धर्मनाथ भगवान का परिचय
पूर्व धातकीखंडद्वीप के पूर्व विदेहक्षेत्र में नदी के दक्षिण तट पर एक वत्स नाम का देश है, उसमें सुसीमा नाम का महानगर है। वहाँ पर राजा दशरथ राज्य करता था। एक बार वैशाख शुक्ला पूर्णिमा के दिन सब लोग उत्सव मना रहे थे उसी समय चन्द्रग्रहण पड़ा देखकर राजा दशरथ का मन भोगों से विरक्त हो गया। उसने दीक्षा लेकर ग्यारह अंगों का अध्ययन किया और तीर्थंकर प्रकृति का बन्ध करके अन्त में सर्वार्थसिद्धि में अहमिन्द्र हो गया।
गर्भ और जन्म
इस जम्बूद्वीप के भरतक्षेत्र में एक रत्नपुर नाम का नगर था उसमें कुरूवंशीय काश्यपगोत्रीय महाविभव सम्पन्न भानु महाराज राज्य करते थे उनकी रानी का नाम सुप्रभा था। रानी सुप्रभा के गर्भ में वह अहमिन्द्र वैशाख शुक्ल त्रयोदशी के दिन अवतीर्ण हुए और माघ शुक्ल त्रयोदशी के दिन रानी ने भगवान को जन्म दिया। इन्द्र ने धर्मतीर्थ प्रवर्तक भगवान को ‘धर्मनाथ' कहकर सम्बोधित किया था।
किसी एक दिन उल्का के देखने से भगवान विरक्त हो गये और नागदत्ता नाम की पालकी में बैठकर शालवन के उद्यान में पहुँचे। माघ शुक्ल त्रयोदशी के दिन एक हजार राजाओं के साथ स्वयं दीक्षित हो गये।
केवलज्ञान और मोक्ष
तदनन्तर छद्मस्थ अवस्था का एक वर्ष बीत जाने पर दीक्षावन में सप्तच्छद वृक्ष के नीचे पौष शुक्ल पूर्णिमा के दिन केवलज्ञान को प्राप्त हो गये। आर्यखण्ड में सर्वत्र धर्मोपदेश देकर भगवान अन्त में सम्मेदशिखर पधारे और एक माह का योग निरोध कर आठ सौ नौ मुनियों के साथ ज्येष्ठ शुक्ला चतुर्थी के दिन मोक्ष लक्ष्मी को प्राप्त हुए।
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.
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’.
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.
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.