King Bharata: King Bharata becomes a Deer
King Bharata was a great king of India at the time of Treta yuga who was the son of Rishabdev. His story is illustrated in Srimad Bhagavatam. We already have an article on the life of King Bharata till he takes renunciation or sannyas. In this article we shall know how King Bharata dies and takes the form of a deer in his next life.
King Bharata in the forest
As King gave away the reigns of kingdom to his son, he decided to go to forest and meditate on the form of the Lord. One day as he was doing his morning duties, he saw a thirsty female deer drinking water near the lake. As the deer was drinking a lion roared nearby. Due to the fear of lion she at once began to run and had a miscarriage and the baby in her womb feel down in the river. Due to the distress of miscarriage the deer died inside the cave.
As King Bharata sat on the riverbank, he could see the incident. Out of compassion King Bharata took out the baby deer from the water and brought it to his ashram. He took the responsibility of raising up the baby dear. He started feeding her grass, water and protected it from wild animals.
King Bharata gets the body of deer:
Slowly King Bharata began to spend more and more time with the deer. He was taking care of the deer just like a father. Whole day he was just thinking of deer and deer only. He became totally attached to the deer to such an extent that if he could not see the deer even for sometime, he would be agitated and could not rest till he could find the deer.
One night he could not find the deer in his ashram. He immediately became anxious and started looking at all directions. He was constantly fearing and thinking of the deer. Like a madman King Bharata, who was great renunciate, was thinking of the well-being of the deer. As he was searching for the deer, death came before him. He fell from the cliff. He was about to leave his body, the deer came near and King Bharata saw the deer just as a father sees his children while dying. His consciousness was filled with the thoughts of the deer. As a result he got the body of a deer.