Mangal Pravesh Of Pujya Ganini Shree Gyanmati Mataji at Katargam, Surat.
Rishabhdev also known as Adinatha, is the First Tirthankara of this time cycle. According to Jainism Tirthankara is a great human being who attains liberation by destroying all his karmas and becomes a role model for every living being. A Tirthankara not only attains salvation himself but also helps all those who are sincerely trying to seek nirvana by preaching and guiding them. Jain's trace their history through a succession of twenty-four Tirthankaras. All these propagators have legendary accounts of their life described in various scriptures(granthas).
Birth And Early Life
He was born(Janma-kalyanak) on the auspicious day of Chaitra Krishna Navmi to Mother Marudevi and Father Nabhiraja. It is believed that His mother Marudevi saw sixteen dreams(solah swapna) the night before Rishabhdev was incarnated in her womb. The embodiment(Garbha-kalyanak) of Lord Adinatha into his mother's womb is celebrated on Asadha Krishna dwitiya. After his birth Saudharm Indra takes him to Panduk Shila for annointment. Lord Adinatha looked so beautiful that Saudharm Indra formed 1000 eyes to look at wonderful baby and satisfy his eyes.
As Lord Rishabha grew young he became a very brilliant and accomplished ruler. He taught his people agriculture, tending of animals, cooking, poetry, painting, sculpture and similar arts. He brought order and peace where there was only chaos. While all kings in history are known for their ferocity in battle or their warrior skills, Lord was known for his calm and caring nature. He from childhood was an extensive preacher of non-violence. He is known to be the greatest initiator of human progress.
Rishabha had two wives, Sunanda and Yasaswati(also called Nanda or Sumangala). He had one hundred sons and two daughters. His eldest son, born to Sumangala was Bharat. Bharat was a Chakravartin(Ruler of the world??), who later attained moksha and is worshiped as a siddha. India is called Bharatavarsha or Bharata after this great ruler. Among Lord Rishabha's other sons was Bahubali who also attained liberation after he became ascetic. Bahubali had meditated for 1000 years before in acquired salvation. Rishabha's two daughters were Bramhi and Sundari. They were also present in Rishabhdev's samavsharan as aaryikas.
Renouncement And Omniscience
It is believed Indra sent an apsara Nilanjana to awaken Rishabha to renounce the world. Nilanjana was one of the favorite dancers of Rishabha. Once while dancing in front of Rishabha, Nilanjana collapsed and died. Watching this Rishabha got Vairagy(Detachment from all worldy matters). He left home and took Diksha on Chaitra Krishna Navmi. This day is celebrated as Tapa-kalyanak. After taking diksha he meditated in the forest for some time. He then traveled around gathering disciples and preaching Jainism. He received his first alms as an ascetic by Raja Shreyans in Hastinapur. His first alm was ikshuras(sugarane juice). Rishabhdev was the first human to attain enlightenment. He attained omniscience(Kevalgyan) on Falgun Krishna 11 under a Banyan Tree in Siddharth forest, in present day Prayag. This day is celebrated as Rishabhdev's Gyan-Kalyanak