In the previous episode, we had commenced the next set of events that took place after the creation of the Jambu-Dveepa and the seven different “Varshas”. We’ve witnessed that Aagneetra initially was at the helm of affairs in the Jambu-Dveepa, and further it was passed over to his son by name Naabi. Further, it went to Naabi’s son, Rishabha Deva and further on to Bharata. However, Bharata was a great sage by nature and all he was interested in was doing immense penance. We’re in the midst of witnessing an interesting set of events that conspired in the life of this Bharata. As we’ve seen yesterday, as Bharata was in his deep penance one fine day, there was a pregnant deer that had come to the nearby river bank to consume water. This pregnant deer was spotted by an angry and a ferocious lion, which decided to feast on this deer. Thus, the lion started giving the deer a chase. During the chase, the pregnant deer gave birth to a little one and the little one dropped on the ground. The female deer ran for its life, not even noticing its baby fallen on the ground. Bharata was watching all of this as he was disturbed off his penance by all these events. Concerned for the baby deer’s life, Bharata quickly got up from his “Aasana” (Seat), ran towards it, picked it up and brought it to his hamlet.
Thus, Bharata had the baby deer alongside him and he tried going into penance again. However, what happened here is something that he himself didn’t expect – He started getting attached towards that little deer so much that he started to feed it, made sure that the deer was comfortable, and whenever the deer went out to roam in the open, he was extremely worried whether it would come back to the hamlet safe. Thus, Bharata started following the deer wherever it went – Just to make sure that other wild animals like lions, leopards, etc. do not attack it. Thus, over time, this compassion towards the deer became a great source of worldly attachment to Bharata. Initially it all started with compassion towards a poor animal, but it transformed into attachment. At one stage, he started totally associating himself with the deer, in such a way that his spiritual practices and penance were completely forgotten. He entered into a stage wherein only when the deer consumed food, he would consume food. Only when the deer drank water, he would drink water. Only when the deer sleeps, he would sleep! This became a routine and his attachment towards the deer was only increasing every passing day. Days and years progressed by, and as Bharata advanced in age, he even started to have worries that after his death, who would take care of this deer! Such was Bharata’s attachment towards the little deer.
This is where, we’ve to be careful too. We’ve to be able to draw the line between compassion and attachment. Being compassionate towards living beings is never wrong, and in fact, all of us should be. However, this compassion should not go into possessiveness and attachment in the long run. Bhagawan Krishna Himself explains this point clearly in the Bhagawad Gita – He explains that the root cause of all these transformations is the human mind. If the mind is going to get attached and over-possessive about someone or something, it is going to be the worst enemy of mankind and thus, is going to push us towards the path of destruction. Thus, an attached mind is the greatest enemy of a person. Whereas, the same mind, if we’re able to maintain detachment from worldly affairs, yet being compassionate towards other fellow beings, is the greatest friend to a person. Bhagawan Krishna clearly explains thus:
“Aatmaivahyaatmano bandhuhu aatmaiva ripuraatmanaha!”
This is exactly where Bharata is also getting entangled. He has been carried away by the over-attachment towards the deer, to such an extent that he had completely forgotten the very purpose of his life. If such is the case for a highly realized sage, where are we? This is where we’ve to think and act wisely. Now, moving on with the event further, one fine day, Bharata passes away due to his age, and he passes away with his thoughts immersed in the welfare of this deer that he was possessing.
For today, let us understand the event till this point, and let us also realize the significance of detachment. We should first realize that there is a thin line of difference between compassion and detachment, and this story of Jada-Bharata is a perfect example to illustrate the same. Now what is going to happen to Bharata after this? Let’s wait for an absorbing episode tomorrow to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂