Rishabha is believed to be an incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is the son of King Nabhi and queen Merudevi. King Nabhi meditated and performed severe penance to please Lord Vishnu and in return got a son like Vishnu.
In Jain philosophy, Rishabha or Rsabha is believed to be the first Tirthankar.
Rishabha married Jayanti, daughter of Indra. Rishabha had one hundred sons with his wife Jayanti. The eldest of the sons was Bharata. Rishabha ruled many years with equity and wisdom and celebrated many sacrificial rites. He resigned the sovereignty of the earth and designated the position to the heroic Bharata. He retired and settle in a hermitage Pulastya. Rishabha adopted the life of a sage, practicing religious penance, and performing all prescribed ceremonies. In the end he performed more severe austerities; he put pebble in his mouth and naked roam about. The pebble was intended either to compel perpetual silence, or to prevent his eating.
After the reign of Bharata India was named Bharatvarsa. Other sons of Rishabha are Kusavarta, Ilavarta, Brahmavarta, Malaya, Ketu, Bhadrasena, Indrasprk, Vidarbha and Kikata. There were also other nine sons named Kavi, Havi, Antariksa, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, Avirhotra, Drumila, Camasa and Karabhajana. These nine sons of Rishabha became mendicant preachers, following the religious precepts of the Bhagavatam. Rishabha was known as an ideal father as he gave appropriate instructions to his father. To teach the general public, King Rishabha performed many sacrifices and taught his sons how to rule the country and the people living there.