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Rishabh Dev 9th Vishnu Avatra

Rishabh Dev





Lord Vishnu in his ninth incarnation as Rishabh Dev was born to king Nabhi and Marudevi. His mother Marudevi was the daughter of Indra. He attained that state of Paramhansa (an ascetic of highest order who has controlled his anger) which is an uphill task. He was given the title of 'Jin' which means a ' a knower'. His followers are known as Jains.


'Jain Dharma' is an ancient dharmic religion from India that prescribes a path of non-violence for all forms of living beings in this world. Its philosophy and practice relies mainly on self effort in progressing the soul on the spiritual ladder to God consciousness. Any soul which has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called jina




Rishabha was born to King Nabhi Raja and Queen Marudevi at Ayodhya in the Ikshvaku clan.
According to Jain beliefs, Rishabh existed before civilization developed.
He taught people agriculture, tending of animals, cooking, and more. He had one hundred and one sons.


His eldest son - Bharat - was a chakravarti king - the conqueror of the known world. In the later part of his life he retired to become a monk and attained moksha. Since he became a siddha, he is occasionally worshipped.
According to the Jain beliefs, India was named Bhārata-varsha or Bhārata after him.


His second son was Bahubali, whose statue stands at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka as well as at Karkala.
Marudevi mother of Adinath was the first person to achieve moksha - even before Rishabh himself.
Rishabh's grandson Marichi's soul later became Mahavira
He attained 'Kevalgnan' or infinite knowledge at Palitana and attained liberation (Moksha) at Ashtapad mountain in Himalayas.


Jaina tradition identifies Rishabha (also known as Adhinath) as the First Tirthankar of this declining (avasarpini) kalachakra (time cycle). The first Tirthankar, Rishabhdev/ Adhinath, appeared prior to the Indus Valley Civilization.


There are five basic ethical principles (vows) prescribed. The degree to which these principles must be practiced is different for renunciant and householder. Thus:


Non-violence (Ahimsa) - to cause no harm to living beings.
Truth (Satya) - to always speak the truth in a harmless manner.
Non-stealing (Asteya) - to not take anything that is not willingly given.
Celibacy (Brahmacarya) - to not indulge in sensual pleasures.
Non-possession (Aparigraha) - to detach from people, places, and material things.


Ahimsa, "Non-violence", is sometimes interpreted as not killing, but the concept goes far beyond that. It includes not harming or insulting other living beings either directly or indirectly through others. There can be even no room for thought to injure others, and no speech that influence others to inflict harm. It also includes respecting the view of others (non-absolutism and acceptance of multiple view points).


Satya, "truthfulness", is also to be practiced by all people. Given that non-violence has priority, all other principles yield to it, whenever there is a conflict. For example, if speaking truth will lead to violence, it is perfectly ethical to be silent. Thiruvalluvar in his Tamil classic devotes an entire chapter clarifying the definition of 'truthfulness'.


Asteya, "non-stealing", is the strict adherence to one's own possessions, without desire to take another's. One should remain satisfied by whatever is earned through honest labour. Any attempt to squeeze others and/or exploit the weak is considered theft. Some of the guidelines for this principle are:
Always give people fair value for labor or product.
Never take things which are not offered.
Never take things that are placed, dropped or forgotten by others
Never purchase cheaper things if the price is the result of improper method (e.g. pyramid scheme, illegal business, stolen goods, etc.)


Brahmacarya, "monastic celibacy", is the complete abstinence from sex, which is only incumbent upon monastics. Householders practice monogamy as a way to uphold brahmacarya in spirit.


Aparigraha, "non-possession", is the renunciation of property and wealth, before initiation into monkhood, without entertaining thoughts of the things renounced. This is done so one understands how to detach oneself from things and possessions, including home and family, so one may reach moksa.For householders, non-possession is owning without attachment, because the notion of possession is illusory. The reality of life is that change is constant; thus, objects owned by someone today will be property of someone else in future days. The householder is encouraged to discharge his or her duties to related people and objects as a trustee, without excessive attachment


Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and have the highest degree of literacy in India. Jain libraries are the oldest in the country


Jainism regards every living soul as potentially divine. When the soul sheds its karmic bonds completely, it attains God-consciousness. It prescribes a path of non-violence to progress the soul to this ultimate goal.


Jinas are spiritually advanced human beings who rediscover the dharma, become fully liberated and teach the spiritual path to benefit all living beings. Practicing Jains follow the teachings of 24 special jinas who are known as Tirthankaras "


Jainism encourages spiritual development through reliance on and cultivation of one's own personal wisdom and self-control (व्रत, vrata). The goal of Jainism is to realize the soul's true nature. "Samyak darshan gyan charitrani moksha margah", meaning "true/right perception, knowledge and conduct" ( known as the triple gems of Jainism) provides the path for attaining liberation (moksha) from samsara (the universal cycle of birth and death). Moksha is attained by liberation from all karma.


The main Jain prayer (Namokar Mantra) therefore salutes the five special categories of souls that have attained God-consciousness or are on their way to achieving it, to emulate and follow these paths to salvation.


Another major characteristic of Jain belief is the emphasis on the consequences of not only physical but also mental behaviours


Every living being has a soul.
Every soul is potentially divine, with innate qualities of infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss (masked by its karmas).
Therefore, regard every living being as yourself, harming no one and be kind to all living beings.
Every soul is born as a celestial, human, sub-human or hellish being according to its own karmas.
Every soul is the architect of its own life, here or hereafter.
When a soul is freed from karmas, it becomes free and god-conscious, experiencing infinite knowledge, perception, power, and bliss.
Right View, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (triple gems of Jainism) provide the way to this realization. There is no supreme divine creator, owner, preserver or destroyer. The universe is self-regulated and every soul has the potential to achieve the status of god-consciousness (siddha) through its own efforts.
Navakar Mantra is the fundamental prayer in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day. Praying by reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to liberated souls still in human form (Arihantas), fully liberated souls (Siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers (Upadyayas) and all the monks. By saluting them, Jains receive inspiration from them for the right path of true bliss and total freedom from the karma of their soul. In this main prayer, Jains do not ask for any favors or material benefits. This mantra serves as a simple gesture of deep respect towards beings who are more spiritually advanced. The mantra also reminds followers of the ultimate goal, nirvana or moksha.
Non-violence (Ahimsa) is the foundation of right View, the condition of right Knowledge and the kernel of right Conduct. Non-violence is compassion and forgiveness in thoughts, words and actions toward all living beings. It includes respecting views of others (Non-absolutism).
Jainism stresses on the importance of controlling the senses, as they are the gateway for creating soul's attachments and aversions to non-living matter.
Limit possessions and lead a pure life that is useful to yourself and others. Owning an object by itself is not possessiveness; however attachment to an object is. Non-possessiveness is the balancing of needs and desires while staying detached from our possessions.
Enjoy the company of the holy and better qualified, be merciful to those afflicted and tolerate the perversely inclined.
Four things are difficult for a soul to attain: 1. human birth, 2. knowledge of the law, 3. faith in the law, and 4. practicing the right path.
It is important not to waste human life in evil ways. Rather, strive to rise on the ladder of spiritual evolution.
The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul from the negative effects of unenlightened thoughts, speech and action. This goal is achieved through clearance of karmic obstructions by following the triple gems of Jainism.
Jains mainly worship idols of Jinas, Arihants and Tirthankars, who have conquered the inner passions and attained God-consciousness status. Jainism acknowledges the existence of powerful heavenly souls (Yaksha and Yakshini) that look after the well beings of Thirthankarars. Usually, they are found in pair around the idols of Jinas as male (yaksha) and female (yakshini) guardian deities. Even though they have supernatural powers, they are also wandering through the cycles of births and deaths just like most other souls. Over time, people started worshiping these deities as well.




Lord Rishabha / Adinath: 1st Tirthankar, first king of Ayodhya kingdom (earlier known as Vinita City), whose seals are being discovered from Indus civilisation remains. He founded Jainism in this cycle.