Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Avataar
From Bhaagvat Puraan, 5/1, 2, 3; Bhaagvat Puraan, 11/2 He is not in 10 Main Avataar and 9th Avataar in 24 Avataar
Rishabh Avataar (Rishabh Incarnation) is the ninth Avataar of Lord Vishnu in which He taught Maoksh Dharm to people.
Rishabh's story comes in Bhaagvat Puraan, 11/2 and is very pious to read.
Swaayambhuv Manu had two sons, Uttaanpaad and Priyavrat. Priyavrat had a son named Aagneedhra. Aagneedhra had a son named Naabhi, and Naabhi's son was Rishabh from his wife Meru Devee. Rishabh Dev has been indicated as the Ansh Avataar of Bhagavaan Vaasudev in Shaastra. He took that Avataar to deliver the knowledge of Moksh Dharm. He had 100 sons and all of them had a good knowledge of Ved. Among them, the eldest son was Raajarshi Bharat. This piece of land which was known as Ajnaabh Varsh before, started calling as Bhaarat Varsh after his name from his name only. Bharat enjoyed the kingdom of the whole Prithvi, but in the end he left it for forest. There he did intense Tap and after three lives he got the Parampad of Bhagavaan.
Among the remaining 99 sons of Rishabh, his 9 sons ruled the nine Dweep (islands) which were located around Bhaarat Varsh, and 81 sons became the Braahman who authored Karm Kaand. Remaining 9 sons became Sanyaasee. They were very fortunate. They did a lot of work in the area of spiritual knowledge. They used to live Digambar (without any clothes) and used to deliver that spiritual knowledge to whoever were worthy of it. Their names were Kavi, Hari, Antariksh, Prabuddh, Pippalaayan, Aavirhotra, Drumil, Chamas and Karbhaajan. They used to roam around freely.
Once these 9 sons of Rishabh went to Vidarbh Desh and met the King Nimi. Seeing them coming Nimi asked them many questions and all of them answered them. These question answers are given in Bhaagvat Puraan, 11/2.
Rishabh Dev in Ved Puraan
There is a metaphorical reference to Rishabh in the Vratya Khand of Atharv Ved too.
There are mentions of Rishabh in Hindu scriptures like Bhaagavat Puraan, Maarkandeya Puraan, Vaayu Puraan, Brahamaanda Puraan, Skand Puraan and Vishnu Puraan.
Rishabh is often thought of as a manifestation of the god Shiv. The Bhaagavat Puraan (1.3.13) states that the eighth incarnation was King Rishabh, son of King Naabhi and his wife Meru Devee. In this incarnation the Lord showed the path of perfection, which is followed by those who have fully controlled their senses and who are honored by all orders of life.
In the Skand Puraan (chapter 37) it is stated that "Rishabh was the son of Naabhi, and Rishabh had a son named Bharat, and after the name of this Bharata, this country is known as Bhaarat Varsh." Bhaagvat Puraan also says the same thing.
In Bhaagavat one mentions about Rishabh Dev was a Vishnu Bhakt and became an Avadhoot in the end of his life. Similarly Bharat went to forest. So these persons were Vishnu Bhakt. Later on maybe because of their practices (Avadhoot etc). There could be probability adopted as Jain monks. There is no conclusive evidence of him being the founder of Jainism in the Vaidik literature. He was, however worshiped as the first Teerthankar and the founder of Jainism from the 4th or 3rd century BCE.
Rishbh Dev is one of the ancestors of Ikshwaaku lineage the founder of the famous dynasty in which was born King Dasharath and Shree Raam.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 6/15/11
Updated on 09/30/13