Dharmanath - The 15th Tirthankar
. Birth and Childhood
A Tirthankar is a human being who has attained a highly exalted state due to intense spiritual practices in various lifetimes and signifies the ultimate pure developed state of the soul. Having attained the highest spiritual goal of human life, they help others cross the ocean of Samsara and win freedom against the infinite cycles of birth and death that man has to undergo.
Birth and childhood
Dharmanath in his previous incarnation was King Dridhrath of Baddilpur town in Mahavideha area. He was a very pious and religious King. Due to severe penances of a number of births he had achieved a very high state of spiritual enlightenment due to which he was reborn as a tirthankar. He reincarnated as God in the Vijyanta dimension after which his soul descended into the womb of Suvrata Devi who was the wife of King Bhanuraja of Ratnapuri. The queen had witnessed fourteen auspicious things in her dream which were-
1. A large and beautiful white bull entering her mouth.
2. A lion
3. A garland of flowers
4.A giant elephant having four tusks
5.Goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus
6.The glorious Sun
7. The full moon shining in the sky
8.A sea of milk
9.A golden urn
10.A Flag which was fluttering
11.A vehicle of the Gods which moves in space
12.A pond filled with lotus flowers
13.A heap of gems
14.A fire without smoke
The King knew about the dreams of King Rishabdeva’s mother so he realised that the child in the Queen’s womb was a Tirthankar. Both of them were overjoyed at their good fortune. The Queen soon gave birth to a son on the third day of the bright half of the month of Magh(according to the Hindu calendar). During the pregnancy the King and queen including the subjects devoted all their time to religious activities like charity, penances and other noble activities. Realising that it was due to the influence of the purity and Godliness of the unborn soul, the new born was named Dharmanath. Years passed and the prince grew up to be a kind and obedient boy and soon they got him married. The King then decided to hand over the kingdom to him and retired to the forest to pursue spiritual practices.
Dharmanath ruled wisely for a number of years. He took great care of his subjects and the affairs of the state. He would also always be immersed in prayer and meditation. Years passed and in his prayers he glimpsed all his past life times. He realised the goal of his life and the purpose of his birth. A deep sense of detachment came over him. Embracing ascetism he left the kingdom and roaming from place to place he began deeply pursuing his spiritual practices. He reached Ratanpur and sitting under a Dadhiparan tree he achieved Omniscience.
He began preaching to his followers the ill effects of passions and the worldly bondage that leads mankind to the eternal cycles of birth and death.He encouraged them to practice Right Living, Right Action and Right Knowledge. He asked them to practice the principles of non violence and compassion. At Sammed Shikhar he attained Nirvana.
His symbol is Vajra. The Hutheesing Jain temple located at Ahmedabad in Gujarat is dedicated to him. It was said to be constructed in 1848 AD. Bhagavan Dharmanath exhorted people to eschew passions and seek liberation. Divine Souls like him purify the land in which they are born and are a great influence on all those who come into contact with them. Their very presence sanctifies the atmosphere and sublimates human lives. India is blessed to witness the birth of such exalted beings who lead mankind to self realisation and bliss.