King Shahaji of Tanjore

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Thu Jun 25 14:14:40 UTC 1998

In a message dated 98-06-24 20:26:52 EDT, vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

<< However, there seems to have been a substantial difference between the
 way the two branches were received by their respective subjects,
 especially in the early formative stages. The Tanjavur branch extended
 patronage to the brAhmaNa groups associated with the court of their
 predecessor Nayakas, and we see works like sahendravilAsam and
 kosalabhosalIyam being composed in their honor. The Marathas seem to
 have simply stepped into the shoes of the earlier Telugu Nayakas in
 Tanjavur, and there seems to have been no orthodox objection to their
 rule. In Maharashtra proper, however, Sivaji faced substantial
 resistance to being accepted as a ruler. The very kshatriya status of
 the dynasty was being questioned.  >>

I think in his book, "Who were the Shudras?" Dr. B. R. Ambedkar discusses the
problems faced by Sivaji in having coronated as a legitimate kshatriya by the
Maharashtra brahmins. I think he had to bring a brahmin from Benares and
finally in spite of his efforts, he had his coronation only with puranic
mantras and not vedic mantras.

Interestingly, Ambedkar also discusses a law suit filed by some brahmins
questioning the kshatriya status of the Tanjore king. I think the case went
all the way to Privy Council. I do not remember the decision. But it might
have been decided in favor of the brahmins. The brahmins' argument was that
Parasurama had killed all the kshatriyas and there were no more kshatriyas

S. Palaniappan

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