A Sanskrit text, from South Indian lands, of 1700s CONFIRMS Marathas were credited with saving Hinduism, despite all and any unfavourable opinions!
The Text is Vishvagunàdarsha of Veṅkatārya Yajvā Arisānaphāl.
The text follows discussion between two Brahmin pilgrims travelling through India and come across Maharashtra in 1700s.
They criticize Marathi Brahmins for being unorthodox as well as Kshatriyas for being ruthless, but eventually agree without them Hinduism would be DESTROYED.
Description of Maharashtra 🚩
“Then He looked at the land in front of him.
This Entire Country is alighted with the triumphant light of the City of the Gods. There are oceans of virtues in the households of those who are wealthy.
They are prosperous and worship their guests.”
Then begins the commentary criticizing the Marathi Brahmins for learning Farsi and Arabic, keeping false accounts, serving under Mleccha lords, having excess pride in their learning, etc.
This barrage of criticism is duly countered next by the other Brahmin.
“There are many Kalita Agnihotras here too.
They are skilled in understanding the meaning of the scriptures and are indeed peaceful. They are introverted and always self-aware and great.
They are turned away from external distractions and follow the path of the Vedas.
They clean themselves regularly by bathing according to rules prescribed in the Puranas for the benefit of the Vedas.
These hearts are fixed on avoiding the touch of those who are not purified.
This is a great virtue that flourishes in the country of Maharashtra..
Only after performing rituals of Suras (Sandhyavandanam), they eat food that has been purified.
What’s more? Their entire Janapada is under the regulation of the Armies of the King.”
Then the King of Mahārāṣṭra appears with his grand army, entering his Palace.
Marathi Brahmins are then criticized for serving in military.
“न वृत्तिमिह पालयेद्यदि घरासुराणां ततो ।”
If a (Brahmin) person does not follow his own (Brahmin) Vritti, he becomes like a Asur in his own house.
Sins are avoided with the help of company of saintly Brahmins.
“Even if the (Marathi Brahmins) destroy a thousand demons, it is not enough.”
अलं मंक्षु संहर्तुमंहस्सहस्त्रं स एकोऽपि विप्रप्रवेकोपकारः ॥ कठोरः कुठारः किलैकोऽपि तिग्मो विनिर्भेत्तुमीष्टे विषद्ननेकान् ।।१८९॥ कृ० । अस्त्वेवमथाप्यैत्रत्यानामाद्येतरवर्णानां पुनैरति दुस्सहं चष्टि |
Ultimately they conclude the discussion by referring to Bhagwan Parshurama, “A sharpened Axe, even if a single one, will always want to cut off the heads of Venomous Ones”.
“But still it is quite unbearable (for me) to see the First (Varna Brahmins) engage in such (violence).”
It appears as a contemporary opinion of very orthodox Brahmins who adhere strictly to Varna duties.
Then the conversation comes to Maratha Kshatriyas.
“These Marathas sinfully leave their own land and rover around different places worshipping other Brahmins, roaring “Har! Har!”
“But, it is true that these people’s behavior is tolerable. That’s right. The frightening expansion of Arms of the Earth (Kshatriyas), is almost like divine aid, and has been counterproductive to Mlecchas. I can therefore somehow tolerate the actions of the Maharashtra Armies.”
“If the Umbrella of the Marathas roves the Earth as a battlefield, it is because these lands were earlier ruined as a result of oppression of Brahmins & Devas (by Mlecchas).
(Aggressive) expansion is the only response to retake the Earth that is without Devas.”
“It is not due to some Illusionary Powers, but the great combat skills of Maharashtra Warriors. Without the terrifying movements of these Opposers who are Arms of the Earth (Kshatriyas), the brutal Turk Kings would make whole Earth devoid of the Devas, Brahmans, and Pilgrimages.”
That Mleccha King destroyed many lands for sake of humiliating our Devas.
व्याधिव्यूहप्रतिहेतिकृतां व्यक्तमुग्रौषधानाम् ।
“They (Marathas) are obviously like aggressive medicines designed to neutralize the plagues of the world.”
Those who love their bodies should accept them.
“They spread their forces upto Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Magadha, Kuru, the Kosala, Kekaya lands! They also visited Kāśmīra, Kuntala, Yavana and Pāñcāla regions, Nepal, Kerala and some of the Pandya Tudiras! They surround the Karnatakas, the Gaudas and the Latas!”
The orthodox Brahmin returns to criticizing the army composition of Maratha forces against for having multiple castes.
Other Brahmin replies:
कथैमरे हरेर्भक्तेषु विक्तेष्वपि अमीषु सैन्नह्यसि । १९९ ।
“How can you slander these great devotees who are parts of the Supreme God?”
After bringing in power of Vishnu Bhakti, he concludes:
“They have all purified their bodies by bathing in the holy Ganges and other seas and by traveling to various places. Those who know the essence of these men should respect their wives, homes, children and detachment.”
The Brahmin who had taken a firm Anti-Maratha stance earlier finally agrees and compares Maratha armies to Indra who functions in both Kshatriya-Brahmin modes.
“For the sake of countering the Mlecchas they have applied great efforts which I (We) must tolerate.”
The commentary concludes with them stating Marathas are like Medicine.
कायस्य शरीरस्य आरोग्ये प्रणयि प्रेमयुक्तं हृदयं येषां तैः रोगिभिः व्याधिव्यूहस्य रोगसमुहस्य प्रतिहृतिकृतां |
नाशकारिणां उग्राणां तीक्ष्णानां औषधानां व्यक्तं उत्वर्ण काटवं कटुत्वं मर्षणीयं सहनीयम् | १९३
“Those (Hindus) who love their bodies will always fight against the hosts of diseases (Mlecchas).
For that purpose they (the Marathas) are destructive, sharp, ferocious, inflicting pain but truly tolerable.”
SOURCE: Vishvagunàdarsha of Veṅkatārya Yajvā Arisānaphāl Maharashtravarnam 173-194.
This text dates to late 1600 to early 1700s, CENTURIES before Hindutva propaganda was created.