Previous Births of Dharmanath
In his previous incarnation Lord Dharmanath's soul was King Dridhrath of Bhaddilpur town in Mahavideh area. Although he had lot of wealth and large kingdom but lead the life of detachment from worldly things. He had a bend for spiritual practices and in the process earned Tirthankar-nam-and-gotra. He reincarnated as God in the Vijyanta dimension.
Birth of Lord Dharmanath
From Vijyant dimensions of god, the soul of Lord Dharmanath descended in the womb of Queen Suvrata Devi, wife of king Bhanuraja of Ratnapuri. Ratnpuri was a very famous kingdom of Bharat. It was famous for business of Ratna (gems). It was a beautiful city. Stars were still shining in the sky when queen got up. She was feeling very happy as she saw some very auspicious fourteen (sixteen according to digambar jain beliefs) dreams and wanted to rest for a longer time, but then decided to get ready and do some religious praying and activities. As soon as the sun shined on the top, Suvrata Devi went to the king and asked for the result of her dream. She asked his king, “Maharaj, you mentioned about the chain of auspicious dreams that Tirthankar Rishabhdev’s mother saw. Exactly like those dreams, I dreamt a chain of fourteen (sixteen according to digamabar jain beliefs) great things.” The king felt very happy and told his queen that the result is true for her also. She was about to give birth to divine soul. On the third day of the bright half of the month of Magh (according to Hindu Calendar), queen Suvrata gave birth to this great divine power.
During her pregnancy the queen devoted all her time in religious activities. Even the king and all the other members of the family were inclined to devote maximum time to various religious activities like charity, righteousness, penances, studies etc. Due to this religious influence which this child had created everywhere from the womb of his mother, he was named ‘Dharmanath’.
As a Prince and King
Time passed by and Dharmanath became young handsome prince. He was married. One day king Bhanuraj thought of handling over the responsibilities of the kingdom to Dharamnath and go on the path meditation and try to achieve Moksha. He did the same and disappeared in the jungles. King Dharamnath was an able king. His entire kingdom and neighbors all were under religious influence. But most of the time Dharamnath use to spent in meditation and deep religious activities.
Path of Renunciation
One day Dharmanath told his mother that he is not born to live the life of luxury and comfort, to be a king and rule over people but he has taken birth to get independence from the vicious circle of life and death. He also told her that he was King Dridhrath of Bhaddilpur town in Mahavideh area. Although he had lot of wealth and large kingdom but lead the life of detachment from worldly things. He had a bend for spiritual practices and in the process earned Tirthankar-nam-and-gotra. He reincarnated as God in the Vijyant dimension. Now he should go and achieve the goal for which he has taken birth on the Earth.
For the entire year from that time, he distributed wealth among the people. One day, along with thousand other kings, he came out of the palace, removed his hair with his fist, uttered, “Namo Siddhanam” and became an ascetic.
Omniscience and Nirvana
He went roaming place to place and meditating. Lots of problems came in his path but they all had to surrender to Dharamnath ji’s feet. After two years of spiritual practices he reached Ratanpur and while sitting under Dadhiparan Tree he attained omniscience. His first religious discourse was attended by the fifth Vasudev Purush Simha and Sudarshan Baldev.
In his first discourse he mainly dealt with the subject of form and ill effects of passions. A large audience was benefited by this eloquent discourse. At last he went to Sammed Shikharji and there while meditating there all his Ghati Karma shed away and he attained Nirvan.