Rishabhadeva also called Rishabhanatha is the first Jain Tirthankara of Jainism and he belongs to the Ikshvaku dynasty. Similar to Lord Buddha, he has renounced the worldly pleasures and become a saint. His teachings helped his followers and disciples to cross the chain of rebirths. It is believed that he lived before several millions of years ago. He is the main Tirthankara, who is sincerely worshipped by the Jains. Due to his holiness and good nature, he is worshipped even by the demigods in the heaven.
Rishaba was born to the king of Ayodhya, and he had got married and had children.After seeing the miseries and sorrows prevailed in the world like death, disease and old age problems, Rishabhanatha had left his palace, and he became a Jain Saint. He was also severely tested by Lord Indra, and he has won in those tests. Rishabhanatha rarely used to eat food, and the day, which he has consumed the food for the first time after becoming a saint is grandly celebrated by the Jains as the Akshaya Tritiya Festival. He had attained liberation on the holy Mountain Kailash. The city of Ayodhya is considered as a sacred town for Jains, since it is believed to be the birth place of Lord Rishabhadeva.
Before becoming a saint, Rishabhadeva ruled the city of Ayodhya in a marvelous manner, similar to Lord Rama, who also prosperously ruled over the city of Ayodhya during the Treta Yuga. Rishabhadeva has established a new system based on castes of the people such as Kshatriya community people would become warriors, Vaishyas community people would become merchants and shudra community people would become workers.
Before becoming a saint, he has distributed his kingdom among his sons, and he has attained enlightenment under a banyan tree. Rishabhanatha had preached the principles of Jainism throughout the world. After his death, Lord Indra cremated his body with sandalwood, along with other devas. His five main principles are: Non-violence, Truth, celibacy, not stealing the belongings of others and non-possessiveness.
Various Jain temples were built for him throughout India and all these temples are considered as holy sites of Jainism. By following his foot-steps and his principles, lot of Jain saints have attained salvation.
“OM SRI RISHABHADEVAYA NAMAHA”