stands as the head of the builders of the Maratha nationality.” This training
the Marathas got was in the Muslim states in the Deccan. The Marathas were
employed in the revenue department of these states. Some of them were
appointed even as ministers by the Muslim rulers. Murar Rao, Madan Pandit
and many members of the Raj Rai family filled from time to time, the posts
of ministers in the Golconda state. Narso Kale and Yesu Pandit were other
important persons who served with distinction in the state of Bijapur.
Brahmin ambassadors were employed on diplomatic duties by the rulers of
Ahmednagar.
Employment of Marathas by Deccan Sultans The Maratha siledars and
bargis were employed first of all in the Bahmani kingdom and later on, in the
five states into which it was broken up. The training thus acquired in arms
and civil administration brought to the Marathas education, power and
wealth. A very prominent part was played in the politics of Ahmednagar and
Bijapur by the Maratha jagirdars – Shahji Bhonsale and Murar Rao Jogdev—
in the time of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. As the bhakti saints preached
devotion to God, the brave Maratha sardars started a tradition of bravery.
This was a period of great unrest. The Adil Shahi and Nizam Shahi kingdoms
were constantly at war with each other. They made use of the armies of
Maratha sardars in these wars. All the Maratha sardars had their own private
armies. If such a sardar went to the Sultan with his army, the Sultan gave
him employment, made him sardar of his kingdom and sometimes conferred
a jagir upon him. The sardar who received such a jagir considered himself a
raja.
Major Maratha Families There were many famous Maratha sardars at the
court of Ahmednagar and Bijapur. The more famous among them were the
Jadhavs of Sindhkhed, Nimbalkars of Phaltan, Ghorpades of Mudhol, Moreys
of Javali and Bhonsales of Verul. The Sindhkhed Jadhavs claimed descent
from the Yadavas of Devgiri. Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother, was the daughter of
Lakhuji Jadhav of Sindhkhed. All these sardars were brave but sworn
enemies of one another. They never thought that they should unite and do
something for their own people. So, all their valour and bravery served the
interests of others. Even so, they kept alive the warlike spirit, especially
among the young. Many famous soldiers were born in their families who kept
alive the tradition of valour.