly—and what is worst of all—my son’s affairs have been ruined.”
One day, while he was lying in bed; one emissary came with a message, “My Lord, a Maratha soldier wants to meet you. He received your teachings once in past, once again he is here to ask for your blessings.”
The King ordered to escort the visitor. Shortly a Maharashtrian in disguise entered into his room. The King did not need to look at him to welcome him, “Shivaji! My friend! I am glad to meet you again before dying. Pardon me that I could not welcome you standing – I lost the ability to stand.”
Shivaji was teary-eyed, “I did not imagine of seeing you lying in bed!”
Jai Singh: “It is no wonder. Our body is mortal. You have seen the glory of Mughal Empire by the time we met first. You have travelled across the country in the meantime. Tell me, how you see it now.”
Shivaji: “You were the main pillar of the Mughal Empire in India. Now if your health is broken, the empire also does not have much hope.”
Jai Singh: “I do not think so! The land of Rajasthan is land of heroes. Instead of one Jai Singh, there will be other great warriors. The empire is not going to lose anything by the death of my kind of a soldier.”
Shivaji: “What misfortune other than your death can happen to the empire?
Jai Singh: “One warrior can replace another, but damage caused by treachery cannot be recovered. I have told you before, wrongdoing and treachery leads to death and destruction.”
Shivaji: “You are wise as the world knows you to be, My King!”
Jai Singh: “I am working under the Emperors of Delhi since the time of Aurangzeb’s father. I have supported them the best way I could during their bad times, during wars. I didn’t consider race to be a diving factor between them and us. I never considered them foreigner. I was prepared to sacrifice my life in their service. At this old age of mine, the Emperor first misbehaved with me, then humiliated. Still I did not change my previous stance of alliance with them. None of my soldiers, those I deployed in those major forts of Maharashtra, will let you capture those without a battle. Aurangzeb’s own misbehaviour will drag him into trouble. The Kings of Amber, the ever-loyal friends of Mughal Emperors, will change to their foremost enemies.
Shivaji: “You are right. Aurangzeb created two prominent enemies – Amber and Maharashtra.”
Jai Singh: “These are only two examples. You will see the same in entire India. Aurangzeb humiliated all his supporters throughout India, made foes out of friends. Not only in Baranasi, he destroyed temples in Mathura too. Also Hindus is Rajasthan developed grievance!”
After a long pause, Jai Singh’s grave voice declared as if he was watching the future, “I am seeing that treachery will light a fire in every corner of the country – Rajasthan, Maharashtra, in the east. Aurangzeb will not be able extinguish that even after fighting long twenty years. His sharp intellect, his excellent strategy, his extraordinary bravery will fail. He is going to die remorseful in the old age. The fire will blaze higher – it will devour entire Mughal Empire. Then the star will rise in the fortune-sky of Maharastrians. Don’t stop marching till then.”
Jai Singh died in his Burhanpur camp in 1667 under mysterious circumstances. Did the emperor poison him in secret? None can verify. But it was not impossible for an instinctive Mughal like Aurangzeb to give such an order. Later he erected a memorial structure at the bank of the river Tapti in Burhanpur in memory of Mirza Raja Jai Singh. He was a clever politician above all.
Returning from the Rajput camp, Shivaji called all his prominent commanders and ministers for a long discussion. At the end of the session, he arrived before the entire army that was assembled before his palace. He needed to deliver his message to all of them, “We signed a treaty with Aurangzeb one year back. He had breached the treaty. We will respond to treachery in a proper way – we will fight against Mohammedans once again. Goddess Bhavani’s word prohibited us from fighting against Jai Singh, the chief Commander of Aurangzeb and that was reason we surrendered to him without resisting. Aurangzeb removed the Hindu warrior, humiliated him, pushed him to death. We will fight for the honour of our friend as well. My stay in Delhi was fruitful – I saw the sign of decay of Mughal Empire. Let us fight. Let us ensure the end of the Mughal oppression. Let us free ourselves.”