A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavatham : Ch-4. Part-8.

4: The Stories of Siva and Sati, and of Rishabhadeva and Bharata :


The highlighting katha in this Skandha is the stories of Rishabhadeva and Bharata. Rishabhadeva was a king who abdicated his throne and became an ascetic in the forest. The Jainas consider Rishabhadeva as their first Tirthankara because he lived like an utter renunciate who would not even wear clothes, which is the description of a Tirthankara in Jain literature. Digambara was the behaviour of this Rishabhadeva. 

Such was his austerity, such was the tejas that emanated from his person, such was the energy that was in his personality, that it is said that wherever he eased himself, that part of the earth would become gold. Wherever he went, people would run after him to find gold, and so he would hide himself. The fragrance of jasmine would emanate from his body, extending to distances of several miles, and wherever people smelled jasmine, they felt that Rishabhadeva was somewhere nearby. Such was his austerity, his yoga, his concentration on God Almighty, his meditation on the Supreme Bhagavan.

He had many sons. One of them was Bharata. Due to Bharata’s lethargic attitude, people used to call him Jada Bharata. Bharata was also a king and, like his father, decided to abdicate his throne and go to the forest for meditation. He did years of tapas alone in the jungle, meditating on the Mahapurusha, Purushottama, Narayana.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...

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