Is the plot of 'Baahubali' inspired by Jain mythology?

Last Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015 17:06 hrs

The plot of Baahubali has remained a closely guarded secret but the title of the film hinted at the possibility that it might be influenced by the story of Rishabha and his two sons Jadabharata and Bahubali from Jain mythology.

Rishaba's story appears in multiple sources like the Bhagavata Purana, the Rig Veda and the Jain text Adi purana, written in the 10th century by Adikavi Pampa. The first of the twenty four tirthankaras, Rishaba, is revered as the founder of Jainism.

According to legend, Rishaba divides his kingdom between Bharata and Bahubali. Bharata becomes the ruler of the northern half of the kingdom, ruling from Ayodhya while Bahubali presides over the southern half of the kingdom from Podanapur. Bahubali and Bharata subsequently go to war for control over the entire territory. Bahubali gains victory but gives up his kingdom to his brother.

From what is known of Baahubali's plot, the rivalry between the brothers played by Prabhas and Rana Daggubati seems to have a resemblance to the story of Bharata and Bahubali. The similarity in the stories landed the makers of the film in trouble when a Jain mutt raised concerns over the portrayal of Bahubali in the film. The character in the film was perceived to be too violent. On the other hand, Bahubali, who is revered as Lord Gomateshwara, is an embodiment of peace.

However, the makers of the film have assured everyone that the plot of the film is fictional and is not based on the religious texts. Other than the similarity in the name, there is little in common between the two stories.

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