Maharana Pratap – A Model of Valor
Your dreams come true and you become successful if you have determination and a strong will. God helps those who help themselves. There is nothing impossible in the world for those with will power and unyielding determination. Although, Bharat’s history is full of such examples that convey this message, Maharana Pratap’s example is the unique one.
The Rajputs (a community in Northern Bharat) are brave, chivalrous and gallant people. They were the first to resist the Mughal invaders. Many wars were fought between the Rajputs and the Mughals. Rajputs of Mewar (a province in Northern Bharat) surpassed all in deeds of bravery and personal sacrifice.
Maharana Udai Singh II ruled the kingdom of Mewar (province of Northern Bharat), with his capital at Chittor. Maharana Pratap was his eldest son who was given the title of Crown Prince.
Those days, Mughal King Akbar wanted to rule the whole of Bharat and used forces to over come the Rajput kings. As a result, almost all major Rajput Kings surrendered to Akbar, but Maharana Pratap didn’t! In fact, Maharana Pratap and his few loyal Rajput chieftains took a pledge in front of Goddess Kali, “Hey Kali!! We take a pledge that we will not sleep on a bed but on the ground. We will not wear any fancy clothes until we defeat our enemies!!”
Mughal King Akbar sent his associate ManaSingh to convince Maharana Pratap. In his meeting with Maharana, ManaSingh asked, “Why don’t you join Akbar?” Maharana replied back, “I have not sold my honor to Akbar! Rajputs like their honor most. You are not a true Rajput!”. ManaSingh furiously said, “I came as a friend and you have insulted me. You shall pay for this”. Maharana bravely replied, “Very well then! we shall meet in the battle!” At last Akbar and ManaSingh decided to use force against Maharana Pratap.
The great battle between Maharana Pratap and ManaSingh was fought in the valley of Haldi-Ghati on June 21 1576. Maharana had only twenty thousand soldiers where as ManaSingh and his associate Salim had eighty thousand soldiers. There wasn’t any possibility of winning the battle. Maharana thought, “If I somehow manage to kill ManaSingh, I have a slight chance of winning the battle.”
Maharana Pratap advanced towards ManaSingh without any support or backup. ManaSingh was riding an elephant. Pratap, riding a horse Chetak, attacked him like a fierce lion. He threw his spear aiming at ManaSingh, but elephant moved and the spear missed its target. Soon Maharana was surrounded from all sides by enemy soldiers. But he was saved by his wise horse Chetak, who took him in an unconscious state away from the battle scene. Chetak was also badly wounded, but he did not stop until he took his master to a safe place.
Maharana fought bravely. In this battle he lost almost all of his army. After the battle, he and his family lived in exile. But he didn’t give up. He again started raising army with the help of his friend Bhama Shah and Bhil Tribals. Bhama Shah helped him raise the money and weapons. Bhil Tribals provided him with man-power.
Maharana Pratap fought relentlessly for fifteen years to get his kingdom back. By the end of 1584, he managed to liberate his most of the lost territories. But he could not get his Chittor (Capital of Mewar) back. It was still occupied by the enemies. His dream was partially fulfilled. After the relentless efforts, he died in 1597.
“Where there is a will, there is a way” is a familiar and well-known saying. This saying underlines a very vital fact of the life. Very few truly understand and practice it. Maharana Pratap practiced it. He did not give up until his last breath.