The two ministers
went first to Bharatha. They described the horrors of war. They appealed to him, "The
two of you must agree to fight a duel, and prevent this tragedy." Bharatha was not
happy because this course would not give any chance to display the might of his
great army. But he concealed his thought and agreed to the suggestion of the ministers.
The ministers then went to Bahubali and made the same request. Bahubali said,
"Bharatha is proud that nobody in this world can defeat his army. So first his army
has to be defeated, and then there can be any kind of duel."
The ministers would not leave it at that. They described the deaths of thousands and
the suffering and the agony that would result if the two powerful armies clashed. "In
a duel, victory and defeat will be decided without sorrow and death. Bharatha has already
agreed to this suggestion. You must also be pleased to agree," they appealed to him
again. Unable to disregard the words of the elders, Bahubali also agreed.
Bharatha and Bahubali were mighty heroes, and each seemed to excel the other. What a
fight would this be-this duel between them!
Bharatha was confident thinking, 'I have conquered the entire world. Will it be
difficult for me to overcome Bahubali T And Bahubali proudly thought, 'Defeating me is not
as easy as defeating others.'
The trumpets of war blared. And the duel began.
This kind of fight is called 'Dharma -Yuddha' or moral war, because it prevents death
and suffering on large scale.
In such a duel, first there is a battle of eyes. The two have to stare hard at each
other without moving their eyeballs or bating the eyelids. The one whose eye moves first
is taken as vanquished.
When the duel began between Bharatha and Bahubali, it looked as if each would suck the
other through the eyes. Each glared at the other as if he would burn him. Finally Bahubali
The second stage was the water fight. In this, each had to splash water against the
other with his hands. Bharatha and Bahubali entered a lake like two angry elephants.
Bahubali was much taller than Bharatha. In the anger of defeat Bharatha threw the water
with all his strength but the water would reach only Bahubali's chest. But the water
splashed by Bahubali beat upon the face and head of Bharatha and increased his anger.
Unable to bear the force of the splashes, Bharatha had again to accept defeat. He became
Only one stage remained - a wrestling match. The desire to defeat Bahubali at least in
this match raged in Bharatha.
The wrestling began. Both were masters of the art of wrestling. And both were
determined and unyielding. It looked as if neither could be defeated. At last Bahubali
once lifted up Bharatha high in the air. The onlookers trembled - would Bharatha dash the
Emperor to the ground?
But Bahubali gently set his elder brother on the ground. As he touched the earth,
Bharatha's body was trembling with anger at his own fate.
He, Bharatha, had subdued the whole world and had become the emperor; but now, as two
armies looked on, he had been defeated by his own younger brother ! The shame of this
defeat was intolerable. At once he turned to his powerful 'Chakraratna' and commanded:
"Go forth and kill Bahubali!"
The blazing wheel flew towards Bahubali.
The two armies and the citizens shuddered. ' What has Bharatha done?' they thought, 'is
this "Dharma-Yuddha"? After he has been defeated is it fair to use the
"Chakra" against his brother? It will certainly kill Bahubali now. What
injustice!' Wide - eyed and breathless, they looked on in terror.
The 'Chakra' approached
Bahubali. It went round him once, and came to a halt on his right side.
The people shouted in joy. The angels showered flowers from above.
Bharatha stood with his head bent.
Bahubali looked at him. This was Bharatha, the son of Vrishabhanatha, and the lord of
the great 'Chakra-ratna', one who became Emperor by conquering many kings; and now he
stood with his head bowed in shame, before the two armies. Pity welled up in Bahubali at
his condition. All his anger melted away.
Bahubali reflected further. Bharatha and he were brothers, were brought up together,
and had lived in afffection. But now they had fought with each other. Bharatha had made up
his mind even to kill his younger brother. What was the cause of all this? For the sake of
a kingdom men even forget that they are brothers, and also not hesitate to kill each
other. beside, he felt, is evil. He grew weary of life.