Adinath Bhagwan – About First Jain Tirthankara Rishabhadeva
Tirthankara Rishabhanatha also known as Ṛṣabhadeva, Rishabhadeva, or Ṛṣabha, which literally means “bull” is the first Tirthankara (ford maker) in Jainism. According to Wikipedia, A mythical leader, he is believed in Jainism to have lived millions of years ago. He was the first of twenty four teachers in the present half cycle of time in Jain cosmology, and called a ford maker because his teachings helped one across the sea of interminable rebirths and deaths (saṃsāra).
Lord Rishabhdev also known as Lord Adinath was the first Jain Tirthankar of present time cycle. He lived before civilization developed. He became a Siddha, a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma.
He is also known as Ādinātha of Jainism which translates into “First (Adi) Lord (nātha)”, as well as Adishwara (first ishvara), Yugadi Deva (deva of yuga), Prathama Raja (first king), and Nibhaya (son of Nabhi). Along with Mahavira, Parshwanatha and Neminath, Rishabhanatha is one of the four Tirthankaras that attract the most devotional worship among the Jains.
History of Rishabhdev Bhagwan (1st Tirthankara in Jainism)
Rishabhanatha is known by many names among Jains including Adinatha, Adishwara, Yugadeva and Nabheya. Ādi purāṇa, a major Jain text records the life accounts of Rishabhanatha as well as ten previous incarnations.
- Rishabhanatha is said to be the founder of Jainism by the different Jain sub-traditions.
- Jain chronology places Rishabhanatha in ahistorical terms, as someone who lived millions of years ago.
- He is stated to have lived for 8,400,000 purva years.
- His height is described in the Jain texts to be 500 arc lengths (800 ells), or about 1,200 feet.
- Such descriptions of non-human heights and age are also found for the next 21 Tirthankaras in Jain texts, and according to Kristi Wiley – a scholar at University of California Berkeley known for her publications in Jainism, most Indologists and scholars consider all the first 22 of 24 Tirthankaras to be prehistorical, or ahistorical and a part of Jain mythology.
- However, among Jain writers and some Indian scholars, some of the first 22 Tirthankaras are considered to reflect historical figures, with a few conceding that the inflated biographical statistics as mythical.