Jijabai – The Guiding Light Behind Shivaji Maharaj’s Triumph

Discover the extraordinary life of Jijabai, the princess of Devgiri, who defied tradition and instilled values in the heart of Maharashtra. Uncover her journey from conflicted origins to guiding her son, Shivaji Maharaj, to his coronation. Immerse yourself in a tale of heritage, courage, and steadfast determination.


In the annals of Maratha history, one name stands out as a beacon of guidance and strength – Jijabai. A pivotal figure in the rise of the Maratha Empire, Jijabai’s life and legacy have left an indelible mark on the course of history. From nurturing a young Shivaji to his ascension as Chhatrapati, Jijabai’s contributions were profound and far-reaching. In this article, we delve into the life and influence of Jijabai, tracing her journey from her early days to the crowning glory of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation.

Rajmata Jijabai

Early Life: Nurturing Values and Aspirations

Jijabai, affectionately known as ‘jiu,’ was born in 1598 A.D. to Lakhojiraje Jadhav in the revered territory of Sindkhed in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. This land was not just a geographical location; it was an emblem of heritage and pride. Jijabai lineage traced back to the Yadavas, the traditional rulers of Devgiri. In essence, she was the very princess of Devgiri, carrying within her the legacy of regal blood.

Lakhojiraje Yadav, Jijabai’s father, hailed from a lineage steeped in valor and tradition. He belonged to the lineage of the Yadava rulers of Devgiri, which added a touch of royalty to Jijabai’s origins. However, along with his three sons, he was working as a chieftains in the Sultan’s military. This decision was a point of contention and inner turmoil for Jijabai.

Amidst the grandeur of her lineage and the shadows cast by her family’s role of serving the invaders, Jijabai’s early years were shaped by a profound connection to her cultural roots. She grew up amidst the echoes of ancestral tales and the melodies of traditions. However, the seeds of conflict were sown, as she would sputter with rage at the way the invaders were treating the Hindus. She grew up with a fierce loathing for everyone who degraded Hindus by any means necessary.

Jijabai Marriage

Conforming to the conventions prevalent during that era, Jijabai’s matrimonial bond was established during her tender years, at the age of merely 8, to Shahaji Bhosle. The groom, Shahaji Bhosle, was the offspring of Maloji Bhosle, belonging to Verul village. The nuptial ceremony unfolded on the 5th of November, 1605, within the premises of Sindkhed.

Remarkably young, Jijabai, at a tender age of eight, was united with her husband, who himself was scarcely twelve years old. Reflecting the norms and practices of the times, Jijabai continued to reside with her parents for a number of years prior to formally joining her husband’s household.

Jijabai was from the Jadhav Family and Shahaji was from the Bhosle family. Although they were married, the Jadhav’s and Bhosle’s were not at good terms. They had their internal conflicts. So, Jijabai had her relations strained with her Father and Family. To add this, the Nizam’s orders compelled Lakhoji Raje to march with his army to Junnar, tasked with capturing Shahaji Raje.

However, this decree bore a heavy burden on Jijabai, who was carrying a life within her womb. The arduous journey to Pune on horseback was an impossibility for her in such a delicate state. In this poignant moment, Shahajiraje, her husband, displayed his care and consideration. Understanding the challenges that pregnancy posed for Jijabai, he took decisive action.

Shahaji Raje entrusted the guardianship of Jijabai to two pillars of support – Vishwa Rao and Vaidhyaraj Nirgudkar, a respected doctor. The confines of Shivneri Fort became her sanctuary, a place of refuge as Shahaji Raje embarked on his journey to Pune.

Meanwhile, as destiny would have it, Lakhoji Raje’s path intersected with his daughter’s once again. After years of separation, he reached Junnar and found himself at the gates of Shivneri Fort, a poignant reunion in the midst of the prevailing chaos. He blessed her for a healthy child and left the Fort.

Jijabai’s Suffering and Determined Certitude

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the Nizam’s insidious plot unfolded. Jijabai’s father, Lakhojiraje, along with her three brothers, were summoned to the royal court by the Nizam, ostensibly unarmed. However, deceit lurked within this apparent gesture of diplomacy. Tragically, their lives were mercilessly extinguished in a treacherous act that shattered the very foundation of trust.

The aftermath of this callous betrayal left an indelible mark on Jijabai’s heart. Her maternal family, once proud and thriving, lay in ruins, victims of a ruthless act of violence. However, amid the devastation, Jijabai’s spirit remained unbroken. yearning for ‘Swaraj,’ the vision of self-governance and independence that continued to burn brightly within her.

Swarajya – Dream of Jijabai

Jijabai would have easily be leading a Queens life as she had all the material things but her heart beat for a different purpose. She saw herself as part of the original Marathas, the Kshatriyas whose very existence was meant to safeguard their subjects, lands, saints, and righteousness.

Jijabai’s spirit could not fathom the concept of subjugation. She envisioned a realm where their destiny rested in their hands, a land where freedom, sovereignty, and righteousness prevailed. Jijabai’s dream surpassed the mundane; it was a vision of a sovereign throne, an independent realm guided by their own ideals and principles

Inspiration from Epic Narratives:

Jijabai inhabited a league of her own. When she was pregnant, she inspired herself from our Epics. A fervent devotee of Tulajabhavani, her spirit resonated with that of the Mother Goddess Jagadamba, who valiantly battled demons for nine days and nights, purging the land. Jijabai saw herself in a similar light, envisioning a crusade against the Sultanates that held their sacred land captive. Her resolve was steadfast, ignited by the suffering inflicted upon Maratha homes, the region, Hindu deities, and the very fabric of their faith.

Jijabai’s heart resonated with the timeless tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata. As she immersed herself in the narratives of Ram, Hanuman, Sita, Krishna, Draupadi, Kunti, and others, her mind underwent a profound transformation. The echoes of these stories etched their mark on her consciousness, leaving an indelible influence.

Jijabai found herself drawn to the grandeur of these epics, where valor and righteousness prevailed. The tales of Ram’s devotion, Hanuman’s boundless strength, Krishna’s wisdom, and the indomitable spirits of Sita, Draupadi, and Kunti stirred her soul. Their deeds showcased the triumph of good over evil, the establishment of just kingdoms, and the embodiment of powerful ideals.

In the tapestry of these narratives, Jijabai saw a reflection of her own aspirations. She pondered whether her name could one day be spoken alongside the revered Kunti’s. Kunti, the mother of Bheem and Arjun, stood as the epitome of strength and guidance. Her sons had vanquished demons and Kauravas, sculpting a realm of happiness and righteousness. Kunti’s legacy was one of courage and regality; she was hailed as the mother of valiant hearts, the mother of kings.

Jijabai’s heart echoed with the desire to emulate Kunti’s legacy. She yearned to stand alongside her as a beacon of strength and leadership. Jijabai’s dreams weren’t limited to her own family’s fortunes; they extended to the very land she held dear. She longed to carve a realm where bravery reigned, where justice and prosperity flourished, echoing the heroic tales that had shaped her worldview.

Mission Swarajya

When Shivaji was just 6 years old, Jijabai Shifted to Pune with him. The decision to stay at Pune was very bold because It was completely destroyed. But then Jijabai had some other plans. Jijausaheb’s persistent dreams, behavior, and words were all centered around one goal – establishing an independent Maratha Swarajya.

Her courageous step, immediately upon reaching Pune, to erase the symbols of subjugation, marked the beginning of her brave endeavor. She aimed to mend the wounds inflicted by the Adilshahi forces, restoring temples, homes, and hope to the city. Pune, once in darkness, began to witness the glow of small lamps. The signs were evident; a new kind of progress was replacing the old, a plough of sovereignty replacing the yoke of subjugation.

Shivaji Raje’s own independent seal was being actively utilized, with twelve village artisans and local laborers working alongside him, fostering optimism. These signs heralded the arrival of a promising era for the entire region. Slowly but steadily, Jijausaheb was awakening the Pune region, particularly the youth of Maval.

Aaisaheb’s involvement in the court proceedings left a significant impact on Shivba. She often presided over judgments, attentively hearing disputes and delivering impeccable rulings. She even settled the gurav dispute in Jejuri. Her and Pant’s administrative role began shaping Shivba’s perception of justice and injustice. The principle of ‘Justice’ began ingraining itself within him, making him increasingly intolerant of injustice. This awareness culminated in his recognition of the most colossal injustice – the foreign Sultanate’s dominion.

Dadoji Konddeo is attributed to the comprehensive oversight of Shivaji’s later education. When Konddeo assumed this responsibility, Shivaji was eight years old and had already received instruction in Sanskrit and military strategies from his father. Dadoji Konddeo guided Maharaj’s education from 1636 to 1646.

So, on one hand Shivaji was learning the lessons of Justice, on the other hand he was trained in warfare. Gradually, Jijabai could see and feel the sparks in her son to attain Swarajya

Teachings of Jijabai –

To understand the heavenly teachings of Jijabai one has to spare a moment and repeat in your mind that Shivaji was a mere teenager, at the age of 16 when he captured his First fort Torna in the quest of Swarajya. From here, it was a roller coaster journey, there were lots of ups and downs. But Teachings of Jijabai and her support was always there for Shivaji Maharaj right up to his Coronation. Here are some of the key teachings that had the potential to transform lives:

Embrace Fearlessness and Courage

Jijabai believed that true strength lies in confronting fears head-on. She encouraged the cultivation of fearlessness and the courage to stand up against injustice. By facing our fears, we unleash our potential and pave the way for personal growth and success. A teenager embraced this fearlessness and Captured Torna Fort right away to perform such feats more often thereafter

Uphold Moral and Ethical Values

Central to Jijabai’s teachings is the importance of upholding moral and ethical values. She emphasized that success achieved through dishonest means is short-lived and hollow. By staying true to our values, we create a strong foundation for sustainable success. So, very true, because even after years passed by the Dream of Swarajya inspired generations of Freedom fighters and even inspires us today.

Nurture Resilience in Adversity

Life is filled with challenges, but Jijabai’s teachings teach us to embrace adversity with resilience. She believed that setbacks are stepping stones to growth. By learning from failures and persevering, we can emerge stronger and wiser. What great example than the treaty of Purandar? He had to handover 23 Forts to the Mughals. But, he never lost the plot and Shivaji Maharaj came back with a strong vengeance and determination

Foster Empowerment Through Education

Jijabai recognized the transformative power of education. She emphasized the significance of knowledge and believed that it empowers individuals to make informed decisions. Education is a key that unlocks doors to opportunities and self-improvement. So, his education was multidisciplinary. Right from Justice – injustice, to handling administration, to Guerilla warfare tactics, to a great yoddha.

Lead by Example

Leading by example was a fundamental principle of Jijabai’s teachings. She believed that words hold meaning when accompanied by actions. By embodying the values we advocate, we inspire others and create a positive ripple effect. When Shivaji Maharaj was trapped at Agra, Jijabai, even at an advanced age look over the administration and also took the important decisions related to Swarajya. Shivaji Maharaj himself has lead by examples in many of the warfronts. This teaching of Jijabai was not just confined to the King but the Soldiers he produced. Be it Tanaji Malusare, or be it Baji Prabhu Deshpande, all led by examples that are revered as Inspirational stories even today

Practice Compassion and Empathy

Compassion and empathy were integral to Jijabai’s teachings. She believed in extending a helping hand to those in need. By practicing kindness and understanding, we create a harmonious and supportive community. So, in the true spirit , Shivaji never ruled his Kingdom but practiced A course of being a King . He is fondly and rightly called as “Rayatecha Raja” meaning King of the Common People.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who was Jijabai, and what role did she play in Maratha history?

Jijabai was the mother of Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire. Her role went beyond being a mother; she was a pivotal figure in shaping Shivaji’s character and guiding him toward his remarkable achievements.

What were Jijabai’s origins and early life?

Jijabai was born to Lakhojiraje Jadhav in Sindkhed, Maharashtra, in 1598 A.D. She hailed from the lineage of Yadava rulers of Devgiri, adding a touch of royalty to her heritage.

How did Jijamata view the invaders and the state of the Maratha region?

Jijamata developed an intense hatred for the invaders who humiliated Hindus. She observed the devastation caused by continuous warfare and the plundering of the region by the Sultanate armies.

How did Jijamata’s upbringing influence her actions and decisions?

Jijamata’s early years were steeped in cultural heritage and tales of valor. Her upbringing nurtured a sense of duty, resilience, and a commitment to her people’s welfare.

What was Jijamata’s vision of Swarajya (self-governance) and independence?

Jijamata’s relentless thirst for Swarajya drove her aspirations. She dreamt of establishing an independent Maratha kingdom free from subjugation, drawing inspiration from epic narratives and historical figures.

How did Jijau saheb contribute to the resurgence of Pune and the Maratha spirit?

Upon her arrival in Pune, Jijau saheb initiated efforts to erase signs of subjugation. She worked to mend the wounds inflicted on the city by Adilshahi forces, renovating temples and households and igniting hope in the process.

Did Jijau saheb have a role in Shivaji’s education and values?

Dadoji Konddeo supervised Shivaji’s education, but Jijau saheb influence in shaping Shivaji’s character and values cannot be understated. Her commitment to justice and righteousness deeply impacted Shivaji.

How did Jijau saheb’s actions influence Shivaji’s perspective on justice and injustice?

Jijau Saheb’s active involvement in court proceedings and her commitment to fairness ingrained the principles of justice within Shivaji. He witnessed firsthand the impact of injustice, further fueling his determination.

How did Jijau saheb’s vision and values align with Shivaji’s goals?

Jijau saheb’s quest for Swarajya and her disdain for injustice were mirrored in Shivaji’s aspirations. Her steadfast commitment to self-governance and sovereignty resonated deeply with Shivaji’s mission.

What was the enduring legacy of Jijau saheb in Maratha history?

Jijau saheb’s legacy extended beyond her role as a mother. Her steadfast determination, commitment to justice, and vision for an independent kingdom left an indelible mark on the Maratha Empire’s foundation and its trajectory in history.


Finally, Teachings of Jijabai cannot be listed but this article tries to list some of the teachings with examples. The teachings of Jijabai resonate across time and continue to inspire individuals to navigate life’s challenges with courage, uphold moral values, and strive for excellence. By integrating her principles into our lives, we can unlock our potential and create a lasting impact. Let Jijabai’s wisdom be a guiding light on our journey towards success.

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