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This week we feature four short stories taken from the remarkable life of the Hindu Raja Shivaji. He was born around 1630 in Shivneri Fort about 100 kilometers east of Mumbai and was named after the local Goddess Shiva Bai, to whom his mother had prayed for a son. Eventually he founded the Maratha Empire in 1674; building his kingdom from scratch it grew so large that it seriously threatened the established rulers of the time. To this day he is still considered a hero in the state of Maharashtra. Stories of his exploits have grown into legends and entered into folklore.
Shivaji and Aurangzeb
A short incident that begins a larger story, where Shivaji is taken prisoner by the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. Along with his son he is held captive for several months before plotting his daring escape.
Whilst returning to their kingdom Shivaji and his son Shambhuji take rest at an outlying farm. Unaware that their guest is the great king himself, the farmer’s wife speaks her mind about her current situation, and the cause of all their troubles.
Shivaji Obeys His Own Command
When finally Shivaji returns to his lands he reaches one of his many forts. It was his express order that the fort remain closed from sunset to dawn, no matter who showed at the gate. Upon his own arrival, night had already fallen.
Mother and Son Reunited
Shivaji’s mother Jija Bai was filled with worry. She knew that her son was free, yet four months had passed and still there was no sign of him. One day a religious mendicant arrives at the palace gates wishing to see her.
Artists: Budhsamudra Knox
Release year: 2006
Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy, Budhsamudra Knox
Format: Advanced Audio Coding