The earliest descriptions of Shivaji's birth and boyhood are found in the works composed several years after his death. By this time, Shivaji had become a semi-legendary figure, and several folk tales and stories had developed around his legend. Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri near the city of Junnar. While Jijabai was pregnant, she had prayed the local deity "Shivai" for the good of her expected child. Shivaji was named after this local deity. Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhonsle was the chieftan of a hardy band of warrior class mercenaries that served the Deccan Sultanates.
His mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhujirao Jadhav of Sindkhed. During the period of Shivaji's birth, the power in Deccan was shared by three Islamic Sultanates - Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda. Shahaji kept changing his loyalty between the Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, Adil Shah of Bijapur and the Mughals, but always kept his jagir (fiefdom) at Pune and his small army with him. Gomaji Naik Pansambal, a trusted master of state-Craft, was deputed by Lakhuji Yadavrao (Jadhav) to look after Jijabai. He remained with Jijabai and Shivaji throughout his life. He also was a master of sword. But most important fact is that he advised Shivaji in making certain crucial decisions which had far reaching effects on the character of the Maratha empire as such.