Bahubali thought, 'I do not
want this position. I do not want this desire. The best step is to give up everything and
go to perform tapas.'
He prostrated before his elder brother Bharatha and said, "Kindly pardon me,
brother. I did wrong to fight with you. I also put you to shame. I do not want this
kingdom. Let it be yours. I shall go away to perform tapas, and wash off my sins. Please
Bharatha's desire to be the emperor, his anger and his obduracy - all evaporated.
He saw the nobility of his brother and he was filled with pain that he was going away
to perform tapas. Tears rolled down his eyes and he raised his prostrating brother, and
said, "Brother, I have sinned. Because of my pride and rashness, all the other
brothers went away to perform tapas. If you also now go away, who will be with me? You are
the only brother left to me. How can I live if you also go away? What do I do with this
kingdom? I beg of you, do not go away from me." He held Bahubali's hands and implored
But Bahubali's mind was unmoved, in spite of the entreaties of many. He renounced
everything and went to perform tapas.
Bahubali went to Vrishabhanatha and got initiated for tapas. He gave up even his
clothing and stood completely naked in rigorous meditation. Many days rolled by. But he
did not move from where he stood. He had no food or sleep. Big anthills grew around him
and covered his entire body. Snakes crawled all over him. Various creepers entwined his
limbs. Birds made their nests in the creepers. Bahubali's hair became matted. But Bahubali
did not flinch. He stood firm, his naked body exposed to storm and rain, to lightning and
thunder. With a will of iron he continued his severe meditation.
Many years passed but Bahubali did not receive the supreme and ultimate knowledge.