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2018 Mahamastakabhisheka: Bahubali & Bharata – When great kings clashed

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 16, 2018, 3:15 am IST
Updated Feb 16, 2018, 3:15 am IST
Rishabhadev renounced the world to give himself up to a spiritual quest and divided his empire between Bharata and Bahubali.
Jalayuddha
 Jalayuddha

There are legends and legends about Bahubali. The tallest, bravest and handsome prince, however, was able to rise above violence and greed. Vanquishing his anger, he scarified royal pomp and glory and chose renunciation but not before duels with his brother Bharata, after whom the country is called Bharat.

Legend says an interesting battle for supremacy between Bharata and Bahubali, both sons of King Rishabhadev, ensued and the winner Bahubali after trouncing his brother, realized to what extent greed and pride could debase human nature and resorted to renunciation.

 

Rishabhadev renounced the world to give himself up to a spiritual quest and divided his empire between Bharata and Bahubali. Ayodhya went to Bharata and Poudanapura to Bahubali. Bharata had dreams of wielding total power over various kingdoms. His dream of total power was almost complete, yet he had one kingdom to conquer and that was  his brother Bahubali’s Poudanapura.

But, a brave Bahubali refused to accept the supremacy of his brother-Bharata and the armies of both brothers were soon on the warpath. Elder statesmen intervened and wanted Bharata and Bahubali to avoid bloodshed and instead suggested that they settle the supremacy issue between them through a series of personal duels. Historians say Bharata and Bahubali agreeing to settle the supremacy issue between them was the first message of disarmament to the world. They were engaged in Dristi yuddha (staring into each other’s eyes), Jalayuddha (throwing water on each other’s face) and Mallayuddha (wrestling). In Drishtiyuddha and Jala yuddha, Bahubali trounced Bharata and while fighting Bharata in a wrestling bout, he could have easily overpowered him. Lifting him high and ready to smash Bharata to the ground, Bahubali was suddenly filled with fraternal feelings and remorse and put his brother down gently. An infuriated Bharata felt humiliated and ordered his Chakra (divine disc) to attack Bahubali but the Chakra  could not even touch Bahubali and went in circles around him remaining suspended.

 

The victory over his brother did not enthuse Bahubali but instead made him realize how temporary  material possessions were. The divinity in Bahubali manifested itself and he renounced his kingdom to strive for spiritual good.

Bahubali then left for the forest, pulled out his hair and assumed the Karyotasarga pose of a Jain ascetic. He stood in total meditation for so long that Madhavi creepers growing by his legs reached his forearms. The facial expression of Bahubali showed an undisturbed mind and yet Kevalagyan (complete enlightenment) eluded him because he could not free himself from the thought that the land on which he stood meditating, belonged to Bharata.

 

Realizing what was troubling Bahubali, Bharata worshipped his feet telling him “Do not ever think you are standing on my land. Nothing is mine.” The truth dawned on Bahubali and he achieved Kevalagyan and  salvation. The devotion of Bharata was so intense that he got a huge gold statue of Bahubali installed at Poudanapura.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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