Shri Dharmanatha, the fifteenth Tirthankara, was born in Ratnapuri(modern Raunahi in district Faizabad
Uttar Pradesh, some miles west of Ayodhya). The name of his mother was Suvrata and that of his father
was Bhanu Nripa who belonged to the Kasyapa gotra and the Ikshvaku line of ancient Indian kings. Bhanu
Nripa himself was a great king whose wife Queen Suvrata was a very pious lady and was celebrated for the
numerous acts of piety, which is performed, particularly during the pregnancy. It is why the child she
gave birth to, was named as Dharamnath (the Lord of Piety). It was moreover predicted that the new born
child would one day become a great Saviour and would by His relentless preachings show to the suffering
humanity the path to salvation.
There were great rejoicings at his birth and when he became of age he ascended the throne of his father and could over his subjects with law and piety. All the time, however, his mind was fixed on the day he would renounce the world and devote himself to the fulfillment of his mission as a Tirthankara (one who helps humanity to cross the ocean of life and death). The day of the great renunciation came and Shri Dharamnathji, giving up every worldly possession and attarachments, went to the nearby forest named Salavana, and took vows of the order. After practising the severest austerities, he annihilated the Karmic forces and attained Kaivalya and became te Arhanta. Then he proceeded on His tour of preaching to the suffering humanity the gospel of Ahimsa and showed it, not only by precept but by actual example, the true path to salvation. Thus this great benefactor of all living fully justified His name ‘The Lord of piety.’ Like the other Shramana Tirthankaras who went before Him and those who came after Him Lord Dharamanath hammered into minds of His contemporaries the truths. ‘ Live and let live’ ‘Do unto others what you would want them do unto you, ‘Be truthful in thought , word and deed’ “ Do not covet that which does not belong to you,’ ‘ keep your senses and passions under control’,‘ Try to realize the value of renunciation, self scarifies, and possessionlessness’ and ‘ Make ahimsa the true way of life.’*
There is shrine.No:16 at the top of Shri Parashva Nath Hill which marks the spot of His nirvana. In Raunahi, then called Ratanpuri, the birth-place lf the Tirthankaras there is an ancient temple dedicated to Him*. That is Ratanpuri is a place great antiquity is also proved by the ancient ruins and archaeological relics found scattered in its vicinity.
The Lord took birth and attained salvation at a very remote time and no dstes of these events can now be fixed.
• Reproduced from an article by Dr. Jyoti Prasad Jain M.A., L.L.B, Ph.D., Lucknow; Voice of Ahimsa Sept 60.