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Story of Jada Bharata from Srimad bhagavatam
Story Of King Bharata
Bharata was born the son of Dushyanta (RishabaDeva) & Shakuntala. Bharata was born of "Poorna Garbha" (complete womb time), he was in his mother's womb for 36 months. He was very strong from childhood, he would play with forest animals even when he was as small as 6 years old. He would play with the cubs, drag and beat Lions & Tigers if they tried any mischief.
As a young man he was brought up by his father and taught in the Kshatriya dharma, Bharata ruled the land with Dharma, He ruled the vast corners of the land, the land mass which was called "Anjanabha Varsha" later became famous as "Bharata Varsha" in the Indian vernacular it is still called "Bharata", the land of king Bharata.
He had five sons named Sumati, Raashtrabhoota, Sudarshana, Aavarana and Dhumraketu from Panchajani daughter of Vishwaroopa. After fulfilling his duties as a householder (Grihasta) he contemplating on the life of VanaPrasta & Sanyasa (Renunciation) transferred all his duties to his children. He moved to a forest and meditated with the ultimate purpose of attaining Liberation.
He soared in realization, his meditation was getting better & better, he had attained many higher stages in meditation. He was spending last days of his life in search of the ultimate knowledge.
Episode of the Doe
Once Bharata was meditating peacefully on the banks river 'Chakra' after his daily rites of chanting AUM & Gayatri Mantra. A lonely pregnant doe was drinking water from the river, there was a sudden lion roar from a short distance. The doe was terrified & tried to run in hurry, it jumped over the river from the top of a big rock, on mid flight it gave birth to a baby doe which fell into the river, the mother doe hit the rock on the other side and died.
Baby Doe was carried by the river current, overcome by the compassion for that little, orphan, helpless doe sage Bharata got up and ran to save the baby Doe.
He brought it out of the water, forest was a cruel place for a young Doe to survive, he thought he would take care of it until it could take care of itself.
He would bring milk for the Doe from other animals, he brought the sweetest of delicate grass for the doe to eat, Doe considered him to be the mother, as it grew it filled his heart with joy, but it also made him stray from his spiritual practices. Sometimes he would become strict & try to meditate seriously, while meditating the doe would come and sit on his lap or disturb him, asking him to play with it.
Sage Bharata at times would get angry at the animal, later like a mother his heart would soften quickly and he would play with it and fetch grass to feed it.
The king's spiritual practices had become irregular, lot of his time was spent on the doe; A king who had left his entire kingdom- a kingdom with his sons, wife and luxury of palace was now attached to a doe, such is the destiny.
Bharata was already at the end of his life, one day he couldn't find the doe anywhere near the cottage, he looked for it all day and couldn't find it, he was overcome with intense pain, he lamented for the missing deer, his old body couldn't take the toll. Bharata died thinking of doe.
Rebirth in a Doe's Body
King Bharata because of his attachment to the doe was reborn in the womb of a doe, In his next birth as the doe he realized what a big mistake he had done, because he had attained a higher spiritual realization in his past he had memory of his last life even though he was born a doe.
Though trapped in a doe's body, his actions were that of a yogi, he would go sit near Ashrams of Rishis, he would listen to them sing chants and hymns, he liked living around them in the calm & peaceful spiritual vibrations.
As time passed his life as a doe ended, he gave up the body and proceeded to heavens.
Rebirth as Jada Bharata
Bharatha knowing his past life attachment lead to a birth in doe's body consciously took a brith in a Brahmin woman's womb. He was born as the second child of the 2nd wife of a scholar.
Knowing that his past attractions led him astray from childhood, Bharata decided to act stupid. He would mispronounce mantras though he knew them very well. His father would teach him rituals and he would do them in reverse.
Though he acted like a fool, he still was a gentle, loving soul. His father loved Jada Bharata (Dull Bharata) very much and it pained his father's heart that life would be difficult for his son after his death. After some time Jada Bharata's father died, his mother too left her body with her husband.
Jada Bharata was ill treated by his brothers and sisters in-law. He would wander around, work sometimes for food, sometimes beg for food. The brothers worked him like their slave, they sent him to stand in the fields watching the crops, he would stand like the scarecrow from morning to evening, sometimes they would feed him, sometimes he would be standing in empty stomach.
Once a gang of a Tamasic (ignorant, lethargic) King's assistants were looking for a suitable human to sacrifice for the sake of a boy child for the King. They found Jada Bharata a young and strong man. They took him to their high priest, the high priest checked him out and said "This man is suitable for sacrifice." They bathed him with exotic oils, put perfumes and garlands around him.
They sat him at the feet of the Goddess Kali, the high priest lifted up an axe to cut down the head of Jada Bharata, Kali seeing this horrible scene came out of the statue alive, with the weapons in hand she slashed everyone in the room and went back into the statue. Everyone in the palace ran.
Jada Bharata now had nothing to do with the palace, he walked out, while he was walking on road, a gang of men found him and assigned him the duty of carrying their King's Palanquin. It was the Palanquin of King Rahoogana of the kingdoms of Sindhu and Sauvira.
Without complaining Jada Bharata became a carrier of King's Palanquin. He carried the king around along with other carriers, as it happened a small worm walked on to his path, to avoid stepping on it, Jada bharata stretched his step, and the Palanquin shook badly.
The king scolded the carriers, the other carriers blamed it on Jada bharata, the King scolded him and warned to behave.
Jada Bharata being Jada Bharata didn't feel threatened, once again a worm came in his path and Jadabharata stepped over it. The palanquin shook and the king sarcastically said "Oh you poor old man, you are tired because you have already walked 100s of miles, but your co-carriers aren't like you."
After a while, the Palanquin shook again and this time king threatened Jada Bharata saying "You fool! you look like a dead man, how dare you cross King's order, you are drunk with arrogance, now it has become my duty to teach you."
Jada bharat who remained silent all his life, now spoke to the king "O king, how rude are you? I avoided stepping on another life at the cost of your discomfort, where is your sense, how can you be so senseless born in the King's family, and being brought up with the teachings of scriptures?"
"You don't deserve to be a king if you have no compassion for all life. Leave your arrogance and fulfil your duties obediently, focus on virtues and give up your pride."
The King was shocked that a man who looked so foolish is addressing him and talking to him of values. The King being a cultured one obediently enquired. "Wise one, who are you? I have not seen you around before, who son are you?"
Jada Bharat replied "O King, In my past I was known as Bharata, in fact I'm your ancestor, you are from the same lineage. I have no purpose in life except the realization of the final truth, I'm wandering because I have no desire left anymore."
The King begged him to take him as his disciple, he took Jada Bharata to the palace and had him initiate all other members of his palace into Yoga. Jada bharata stayed there until he taught them some basics of spirituality and then left the palace, again wandering around aimlessly, only keeping focus on the ultimate reality.
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