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To the first PERFECT MAN, the Lord of Conquerors, the first most Excellent Arranger of things, the support of Dharma, the Supreme Teacher, Salutation!
Risabha Deva was the Founder of Jainism in the present half-cycle of time. He was a man, but became Immortal and a Tirthamkara (Teaching God), and taught the Path of Perfection to others. Innumerable souls have benefited by his Teaching. There have been twenty-three subsequent Tirthamkaras who re-affirmed His doctrine. He flourished very far back in the remoteness of hoary antiquity. His life story will be delineated in the following pages. The account is based on the Jaina scripture entitled the, Adi Purana. The Jaina chronology places Him at an almost immeasurable antiquity in the past; but it is under suspicion of being too methodical in its computations. The Hindus, who recognize the Tirthamkara as one of the incarnations of Visnu, hold that he appeared shortly after the formation of the world, and that no less than twenty-eight yugas (cycles) have elapsed since then. All that can be said definitely about His age, then, is that He flourished very far back in the hoariest of hoary antiquity; and that He was prior to all systematized forms of religion!