Aadinath Bhagwan | Adinath Bhagwan Life Story | Rushabhdev Swami Story | Jain Stuti Stavan

Adinath Bhagwan Life Story

Pranam, Today I Will Discuss Lord (Bhagvan) Aadinath Swami (Rushabhdev Swami) Life History. 
Aadinath Bhagwan | Adinath Bhagwan Life Story | Rushabhdev Swami Story | Jain Stuti Stavan
Aadinath Bhagwan | Adinath Bhagwan Life Story | Rushabhdev Swami Story | Jain Stuti Stavan 


Time is infinite. The Jain time cycle has no beginning or end. It continuously migrates from periods of progress to periods of decline. According to Jain tradition, a period of progress, known as an Utsarpini or an ascending order, is marked with all-around improvement, including longer lifespan, greater prosperity, and overall happiness. On the other hand, a period of decline, known as an Avasarpini or a descending order, is marked with all-around deterioration and decline such as a shorter life span and general gloom. These two periods together make onetime cycle. 

Each Utsarpini and Avasarpini is divided into six eras called Aras, meaning the spokes of a wheel. We are currently in the fifth Ärä of the Avasarpini period. It is also known as Dusham or Dukham (Unhappy) Ara. Hindu tradition calls it Kaliyuga. 

Until the end of the third Ärä of the current Avasarpini, people led a natural and simple life. The population was small and nature provided all the necessities for human beings; trees provided shelter and enough leaves and bark for covering their bodies. With the help of the branches, they could erect huts for protection from rain and extreme weather. When they felt hungry, they could pick their food from the trees and bushes. There was enough flowing water for cleaning their bodies and quenching their thirst. As such, there was no struggle for existence or rivalry for survival, and people spent their lives in peace. 

Rishabhdev Bhagwan Story 

The people lived in tribes, each of which had a leader known as a Kulkar or King. Towards the end of the third Ära, there lived a Kulkar named Näbhiräyä who managed his community peacefully. In due course, his beautiful wife, Queen Marudevi, gave birth to Rishabh. 

The world’s conditions started changing after Rishabh was born. There was an increase in population and nature no longer remained as bountiful as it used to be. This gave rise to a struggle for the acquisition and accumulation of the necessities of life; the emotions of jealousy and envy arose. Näbhiräyä, as the leader of the community, tried to restrain the struggle to the utmost possible extent. As Rishabh grew to be a bold, intelligent, and enthusiastic young man, Nabhiraya entrusted the management of the kingdom to him. 

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Rishabh was a visionary, a thinker, and an inventor. He foresaw that the struggle for survival would become worse unless some system of producing the necessities of life was created. He realized that people could make an effort to obtain what they needed from nature instead of relying exclusively on natural bounties. He therefore evolved the art of crop cultivation and taught people how to grow food and fiber. Thus, he ushered in what we call the age of material civilization. 

To make the lives of people more comfortable, he taught them how to make utensils, cook food, build houses, make clothes, cultivate land, and raise animals like cows and horses. He also developed different arts and crafts to make a variety of articles from wood, metal, and stone. Due to his efforts, the first city, named Vinitä and later known as Ayodhyä, came into existence.

Rishabh (Rishabhdev Bhagwan Story) sanctified the system of marriage and institutionalized family life, by marrying Sumangalä, as well as a woman named Sunandä who had lost her husband. Thus, a social order evolved and Rishabh, as the first acknowledged ruler in human society, came to be known as King Rishabhadev. During his long rule, he laid down equitable rules and regulations for ensuring peace and safety within his realm. People of his kingdom’s loved King Rishabhadev for providing peace and happiness. 

Rishabhadev had 100 sons; the eldest two were called Bharat and Bähubali. He also had two daughters, Brähmi and Sundari. These four children were experts in different arts and crafts. Bharat became a brave warrior and a capable ruler. Jain literature indicates that India was named “Bhärat” after him. Bähubali, true to his name (Bähu means arm and Bali means mighty), was known for his exceptional arm strength. Brähmi evolved the art of writing and developed the Brähmi script in which most of the scriptures were written. Her sister, Sundari, cultivated an exceptional talent in mathematics.

 Rishabhadev was proud and happy of his achievements and felt content with his ruler ship. However, one day an incident occurred that changed his way of thinking. As he was watching a dance, the dancer suddenly collapsed and died. Rishabhadev was very disturbed by the sudden death and began pondering over the death of the dancer. He soon realized that every phenomenon and every situation in the universe undergoes changes—no situation remains permanent. 

Upon this realization, Rishabhadev (Aadinath) decided to renounce worldly life in search of lasting happiness. He gave Bharat the city of Vinitä, entrusted the city of Taxshilä to Bähubali, and distributed the other parts of his vast kingdom to the remaining 98 sons. He then renounced all his possessions and became a monk in search of the ultimate truth. Four thousand of his associates and followers joined him in renouncing worldly life. 

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As a monk, Rishabhadev traveled from place to place. He remained in a state of continuous meditation, not thinking of food or water. However, his deep meditation meant that he could not guide his followers on how they should live their lives as monks. His followers were unable to fast like him, but they did not want to go back. They became confused as to how to behave and decided to live on fruits and vegetables obtained from the nearby jungles. 

After some time, Rishabhadev could see their miserable condition. Jain monks are not supposed to pick any fruits and vegetables from trees by themselves, but instead go to laypeople’s houses for alms. He therefore decided to demonstrate the way a monk was supposed to live. He started going from house to house for alms in silence. However, people did not know what to offer Rishabhadev, their once beloved King. They offered him ornaments, their homes, and other valuable items, but no one thought of offering food. As a result, Rishabhadev had to continue fasting day after day. 

After fasting in this way for 400 days (thirteen months and nine days), Rishabhadev passed by a sugarcane farm located near the town of Hastinäpur. The farm belonged to his great grandson, Shreyäns, who chose to offer Rishabhadev sugarcane juice. Thus, Rishabhadev finally ended his long fast on the third day of the bright half of the month of Vaisakha. Known as Akshaya Tritiya, this day usually falls in the month of May. In commemoration of Rishabhadev’s fast, people observe a similar austerity known as Varsitapa. As it is not possible for people to fast for 400 days, they fast on alternate days, and after 400 days they break their fast with sugarcane juice on Akshaya Tritiya (Akhätrij) day.

After years of rigorous austerities and the search for truth, Rishabhadev attained Keval-jnän, or omniscience, on the 11th day of the dark half of Fälgun (which usually falls in March). In order to guide people towards the right path, he established the fourfold religious order comprised of monks (Sadhus), nuns (Sädhvis), laymen (Shrävaks), and laywomen (Shrävikäs). In this order, known as the Jain Sangh. 

Rushabhsen, the son of King Bharat, became the head of the monks and Brähmi and Sundari headed the order of nuns. As a founder of the religious order known as “Tirtha”, Rishabhadev was the first Tirthankar of the current Avasarpini part of the time cycle. He is also known as Aadinath (Ädi means the first or the beginning and Näth means the Lord). After having founded the religious order, Rishabhadev lived long and taught the truth about everlasting happiness.

Moral: 

Along with the rules of ascetic life, Bhagawän Rishabhadev taught the noble and moral ways of a householder’s life. The popular Jain austerity, Varsitapa, commemorates his 400 days of fasting; based on the example of the Dāna Dharma (donation) of Shreyäns. Offering pure food to a sadhu is considered one of the noblest acts for a layperson, so even if we cannot follow the ascetic life, we can show our reverence for those further on the path to liberation in this way. 

02 - Questions: 

1. What was life like before Rishabhadev was born? 

2. What was life like after Rishabhadev was born? To help the people solve their problems, what did he teach them? 

3. Who did Rishabhadev marry? How many children did he have? What were some of them known for?

 4. After taking dikshä with 4,000 associates and followers, what happened? What were the followers having difficulty with? 

5. How did Rishabhadev teach them how to get food? What happened when he went for alms to householders? 

6. Who finally gave him food? What did he get first? How long was his fast before he got food? 

7. What is this long fast called and how is it followed today? 

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