Who was Bahubali?

Acc to Jain Scriptures


Bahubali was the son of first tiranthakara Rishabha also known as Rishabhdeva. He has an elder brother Bharata. He gave his kingdom to his brother and become a Jain monk. He attained moksha after one year of meditation in posture of kayotsarga (on one leg) for a whole year. When Rishabhdeva left his kingdom for moksh, he gave throne to Bharta as he was the successor after him. But Bharta demanded submission from his brothers which made bahubali to challenge his brother.


Both brother were somehow immortal and cannot be killed by any means unless a natural death. It was then decided that dispute must be settled by means of contest between both of them. Those were 1. Eye to eye combat, 2. Jala yudh or water fight, 3. Mala yudha or wrestling


Bahubali won all three.


Did Bahubali Achieve Enlightenment?


Yes. A verbal communication has been found in Jain text where his three sisters asked from their father “Adinath” or the first Tiranthakara or Rishabadev. Adianth said “just moments away from enlightenment, Bahubali could not achieve it because he didn’t realize that he was standing on ‘the elephant’ – Ego”.


Now understanding his folly, the sisters approached him and said, Oh my dear brother, at least now get down from the elephant. These words from his sisters led Bahubali to question “Am I really standing on any kind of elephant?” From this question he soon realized that the elephant he was standing upon was his pride and ego. Bahubali realized his mistake and shed his pride and ego, thereby destroying four kinds of inimical karmas and attained omniscience. Source


Does Bharat attain same?


After becoming undisputed emperor, people were happy under his regime. One day his ring fell off from one of his finger. He looked his finger looked odd without ring. He removed all his rings and felt same for all fingers. Then he took off his throne and all ornaments and looked at mirror. He noticed that he did not look impressive as he used to look. He thus realized that nothing in the world inclusive his body belonged to him. In that case, he thought, “Why not do away with the attachment of all the temporary things and instead focus on something that last forever like my father?”
This led to rise in true enlightenment within and as a result he attained omniscience in that very room. Source


Acc to Hindu Scriptures


Who was bahubali?


There no mention of bahubali in hindu scriptures.


Do Rishabhdev have any important role in Hinduism?


Yes. Most of you might have not known that Rishaba Deva is believed to be the eighth avatar out of 22 avatars of Vishnu in Bhagvad Purana. Rishabh rishi is mentioned in popular texts such as Skanda and Vishnu Purana as well.


According to hindu text, he got 100 sons from his wife Jayanti. Of his hundred sons eldest was jadabharta, who later become chakravartin and since his regime, Indian subcontinent called Bhartavansha.


Bharta life as per hindu scriptures?


Similar to Jain text, when Rishabha Deva became old he left his throne for Bharta. And similarly, when Bharta turned old, he divided his kingdom between his five sons and went for tapa in forest.


Popular Story About Bharta


“Bharta love for deer” is a popular story you can recognize if you have ever attended Bhagvata Katha from speaker.


One day while offering prayers to the Sun God on the river bank, he saw a lone and heavily pregnant doe coming to quench its thirst in the river. Hardly had it touched the water when the forest echoed with the roar of a lion. The doe became terror-stricken and it just leaped into the water without even quenching its thirst and tried to ford it in a bid to escape to the other side of the river. Shocked by fear and overcome by the effort to negotiate the current, the doe gave birth to a young deer midstream. Without even being aware of it, the doe reached the other bank where it died of exhaustion. The royal sage who saw it all, was moved by compassion at the sight of the motherless infant deer being carried away by the river. He picked the young deer, took it to his ashrama and fed it with tender grass and protected it from wild beasts. Soon he grew very fond of it. In course of time the sage became so attached to it that he could not part from it even for a short while. He feared all sorts of harms to his pet and prayed for their removal. He forgot that he was a sage and behaved like a foolish householder doting over his child. In the end he died with thoughts of the deer in his mind. Source


Bharata’s Next Birth

That sage was born as a deer in his next birth. The Vedic scriptures say that a man will be born in his next birth as that thing about which he was thinking most at the time of his death. Therefore wise men advice people to think of Supreme Personality of Godhead (Krishna, or any other Vishnu avatara) so that it will become a habit and thus after death achieve God’s abode. As a result of his tapas and merits and having almost reached perfection the deer that was Bharata, could remember its past by the Lord’s grace.


It regretted: “How foolish of me to have forgotten my tapas and become attached to an animal? And now I suffer for it, being born an animal. I shall not repeat the mistake.” Saying this deer left its mother and began living in the vicinity of a Rishi’s ashrama spending all its time thinking of God. When death approached, the deer entered the water of a river and standing there, gave up its body.


There was one more birth of bharta after that. Please find the complete story here – jadabharta.


Relevancy between Jainism and Hinduism Stories


Both Jain and Hindu scriptures proved that the identities of Rishabhadeva and Bharta were true. Both believe that Indian subcontinent is named after bharta (bhartavarsh). Rishabha deva’s mother name was Marudevi.


What does not match?


According to Jain, Rishabhdeva had 2 wives: sunanda and sumangla. According to hindu only 1: Jayanti.

According to Jain, there were two sons: Bharta and Bahubali. According to Hindu, there were 100 sons from Jayanti. Eldest was Bharta. After him Kusavarta, Ilavarta, BrahmavartaMalayaKetu, Bhadrasena, Indrasprk, Vidarbha and Kikata.




None of these stories can be taken for granted but it is concluded that this story is not mere a myth but a truth and our ancient history.


Do the bahubali movie is based on this ancient storyline?


No. Bahubali movie is a just a work of fiction.


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