Jijabai Bhosale widely known as Rajmata , Rastramata or Jijau was one of the most prominent women who had played a significant role in rising the Power of Hind -Swarajya through Shivaji in the history of India. Jijabai was the wife of Shahaji Bhosale and the mother of the great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who was the founder of the great Maratha empire .
Jijabai was the one who had nourished and instilled the mind of little Shivaji Maharaj with Hindu values and motivated him to free India from the cruelty of Islamic invasion and to establish Hindavi-Swarajya for the protection of the motherland.
After Lord Krishna, Shivaji was the one who was considered as the greatest politician the world had ever seen on the planet earth. And Jijabai was the one who was credited for his success .
Her life wasn’t easy as she had to go through several pain after getting married with Shahaji Bhosale at a very young age . Her father and brothers were killed by Nizamshahi kingdom in a conspiracy plotted by Shah Jahan to delicate Shahaji’s power . She had two son and six daughters . Sambhaji Bhosale and Shivaji were the two sons of her.
While Shahji Bhonsle, the father of Shivaji, was busy in his entire life to establish his power to serve the sultanate of Ahmednagar, sultanate of Bijapur and Mughal empire , Jijabai dedicated her whole life parenting her beloved son, Shivaji while residing in Poona.
She was an immensely religious woman who had complete devotion for her motherland and who had dedicated her whole life in raising Shivaji in such a manner which invoked or ignited the spark in the heart of Shivaji to free India from Islamic invasion. As she was a great devotee of Goddess Shivai , she named his younger son as Shiva.
She used to tell the epic story of Mahabharata and Ramayana to Shivaji Maharaj from childhood. These epic stories gave immense courage and fearlessness to Shivaji in his young age to fight and to execute plans to free his country.
Jijabai and Shivaji both of them always used to talk about their dream of Hindu freedom – an independent Hindu state from the clutches of Islamic invasion.
She used to tell him the old glories of Hinduism. She also made him aware of the rich culture of India before the presence of Greek in India.
She was also a great administrating woman who used to manage the Jagir of Pune with the help of Dadoji Kondadev.
The city of Pune was rudely destroyed by the Nizams and others which was later transformed into a well-cultured city by Jijabai and his supporters.
Below , we will know the history of Rajmata Jijabai who made the great Shivaji Maharaj who put the foundation of Maratha empire .
Jijabai was born on 12th January 1598 at sindkhed in Buldhana district , Maharashtra . She was the daughter of a wealthy landlord named Lakhoji Jadhav ,beloning to Yadav clan of Devagiri , who was the leading personage among Hindu communities serving under Nizamshahi Kingdom of Ahmednagar.
Jijabai was married to Shahji Bhonsle at a very young age on 5th November 1605 AD in sindkhed . The marriage of Jijabai happened in a very unexpected manner. And the Story goes as follows :
On the special occasion of Holi Lakhoji Jhadav invited the Hindu community to his house to celebrate Holi.
The little Shahji had also come with his father Manoji Bhonsle. That was the first time when Shahji met Jijabai. Both were in their childhood and playing Holi. The five year old Jijabai , the daughter of Lakhoji, began to mimic the grown-up guests and ran around to sprinkle coloured water on guests.
Seeing this, Shahji imitated her and splashed water over the Jijabai’s dress of green and white. Such a happiest moment compelled Lakhoji to comment ” what a charming couple “.
Listening to such words from the mouth of Lakhoji, Maloji considered it as a proposal for the marriage of his child, Shahji , with Jijabai.
When Lakhoji was informed about it, he clarified that his intention was never to marry his child, Jijabai to Shahji. That statement was spoken just in jest and nothing more.
Lakhoji wanted to marry his child with a person who belonged to the same class as he was. This denial of Lakhoji created a fault line between two of them which was certainly going to impact the Nizam Shahi Kingdom.
Malik Ambar didn’t want to lose any of them because of their unmatched power management.
Maloji, the father of shahji, had taken the words of Lakhoji as an insult and started to prepare himself for upgrading his class through his immense hard work .
Soon, he managed to gather wealth and enhanced his reputation. He became a Jagir consisting of the districts of Pune and Supa.
Now, again he sent a proposal to Lakhoji to marry his child. This time, kingly intervention supported Maloji and finally the marriage took place. Though, Lakhoji was not fully convinced, he married his daughter to Shahji.
Jijabai’s struggle after marriage
As the marriage didn’t happen on good terms, the relationship between shahji and jijabai didn’t go well too.
Their families bitterness made both of them lose the charm in their relationship which resulted into the second marriage of Shahji from the Mohite family of Supa.
Jijabai had been raised as a great warrior also. Jijabai accepted the reality and started to raise his child , Shivaji,single- handly in the Shivner fort of Poona .
Shahji hand-over the Jagir of Poona to Jijabai. She then started to take the control of the management of Poona which was then roughly destroyed by the Nizams and others .
According to the contemporary ” Padishahnamah” , Jijabai and Shivaji were living in the Fort of Shivner till 1636. This statement is also supported by “Tarikh-i-shivaji ” which states that after entering into the service of Bijapur, Shahji secured a grant of the whole region from Chakan to Indapur and Shirwal.
The dense area around the fort was full of wild beasts and brigand. The existence of fort was completely in the dense area which made it a secure place to live from daily buzz of war.
Jijabai’s life with Shivaji Maharaj
Jijabai was a very religious woman. See carefully followed all the Hindu rites described for pregnant women.
She used to draw triangles, adorned with vermilion on the walls of her Cottage and anointed them daily with honey and molasses and use to melt water in honor of the mother goddess.
The most surprising thing happened was that a few months before Shivaji’s birth an unusual prophecy repeated again and again in the villages of the south through a Sanskrit verse :
” the time of deliverance is at hand.Maidens herald it with songs of joy and the heavens shower blossoms on the earth “.
On 19th February 1630 AD, jijabai gave birth to his child Shivaji. Jijabai wanted to share her happiness with his husband Shah Ji Bhosle but the ongoing Battle of shahji with the kingdoms deprived him to come to the ceremony of his new-born child.
Shahji in his career had made some real enemies too and the Mughal was one of them. The enmity of Shahji with the Mughal Empire had reached to the life threat of Jijabai and Shivaji.
The officers of Mughal’s were desperately searching for the wife of shahji and his son to take the revenge.
When jijabai heard the news of her search by Mughals from her spy, she somehow managed to escape little Shivaji but unfortunately she was arrested by the people of Mughals.But sending capturing her and sending to Trimbak didn’t work for longer time.
She played such a trick which made her come out from the grip of the Mughal. She again started to spend her life building a strong Shivaji from childhood.
As the war between the emperor and Bijapur came to an end, the search for Shivaji and Jijabai also came to a full stop.
Jijabai had also hired a tutor, Dadoji Kondadev, for Shivaji. Dadoji was a great administrator who gave immense knowledge and skills to Shivaji in his early age.
Jijabai visit to Bijapur
Jijabai and Shivaji were soon called by Shah ji Bhosle for the first time after the Treaty of 1637 . According to the Treaty of 1637 AD, the sultane of Bijapur acknowledged Shahjahan as his master and was ready to pay tribute.
Jijabai, after a long duration, came to the plain of the country with Shivaji. Her heart cried a lot when she saw burnt villages, crumbling towns, defaced Murtis of the temple ,ruined districts during her visit to Bijapur.
After reaching Bijapur, Jijabai and Shivaji were highly welcomed by Shahji . Shahji wanted to marry his child, Shivaji and also wanted to follow his path of serving the Bijapur Kingdom. But jijabai was completely against the marriage and serving the Bijapur Kingdom because both of them had some other plan to execute.
Their opposite ideologies widen the differences between them and finally staying for some years, both Jijabai and Shivaji returned back to their Poona fort from where they started their journey of taking the battles with Islamic invaders.
Jijabai died on 17th June 1674 AD at Pachad village near Raigad fort. She died 12 days after the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj .