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SB 5.12.15

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


sā māṁ smṛtir mṛga-dehe 'pi vīra
kṛṣṇārcana-prabhavā no jahāti
atho ahaṁ jana-saṅgād asaṅgo
viśaṅkamāno 'vivṛtaś carāmi


—that; mām—me; smṛtiḥ—remembrance of the activities of my previous life; mṛga-dehe—in the body of a deer; api—although; vīra—O great hero; kṛṣṇa-arcana-prabhavā—which appeared because of the influence of sincere service to Kṛṣṇa; no jahāti—did not leave; atho—therefore; aham—I; jana-saṅgāt—from the association of ordinary men; asaṅgaḥ—completely detached; viśaṅkamānaḥ—being afraid; avivṛtaḥ—unobserved by others; carāmi—I go here and there.


My dear heroic King, due to my past sincere service to the Lord, I could remember everything of my past life even while in the body of a deer. Because I am aware of the falldown in my past life, I always keep myself separate from the association of ordinary men. Being afraid of their bad, materialistic association, I wander alone unnoticed by others.


In Bhagavad-gītā it is said: svalpam apy asya dharmasya (BG 2.40). It is certainly a great fall to go from human life to animal life, but in the case of Bharata Mahārāja or any devotee, devotional service to the Lord never goes in vain. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 8.6): yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram. At the time of death, by nature's law the mind is absorbed in a certain type of thinking. This may lead one to animal life, yet for a devotee there is no loss. Even though Bharata Mahārāja received the body of a deer, he didn't forget his position. Consequently, in the body of a deer he was very careful to remember the cause of his downfall. As a result, he was given a chance to be born in a family of very pure brāhmaṇas. Thus his service to the Lord never went in vain.

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