Bahubali’s Last Obstacle

I wrote in my previous post how Bahubali has sudden change of heart and decides to retire to the solitude of jungle to explore the meaning of life. Deep inside he contemplates, “What should I do next? Should I go to my father who is a Kevalin now and seek his guidance? But, then I need to bow before my other ninety-eight brothers as they are senior to me on this path. I would not like to do so as my brothers are younger to me and in-fact no match as well.” He concludes, “I shall do an arduous tapsaya on my own and attain kevalgyan.”

Bahubali at Shravanabelagola

Bahubali at Shravanabelagola

Bahubali starts his meditation in the standing position. Soon he is totally absorbed in it. One year passes! He remains standing in deep meditation unaware of his surroundings. He has a thick moustache and a long beard now. He is standing in an unperturbed pose, naked, without food and water, attracting birds who are making their nests over him. The creepers begin to grow all over his body entwining his arms and thighs. Anthill is formed over his legs, insects crawls freely over his standing-statue frame.

The elapsed time is good enough to break any strong-willed person’s determination, but Bahubali is not an ordinary soul. He remains standing with a stubborn determination.

It appears that the world has forgotten the mighty ascetic, but the same is not true for Brahmi and Sundari – the daughters of Bhagwan Rishabhdev. They are keenly following the progress of Bahubali. Brahmi is gifted in scripts and Sundari is accomplished in arithmetic. Brahmi is the initiator and main force behind the origin of Brahmi script. Both of them have become nuns by this time and have joined Bhagwan Rishabhdev’s congregation.

Beautifully crafted Brahmi or Sundari near Bahubali's statue at Shravanabelagola

Beautifully crafted Brahmi or Sundari near Bahubali’s statue at Shravanabelagola

Astonished that even after doing such an intense Tapsaya Bahubali has not attained Kevalgyan, they go and talk to their father and ask for an explanation.

Bhagwan Rishabhdev tells them, “Bahubali’s tapsaya is enough for him to attain Kevalgyan. However, there is an obstacle. He is still retaining an ego. He wanted to come to me just after vowing for sanyas. Then he realized, if he would come to me he has to bow before his younger brothers, who are senior to him on this path. He believes that he is superior to all of them and does not wish to bow before any of them, this ego is the only obstacle in his attaining kevalgyan.”

The two sister decides to make Bahubali aware of this last obstacle. They go to him and request him, “O Brother, dismount the elephant and take steps towards the path of pure and complete knowledge.”

The idol of Brahmi or Sundari, the other idol is on the other side. Note the position of legs.

The idol of Brahmi or Sundari, the other idol is on the other side. Note the position of legs.

The kind advising cryptic-words make Bahubali wonder which elephant his sisters are talking about. And soon it becomes clear to him that the duo are referring to his elephant size ego that is stopping him from meeting his father and brothers. He realizes his mistake and takes a step forward to visit them. The very first step he takes manifests the kevalgyan. The last obstacle in attaining the supreme knowledge is up-rooted. The tranquil Bahubali goes and meet his father and brothers, bows to the congregation and joins them.

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