ABC Of Jainism: 10 Bhagavāna Ṛṣabhadeva

Published: 02.11.2010
Updated: 30.07.2015


Bhagavāna Ṛṣabhadeva

Place of birth

Ayodhyā, India (Bharata-Kṣetra)

Father's name

King Nabhirāya

Mother's name

Gueen Marudevī

Emblem (Chinha)


Body color


Name of wives

Yaśasvatī and Sunandā

Date of birth

Caitra Kṛṣṇa 9

Date of monk-hood

Caitra Kṛṣṇa 9

Date of attaining perfect  knowledge (Kevala Jñāna)

Falguna Kṛṣṇa 11

Date of Salvation (Nirvāṇa)

Magasira Kṛṣṇa 14

Place of salvation (Nirvāṇa-Bhumi)

Mount Kailaśa

Total age

Many years

Bhagavāna Ṛṣabhadeva was the first Tīrthankara. He was born in Ayodhyā. His father was King Nābhirāya. His mother was gueen Marudevi-a pious lady. Being the first Tiīrthankara, Bhagavāna Ṛṣabhadeva is also known as Ādinātna.

At the time of conception, mother Marudevī had sixteen beautiful dreams. She was very happy and elated. Next morning, she requested King Nabhirāya to explain the meaning of the dreams. The King was very delighted. He told her that auspicious dreams indicate the conception of a world Savior and Spiritual Victor - Tīrthankara.

When Ṛṣabhadeva was born, Saudharma-Indra came and performed the "Janrnabhiṣeka". Gradually, Bhagavāna Ṛṣabhadeva attained adulthood and married Yasasvatī and Sunandā. After some time, he was made the King. He taught for the first time, the art of Asi (constructive use of sword for protecting the weak), Maṣi (Use of ink with pen and brush), Kṛṣi (Agriculture), Vidyā (Knowledge), Vānijay (Trade and Commerce) and Silpa (Art, Science and Technology). These were the basic but harmless ways to fulfill every one's primary needs for earning livelihood. So Bhagavāna Ṛṣabhadeva was also known as "Prajapati". Bharata and Bāhubalī were his famous sons. His eldest son Bharata was the first Cakravarti. Our country is known as Bharata­desa after his son Bharata. Ṛṣabhadeva had two daughters-Brahmī and Sundarī. He taught them "Brahmī-lipi" (first ancient script) and "Ank-Vidyā" (science of numbers) respectively.

One day, a celestial Apsarā-Neelanjanā died while dancing ill the court of F3~abhadeva. Seeing this, he developed the feeling of Renunciation. He left all his worldly possessions and became a nude monk (a Digambara Sadhu). In Hindu scriptures (Vedas) and several purāṇas as well, name of Ṛṣabhadeva is mentioned with reverence.

After he became monk, he did penance for number of years and attained Perfect Knowledge (Keval-Jñāna). On attaining Perfect Knowledge, he became Vītrāga - one who is beyond attachment and aversion. He rid his soul of all karmas, which are cause of anger, pride or desire. He delivered his sermons from Samavasarana (Religious assembly). His sermons were to teach all to follow the path of salvation by following non-violence, truth, non-stealing, chastity and non-attachment.

Order of his religious followers was simple and scientific. It was divided in four folds - Nude Monk (Munī). Lady monk (Āryakā), House­holder (Śrāvaka) and Lady-house-holder (Śrāvikā).

Ultimately, when all his karmas were exhausted, he rid himself of his mortal body, attained Nirvāṇa and became Siddha.



Giving up all attachments; all desires and all worldly possessions.


Make free.



Jñānodaya Vidyāpeeth, Bhopal, M.P., India


1st Edition 1998


V.K. Jain Suresh Jain



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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. ASI
  2. Anger
  3. Asi
  4. Ayodhyā
  5. Bharata
  6. Body
  7. Cakravarti
  8. Digambara
  9. Jñāna
  10. Karmas
  11. Kevala jñāna
  12. Kṛṣṇa
  13. Nirvāṇa
  14. Non-violence
  15. Pride
  16. Purāṇas
  17. Sadhu
  18. Samavasarana
  19. Science
  20. Siddha
  21. Soul
  22. Vedas
  23. Vidyā
  24. Śrāvaka
  25. Ṛṣabhadeva
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