(Last Updated on : 11-04-2012)
Bhagwan Rishabh Dev was born to Emperor Nabhi Raja and Queen Marudevi at Ayodhya
in the Ikshvaku clan. It is believed that Rishabh Dev existed before civilization developed. He taught masses agriculture, tending of animals, cooking, and more. He had one hundred and one sons.
Bhagwan Rishabh Dev's eldest son Bharat was a Chakravarti Emperor - the vanquisher of the known world. It is believed that India was named Bharata-varsha or Bharata after him. This has been mentioned in various Indian Puranas
such as Agni Purana
, Vishnu Purana
, Markandeya Purana
, Brahmanda Purana
, Matsya Purana
, Kurma Purana
, Shiva Purana
and Skanda Purana
. King Baharat however, later retired to become an ascetic and achieved Moksh. Marichi, Bhagwan Rishabh Dev's grandson later became Mahavir. He achieved 'kevalgnan' or endless knowledge at Palitana and achieved nirvana
(Moksh) at Ashtapad Mountain in Himalaya Mountains
Bhagwan Rishabh Dev is regarded as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu
according to the Hindu text of Bhagavata Purana
. One can also find his reference in the Vishnu Purana and Shiva Purana. As per Bhagavata, he was born to show the masses of this world the path of redemption. It was he who advised the masses to follow the path of undying happiness. He is regarded as the founding father and promoter of Sramanic culture.
Modern scholars are of opinion that Rishabh was a historical person and that his birth period can be placed established at the end of Stone Age and beginning of Agriculture age. The modern historians on the other hand are of opinion that there exists some relation between Bhagwan Rishabh Dev and Indus Valley civilization
. The terracotta seals and other excavations at Harappa
and Mohenjodaro provide a link between Rishabh and Indus Valley Civilization. Even the standing deities on the seals also show Kayotsarga (a standing or sitting posture of meditation) position. The Kayotsarga posture is peculiarly Jain and according to the Adi Puran Book, the Kayotsarga posture is said to have its connection with the penance of Rishabh, also known as Vrishabh."
Bhagwan Rishabh Dev propagated his religious faith having the five great vows as its fundamental theme. He went to the Ashtapad Mountain as he realized that all his remaining karmas are nearing their end.
Bhagwan Rishabh Dev, along with ten thousand other monks maintained a six day fasting without water. He seated himself in the meditation in the Paryanka pose. On the thirteenth day of the dark half of the month of Magh, when the moon entered the Abhijit lunar mansion he got enlightenment and thus got relieved of his entire ailments. The lord of Gods, Saudharmendra, Emperor Bharat, many Gods and men assembled and celebrated the auspicious event of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev's Nirvana.