The spiritual consciousness prevailing since the advent of humankind on earth has inspired miraculous events all around the world. Salvation or Moksha is arguably the peak of this spiritual realm where a soul will be liberated from the mortal circle of life and death for eternity. While the path of salvation has been defined by almost every religion as the most difficult to venture upon, men who displayed valour in pursuing the same have been recorded to be Godly and worshipped for ages. What makes Jainism a significant ideology in this direction is the sheer number of men who chose the hard path of liberation and achieved it, leaving behind an almost unbelievable legacy from which the followers of the religion today derive a framework for a lifestyle.
Teerthankaras are the prominent propagators of Jainism. Adinatha, the father of Bahubali is one of the Teerthankaras whose footsteps his sons eventually followed. While all of them propagate prescribed ideals of Jainism, what stands out as their ethos are the principles of sacrifice, refrain and non-violence; propagated in this legacy like nowhere else.
Both Lord Adinatha and Bahubali chose renunciation while they were at the peak of their material being. They were royalties whose name and righteousness spread far and wide, inspiring even the divine beings such as Indra (as mentioned in the scriptures documenting Lord Adinatha’s renunciation). Despite such positions and respect beheld for years, Lord Adinatha and Bahubali gave no second thought when it occurred to them that the purpose of their life is salvation. It took sacrifice to the extent of not just giving up royalty, but basic necessities such as food and clothes as well. The rulers used to majestic lifestyles switched to extreme forms of absolution and isolation within forests, leaving the world in awe of the spiritual awareness they fostered in themselves. They refrained from even the littlest of actions that could inspire Karma and attained salvation only after what can be called extreme penance.
Even today, Bahubali is recognised mainly as the symbol of a sacrifice than anything else. Also, the fact stays undisputed that he was also an ardent propagator of non-violence, as he dismissed the idea of waging a war over his brother using an army. Death of soldiers or violation of people in any other form was clearly something he was against, owing to which he chose to individually fight his brother.
Standing tall and strong over the world today in a number of places, Bahubali still conveys the message of sacrifice and peace to all those who can behold the innate nature of the bequest carved in stone. He never asks to be adorned with holy fluids or be gloriously celebrated, but we do it nonetheless because he is the one analogy of the ideals prescribed by Jainism, and we yearn to obtain at least fragments of his piousness through his worship.