INCARNATION OF LORD RISHABHADEV – Digambar Jain
Lord Rishabhadev incarnate through the womb of king Nabhi’s wife Merudevi. King Nabhi named him as Rishabha (the superior).
Once out of jealousy, Indra caused no rain in his state. Prince Rishabha then, through his yogic powers, caused heavy rain over his portion of land that was called Ajanabha Varsha. The King was very pleased with his son. His council of ministers and the people of the state were also very happy with him and loved him. After his coronation the King proceeded to Badrikashram where while in worship and adoration of lord Nar- Narayana he immersed in Lord.
Lord Rishabhadev chose his state Ajanabha Varsha as the field of his activities. First of all, he went to a gurukul and had a better education. After giving proper guru- dakshina (fee) to his teacher, he entered grihasthashrama (the domestic stage of life). He married Jayanti, the daughter of Devraj Indra. He had hundred sons, of whom the eldest bharata was most virtuous and a mahayogi (great ascetic). It was after his name that Ajanabha Varsha was subsequently called Bharata Varasha.
Of the hundred sons of King Rishabhadev, the eldest one, Bharata became the King. Rishabhadev was joyful and delighted. He imparted the knowledge of domestic life to his people. Through his appropriate conduct he clearly showed, how the enjoyment of pleasures of peace, love, compassion, religion and children was possible in the grihasthashrama (the domestic stage of life). Rishabhadev’s subject were obedient to him. All were well to do and it was happiness and delight all around.
He enthroned his eldest son Bharata to support and maintain the earth while he himself became unattached to present an ideal of knowledge, devotion and asceticism before the supreme souls.
He abandoned property and wealth completely and did not keep anything for himself. He renounced his family life, even his attire and became Digamber (naked ascetic). He was Rishabhadev who gave rise to Jain sect. he renounced even agnihotra (obtain to sacrificial fire). With disheveled hair he always kept silent. He roamed around here and there as an ascetic behaving like an inert, blind, deaf, dumb and insane. When he wandered in villages, forests, mountains and human habitats he was teased by foolish people who used to hit him by stones and abuses but he endured all this and led a peaceful life. He, thus, moved about in a stage of being a supreme soul.
When he noted obstacles in his meditation and devotion, he adopted Ajagar Vritti, which meant that he kept sitting wherever he was. Sitting at one place he would eat if he got something to eat or would go without it. He defecated and urinated also at the same place. Sometimes he even rolled over it. His excrement, however, emitted sweet smell rather than a foul one and the area around him was always fragrant.
To teach the ascetics about an ideal life Rishabhadev used to behave strangely. He had achieved various super- natural powers. He could assume whatever from he wished, could reach any destination within a second, yet he did not utilize his powers.
He kept on moving about naked like an insane in the guise of an ascetic. Once suddenly there was a storm that caused friction among the bamboos of the forest thereby resulting in a fire and he submitted his body to the flames and thus ended the life of Rishabhdevji.