As a historian, Jadunath Sarkar (1870-1958) is a study in himself. This re-issues of his classic work fulfils a demand from all students and researches of Indian history and society.
Shivaji and his times is much more than a biography of the great Maratha leader. It deals with the tangled web of Deccan history in the seventeenth century describes Shivaji relations with the Mughals provides a detailed knowledge of the internal affairs of the Mughal empire at the period of its decline and also analyses Shivaji’s relations concludes with a description of Maratha government institution and policy in the seventeenth century and of shivaji achievement character and place in history.
Some original reviews of Shivaji and his times: “The reputation of Professor Jadunath Sarkar as a sound critical historian will be confirmed and extended by his new volume on shivaji Prof. Sarkara bold and deliberately provocative book Vincent A. Smith
All his books are good; but perhaps the best of them is the life and times of shivaji. It is full of research and gives a striking picture of the great event the birth and development of the Maratha nation.
When captain J. Grant Duff was writing his history of the Mahrattas (published in 3 Vols. In 1826), the veteran scholar statesman mountsturat elphinstone, in a letter to him (20th April, 1822) exactly described the character of the material then available for life of Shivaji: Your difficulty was to get at facts and combine them with judgment so as to make a consistent and rational history out of a mass of gossiping bakhars and gasconading tawarikhs, these two sources of admittedly dubious value were supplemented by the English factory records which grant duff rightly declared to be very important for fixing dates and invaluable in corroborating facts admitted by native authorities.
Four classes of sources unknown to grant Duff have now filled up many gaps in our knowledge and proved his narrative of French and Portuguese MS. Source are now available for the first time thanks to the opening of the Paris archives (SC. The Memories of Francois Martin) and the scholarly and devoted work of Chevlier P.S. Pissurlencar among the Goa record. The original history of Mnaucci has been made accessible in W. Irvine masterly translation the Storia do Mogor. The travelers tale sin the printed French and Dutch works to which Orme referred with justifiable disappointment can be totally rejected now. (b) The Skeleton chronologies (Shakavalis) in Marathi supply many reliable dates and facts after they have been tested with care and a knowledge of othr sources. The 91 qalmi bakhar is a much earlier and less legendary work than the chitins bakhar (1810) on which Grant Duff so frequently depended with the result of falsifying his narrative of Shivaji in many places. (c) the same misfortune attended Grant Duff in connection with his Persian authorities. He used the very late (1735) and traditional hisoty of Khafi Khan which must be now rejected equally with the Chitnis bakhar. And he had no knowledge of the detailed and absolutely contemporary official histories of Aurangzib (viz. Alamgir-namah and Madir-i-Alamgiri) the court newsletters (akhbarat) the personal memoirs of Bhimsen and the letter of Jai Singh all of which are in Persian and have been fully utilized by me in this work. (d) the Persian and Dingal despatches and letters preserved in Jaipur. To these must be added three contemporary Sanskrit historical poems on Shivaji which have been printed in our own days.
A synthesis of this vast and varied mass of new materials made available during the century following the publication of Grant Duff book has naturally resulted in the supersession of his chapter on Shivaji on the one hand and of the Marathi bakhars (with the exception of the contemporary recollection of sabhasad) on the other both of which had so long held the field. The same has been found to be the case in respect of the history of Shambhuji and Rajaram which I have reconstructed in my Aurangzib volume 4 and 5 and the history of his father Shaji which I have newly told in my house of Shivaji.
The critical bibliography at the end of this book discusses the character of the materials that have been rejected as well as that of the authorities followed by me.
Fourth edition (Feb. 1948) in the present edition full used has been made of the materials brought to light during the nineteen years that have passed since the third edition was printed. The most important of these new sources and in every respect historical documents of unique value are the Jaipru records relating to Shivaji which were brought to light in 1939 and which have compelled a rewriting of the chapter on Shivaji interview with Aurangzib and his captive life in Agra. More Portuguese sources have been published during this interval and they light up Shivaji birth tercentenary held by two differing schools in 1927 and 1930 in Bombay and Puna respectively has born fruit in the intensive publication of letter chronologies and studies in the Marathi language which have helped me to make a fresh examination of facts and views contained in my earlier editions. Though I have seen no reason to accepted many of the conclusion reached by modern Maratha writers on investigation of shivaji times a good deal and some of the volumes (especiallt the Patra-sar-sangraha, or chronological calendar of letters etc. in 3 vols.) will be always helpful to student of history.
In addition to incorporating in the present edition what I hold to be genuine among the newly published materials I have subjected my book to a minute revision and removed a number of small errors due to hurry in preparing the press copy of the third edition. The variorum 91 Qalmi Bakhar, Published by V.S. wakaskar (Baroda, 1930) has been here extensively utilized and therefore all reference to its Persian version the Tarikh-i-Shivajim which was cited up to the third edition have been omitted.
The aggregate result of these changes is that in this edition a new presentation of the young Shivaji has been given the Javli and Purandar episode and also Shahji captivity (1648-49) entirely rewritten the apzal khan affair more fully explored the accounts of Shivaji audience with Aurangzib and captive life in Agra entirely reconstructed more details have been given of Netaji Palkar life as a forced convert the second coronation of shivaji with Tantrik rites has been added as an entirely new story his battles with Khawas Khan and Baji Ghorpare near Kudal have been described in greater and more correct detail and his dealing with the Portuguese amplified. The bibliography has been brought up to date while the index has been expanded.
The Marathas were only among the many threads in the tangled web of Deccan history in the seventeenth century. Therefore to understand the true causes and full consequences of Shivaji own acts and policy it is necessary to have detailed knowledge of the internal affairs of the Mughal empire Bijapur and Golkonda also. The present work is therefore more than a mere biography of Shiva; it frequently deals with the contemporary history of these three Muslim states, though an exhaustive treatment of the subject find its proper Place in my History of Aurangzib Vol. IV. I have printed in a separate volume entitled the house of Shivaji (2nd ed. 1948), most of the documents discussion and pieces justificatives relating to my life of Shivaji and that work should be studied as a necessary supplement to this.
First Edition (Dec. 1952)
The chief additions in the edition are a full description of Shiva Ships and naval bases a Muslim historian statement that Afzal Khan first struck Shivaji out of a proud design to prove himself a Bahadur the succession intrigues in shivaji court three years before his death which explain shambhuji desertion to the Mughal side the disputation between Shivaji and his step brother for the division of their father legacy and new Portuguese information on the siddis and the Maratha navy. The fragmentary Sanskrit poem of Paramananda discovered in Kolhapur and recently edited by G.S. sardesai in the Baroda oriental series with a foreword by me has been fully utilized and this has enabled a human story of Shivaji domestic life to be constructed. The birth of the last Hindu navy been studied with the fullness of detail criticism which the importance of this subject new demand, the unceasing kindness of Chevalier Panduranga S.S. pissurlencar has been supplying me with every scarp original information on Shivaji and his neighbors that his lifelong search among the state and church records of Goa has been yielding. The new material has led to an increase of the size of this book by 19 pages.
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