According to legend, the Goddess Bhavani, presented Her sword to Shivaji Maharaj, to help him free the Maratha nation from oppression, and to establish self rule ("Hindavi Swarajya").
Without political freedom, or self-rule, it is difficult for a people to attain Self-realisation. For this reason Shri Mataji took part in the freedom struggle of India prior to giving Self-realisation.
The sword was given to the British Royal Family at the end of the 19th century, and - I like to think - acted as a kind of amulet helping to save Britain from invasion in two world wars.
But perhaps now is the time for it to return to Maharashtra where it means most to people.
Shri Bhavani is a form of the Goddess worshipped particularly in Maharashtra. Her name means 'Giver of life'.
Despite the persecution of his people by a so-called 'Muslim' Empire, Shivaji respected all religions, including Islam. The Muslim Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, was a fundamentalist, intolerant of other religions, and oppressed Hindus, undoing the interfaith reforms of his ancestor Akbar the Great. Shivaji wrote a letter to Aurangzeb, telling him that Islam and Hinduism are two complementary aspects of the Sacred. As in a painting, one is the outline and the other the colouring, he said.
May the Goddess free the oppressed peoples of the word from despotism and persecution.