shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka State is a sacred place of
pilgrimage to Jains. There is a splendid and lofty statue of stone on the top of a hillock
there. When one stands at its foot and looks up, one sees it against the vast sky; and one
feels that the sky is the most appropriate background for that statue. The figure is lofty
like the sky, and again, like the sky, has no equal. And the serenity of the face is
This statue of Gommateshwara is carved out of a single stone. It is fifty-seven feet
high. There is no statue of this height anywhere in the world, except in Egypt. In 981
A.D., Chavundaraya, the minister of the Ganga King Rachamalla had this statue carved.
Bahubali is another name for Gommateshwara.
Bahubali is a great name in the Jain legends. His story is an example of the inner
strength of the entire culture of India. He won everything from his brother and could have
become an emperor; and yet, in utter selflessness he returned everything to the brother.
Bahubali is the ideal man who conquers selfishness, jealousy, pride and anger. This is his
story, the story of a great soul.