Mahadaji Pant Guruji
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Mahadaji Ballal Karkare (also known as Mahadaji Pant ‘Guruji’) was an accountant, Special Envoy of Peshwas, and tutor and advisor of Peshwa Madhavrao I and Sawai Madhavrao. He was preceptor of Peshwa Madhavrao (I), when he was a child. He afterwards became Peshwa's domestic priest. Later he was his private treasurer. (Reference : History Book : Tawareekh-E-ShindeShahi)
Mahadaji Pant Karkare (Ballal) was born in a Karhade Brahmin family in a village in Ratnagiri district in the Western Maharashtra. He was a scholar of Sanskrit scriptures, Marathi literature and Civics.
The Karkare Ballal family belongs to Ratnagiri ( Maharashtra). This family is considered very close to the family of Peshwa from the times of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat Ballal (who also was from Ratnagiri). A distant relative, or may be cousin, of Mahadji Pant Karkare was Sakharam Moreshwar Karkare Ballal . Sakharam Moreshwar Karkare Ballal was appointed as chief of the troop of the personal bodyguards of Peshwa Vishwas Rao Balaji during the battle of Panipat - 1761. Records of the Peshwa Office states, that Sakharam Moreshwar Karkare was killed in action while fighting with the troops of Shah Wali Khan of Afghanistan in the south of Ugrakhedi and north of Risalu villages near Panipat. (Tawareekh-E-ShindeShahi)
In the Peshwa’s court in Pune, Mahadaji Pant joined as a clerk and gradually reached at the post of ‘Auditor General’. Peshwa Nanasaheb simultaneously appointed him as ‘Guruji’ that is ‘Tutor’ of his son Madhavrao I who respected Guruji throughout his life . Besides Justice Ramshastri Prabhune, he was the only one who had great influence over Peshwa Madhavrao I. In 1763, when Nana Phadnis was expelled by Madhavrao I for few months, he was re-appointed on the strong recommendation by Guruji. In October 1766, Madhavrao I sought Guruji’s assistance to give systematic & disciplined shape to the Maratha army on Southern front.
Later career and death
After the death of Madhavrao I and subsequent murder of Narayanrao, Nana Phadnis re-appointed Guruji to take charge of Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao as his student. The Peshwa had been making his academic progress under the guidance and supervision of Guruji until his death. In 1778, before starting his Kolhapur campaign, the great warrior "Shreenath" Mahadji Shinde got his demands fulfilled from the Peshwa’s Court through Mahadjipant Karkare Ballal Guruji’s arbitration. There is no mention found regarding Guruji’s death.
- ‘Marathi Riyasat Volume V’ (Marathi) by Govind Sakharam Sardesai
- ‘Marathi Riyasat Volume VI’ (Marathi) by Govind Sakharam Sardesai
- ‘Peshvyanchi Bakhar’ (Marathi) Editorial Notes by R.V.Herwadkar
Tawareekh-E-ShindeShahi by Pt. Neelesh Ishwarchandra Karkare