CHENNAI: Human beings alone among the countless living beings are capable of attaining liberation from transmigration. Hence the opportunity afforded in this birth must not be frittered away without utilising it for the purpose for which it is intended. The Lord Himself taught this truth to mankind during His advents and one in which He exemplified it was His manifestation as Rishabhadeva. He was born as the son of King Nabhi after he performed a sacrifice to beget a progeny. Nabhi, a noble king in the line of Swayambhuva Manu, was overjoyed and at the right age installed Him as the king and retired to Badarikashrama along with his wife Merudevi to strive for his salvation.

In his discourse, Sri B.Sundar Kumar said Rishabhadeva showed by example how to live in this world, which was the theatre of action (Karma). He followed the scriptural injunctions meticulously, ruled righteously, married Jayanti bestowed on Him by Indra and begot 100 sons, who were all noble. Of them, the eldest Bharata was the very epitome of virtues after whom this land has come to be known as Bharatavarsha. Nine became great sages and taught the conduct for devotees. The Bhagavata Purana states that Rishabha’s reign was a paradigm of righteous rule in the world.

Once, when Rishabha was touring His kingdom He met some sages and before them instructed His sons about the importance of spiritual pursuit after which He became a wandering ascetic. He told them that there were two paths open to a human being: the path to liberation by service to exalted souls, and the other which leads to further bondage when he indulges in sensory pleasures. He cautioned His sons that the (human) body does not deserve to become a slave of sensuous pleasures and is worthy of being devoted to sublime austerities by which the mind will become purified; only such a mind purified by self-control will be able to experience the bliss of the Self.

He described the qualities of the Self-realised: “They alone are great who are even-minded, exceptionally calm and composed, free from anger, kind-hearted and pious, and regard love offered to Me as the (only) object of human pursuits.”