Bhagwan Adinath

In Jainism, Rishabhdev or Adinath was the first of the 24 Tirthankars.

He belonged to the House of Ikshwaku, which was also known as the "House of the Sun".

Rishabha was the first Tirthankar of the present age (Avasarpini). Because of this, he had the name of Adinath - the original lord. He became a Siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma.

Life

Rishabha was born to King Nabhi Raja (kulkar) and Queen Marudevi at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku clan. According to Jain beliefs, Rishabha existed before civilization developed. He taught people agriculture, tending of animals, cooking, and more. He had one hundred and one sons (main among them Bharat Chakravati and Bahubali) and two daughters, Bhrami and Sundari.

His eldest son, Bharat, was a Chakravarti king and the conqueror of the known world. In the later part of his life he retired to become a monk and attained moksha (liberation). Because he became a siddha, he is occasionally worshipped. According to Jain beliefs, India was named Bharata-varsha or Bharata after him. His second son was Bahubali, whose statue stands at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka as well as at Karkala.


After a long span of time (6.3 million Purva) Rishabhdev started losing interest in worldly things and activities, and drifting towards detachment. He felt that he should transfer all his responsibilities to his sons and proceed towards liberation through spiritual practices. He also desired to reach the state of omniscience and consequently show the path of disciplined life and spiritual practices. His concept was that indulgence in worldly things does not give happiness. It gives only an illusion of happiness. True happiness is derived out of freedom from worldly indulgences.

Following the stream of his thoughts Rishabhdev divided the area of his rule between his one hundred sons. Bharat was given the state of Ayodhya and Bahubali that of Takshashila. Getting free of the responsibilities of the state, Rishabhdev decided to take Diksha (the formal initiation into the ascetic way).

When Bharat was to become a Chakravati (kings of kings) he asked his younger brother Bahubali to accept him as his king and protector. Bahubali refused, and both kings faced each other in battle. Wise men on both sides, to avoid major bloodshed, requested both kings to fight individually without army to decide the victor. Bahubali, being physically stronger, won the battle. Frustrated from this, Bharat released Chakra on him. The Chakra did not work on him because of being from the same family and it came back to Bharat. This experience led Bahubali to detachment (or Vairagya) and he decided to take Diksha. Later on, all the brothers including Bahubali and Bharat attained Moksh.


Nirvana


For one thousand years Bhagavan Rishabhdev continued his harsh spiritual practices completely ignoring his body and other worldly activities. On the eleventh day of the dark half of the month of Phalgun he was meditating under a banyan tree in the Shakatmukh garden outside Purimtal town, close to Ayodhya. Around forenoon he transcended to the purest higher state of meditation. The intensity of his practice caused the shedding of the knowledge and perception obscuring Karmas as well as the illusory Karmas. As a result, he attained omniscience, the purest and enlightened state of soul. Rishabhdev became a Jina.

Description of Adinath Bhagwan in Jain Texts

  • Name: Bhagwan Rishabhdev
  • Symbol: Bull
  • Father: Nabhi Raja
  • Mother: Matha Marudevi
  • Clan Name: Ikshvaku
  • Source of Descent: Sarvarthsiddha
  • Date of Descent: Ashadkrishnapaksha 4 (as Indian calendar)
  • Place of Birth: Ayodhya
  • Date of Birth: 10^224 Years Ago Chaitra Krishna
  • Place of Enlightenment: Prayag the meeting point of Ganga and Yamuna
  • Date of Diksha: Chaitra Krishna Paksha 8
  • Date of Enlightenment: Falgun Krishna Paksha 11
  • Place of Nirvana: Ashtapad Mount
  • Date of Nirvana: Magh Krishna Paksha 13
  • Period of Practices: 1,000 Years
  • Lifespan: 592,704 Quintillion Years
  • Chief Disciple (Gandadhar): Pundarik
  • Number of Disciples (Ganadhar): 84
  • Number of Ascetics: 84 Thousand
  • Head of Female Ascetics: Brahmi
  • Number of Female Ascetics: 3 Lac
  • Male Laity: 3.5 Lac
  • Female Laity: 5.54 Lac
  • Body Colour: Golden
  • God of Organisation: Goumukh
  • Goddess of Organisation: Chakreshwari Devi