In the Jain tradition, Rishabha Deva is a Tirthankara, and Bharata, the older brother of Bahubali is a Chakravati king, who eventually attained nirvana. Both the Jain tradition and theBhagavata purana state that India was named Bharat (or Bharat-varsha) because of this Bharata.
According to Bhagavata purana, Bharata on assuming rule married a girl named Panchajani and five sons were born to them. Bharata ruled the earth for a long time in a just manner. He performed a number of yagas, worshipped God in the prescribed manner and did many dharmic acts. Thus, he earned much merit. At the forest he stayed in the hermitage of the Rishi Pulaha on the banks of Gandaki river and by means of his austerities became a great sage. When Bharata in turn became old, he divided his kingdom among his five sons and, following his father, went to the forest to perform tapas.
In Jain tradition, Bharata is referred to as a Chakravatin King, who eventually became a monk and attained Nirvana. Some Jain temples contain idols of Bharata as a Jain monk, including one at Shravanabelagola. The Irinjalakuda (Koodalmanickam) Bharata temple is Kerala was originally dedicated to Bharata as a Jain deity .
It regretted: "How foolish of me to have forgotten my tapas and become attached to an animal? And now I suffer for it, being born an animal. I shall not repeat the mistake." Saying this the deer left its mother and began living in the vicinity of a Rishi's ashrama spending all its time thinking of God. When death approached, the deer entered the water of a river and standing there, gave up its body.
His father however gave him the sacred thread and tried to teach him the Vedas. Bharata did not make much headway in it.The old father died and his brothers gave him up as an idiot. Bharata was now a ripe jnani. He ate whatever food was offered to him, good or bad. He dressed scantily and roamed as an avadhuta. He, however, had a well-built body. So people made him do all sorts of work which he did, like a bull, without caring for reward or appreciation.
One day some robbers caught him in a field. They took him to a Kali temple to offer him as a human sacrifice to the Kali. Bharata did not resist. The robber chief lifted the sword to cut the sage's head. At that time Goddess Kali, enraged, burst out of her image and snatching the sword from the robber, killed the robber himself and danced wildly.
Whenever he saw insects on the ground he jumped above them and that made the palanquin jerk violently. The king who eas riding bumped his head as a result.
"What is wrong?" Asked the king angrily, "Haven’t you borne the planquin only for a little while? How is it that you are tired? Can’t you bear a little burden? You look quite strong to me."
Bharata’s answer was this. "Who am I and who are you? What you have seen is only my body and your body. I am not my body and nor are you your body. Our atmans or souls are what we really are. My atman is not strong or tired, nor is it carrying your palanquin upon its shoulders."
The king was struck by the reply. He stepped down from the palanquin and falling at the feet of Jada Bharata asked him to forgive him for his ignorance and teach him the sacred knowledge. Then Jada Bharata revealing himself taught him the nature of self. He told him the truth about the atman, which is never destroyed and takes up different bodies from one life to another. This is the jivatman. In addition, there is the paramatman, which is the same as God and is everywhere. To think that the jivatman is same as the parmatman is to suffer from maya or illusion. He also narrated the story of Ribhu to explain this philosophy. The sage ended: "A man becomes liberated when he severs all attachment through wisdom, keeps the company of great souls and sings and listens to the praise of God!"