Building work was in progress. Huge rocks and stones loaded on to creaking carts were being dragged up the hill where the fort was being built, the sun was high. It was almost noon. The backs of the laborers glistened with sweat and perspiration trickled down their brows.
Shivaji, king of the Marathas stood there supervising the work. He made a fine figure, straight and majestic with his arms akimbo. He was not very tall. He had a pointed beard, a straight nose and bright eyes. His sardars ran hither and thither carrying out his orders. Another great Maratha fort was being built!
In this bustle of activity was suddenly heard a rich, powerful voice calling out,"Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha ') Before Shivaji stood a Sadhu. He had the staff and begging bowl in his hand and wore only a saffroncoloured loin-cloth. Shivaji bowed his head and folded his hands and asked for the mendicant's blessing "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha " His name was Ramdas Swami!
Then Shivaji drew him into conversation. Ramdas said, "What is this you are doing Shivaji? You seem very busy today!" Shivaji said, (LO, what shall I tell you Swamiji! It is no joke wearing a monarch's crown. I have so many responsibilities. I have to feed and clothe my people. I have to build these forts to guard against Mughal invasions.
"Which other king has achieved so much in so short a time? I started only with a small group of faithful Mavlis. Now I have built up a mighty empire—the only empire which has defied the Mughal empire!"
Shivaji's chest swelled with pride. He felt at the peak of his glory as he told the smiling Swami the list of his achievements. Soon, it was noon-time. Shivaji invited Ramdas Swami for Bhiksha. They made their way to the palace. The Swami was received with all proper honours. "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha”. He was served by the queen herself, the choicest of dishes. And all the time the Swami was thinking, "Shivaj:i is a very good king, no doubt. But he has become proud. Pride has been the downfall of many ~ good man. If he is not taught a lesson now, the Maratha empire will lose all that it has gained. Shivaji must be made to realize and see the hand of God working through him and his men." Outwardly, Ramdas Swami smiled. He blessed the queen and praised the king. "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha."
The meal over, Shivaji and Ramdas went back to the site of the fort. The building work had been resumed. Some men dragged the blocks of stone up the hill, some carried up the water, some urged on the oxen, some sat and hammered the huge stones to a smaller size.
Shivaji was trying to show his own importance by scolding his men, urging them to work harder. At the place where the monarch and the mendicant were standing, some men were breaking stones. They watched them with interest. Suddenly, one stone cracked and a frog hopped out. "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha."
"Look at that, Shivaji," said Ramdas. "Probably it is due to your mercy that that poor frog managed to survive in that stone. How your glory has spread in the land! You are indeed the greatest king on earth!" And the Swami gave a low, chuckling laugh. "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha."
Now Shivaji was a very shrewd and a very clever man. He understood at once what Swami Ramdas was trying to teach him. Understanding came into his intelligent eyes. He clasped the feet of the Sadhu and said, "Maharaj, forgive me. I have been vain. I have been drawing to myself the glory that belongs to God. I will never let vain thoughts enter my mind again: "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha"
That was a golden moment in history. Shivaji surrendered himself completely to Ramdas Swami Thenceforward he became Shivaji's Rajaguru—always guiding and correcting him, ever putting him on the right path. He put Shivaji under an oath that he would not rest till he had unfurled the saffron-coloured flag of the Hindu religion on every fort he came across. It was the first step in the mighty movement of Hindu revival under the oppression of Mughal rule.
Shivaji never forgot his Guru's loving words, "Who was it, Shiva, that put water in the coconut? Who that put milk in the breast of flesh and blood? Remember, all this glory and wonder is His. All His! "Jai Jai Raghuveera Samartha. "
And throughout his life Shivaji served but one goal—the revival of his eternal mother the Hindu religion.
Moral OF The Tale:
Individual can do a lot to himself but what he can do for others is very insignificant. Even when we are apparently bringing some welfare to others it is only from Him, through us, flowing to them. Inman's vanity he is apt to forget this subtle truth. That becomes his end, his disaster. The vanity grows to block the flood of His grace, flowing through his heart and hands to the world around. Shivaji was early-diagnosed, thoroughly treated by Swami Samartha Ramdas, and so the brilliance of his contributions to the Loka-Sewa never dimmed.