sāṁsargikaḥ — resulting from intimate association; doṣaḥ — a fault; eva — indeed; nūnam — certainly; ekasya — of one; api — although; sarveṣām — of all other; sāṁsargikāṇām — persons associated with him; bhavitum — to become; arhati — is able; iti — thus; niścitya — ascertaining; niśamya — by hearing; kṛpaṇa-vacaḥ — the words of the poor servants, who were very afraid of being punished; rājā — the King; rahūgaṇaḥ — Rahūgaṇa; upāsita-vṛddhaḥ — having served and heard from many elderly sages; api — in spite of; nisargeṇa — by his personal nature, which was that of a kṣatriya; balāt — by force; kṛtaḥ — done; īṣat — slightly; utthita — awakened; manyuḥ — whose anger; avispaṣṭa — not being distinctly visible; brahma-tejasam — his (Jaḍa Bharata’s) spiritual effulgence; jāta-vedasam — a fire covered by ashes in Vedic ritualistic ceremonies; iva — like; rajasā āvṛta — covered by the mode of passion; matiḥ — whose mind; āha — said.
King Rahūgaṇa could understand the speeches given by the carriers, who were afraid of being punished. He could also understand that simply due to the fault of one person, the palanquin was not being carried properly. Knowing this perfectly well and hearing their appeal, he became a little angry, although he was very advanced in political science and was very experienced. His anger arose due to his inborn nature as a king. Actually King Rahūgaṇa’s mind was covered by the mode of passion, and he therefore spoke as follows to Jaḍa Bharata, whose Brahman effulgence was not clearly visible, being covered like a fire covered by ashes.
The distinction between rajo-guṇa and sattva-guṇa is explained in this verse. Although the King was very upright and advanced in political science and governmental management, he was nonetheless in the mode of passion, and therefore, due to a slight agitation, he became angry. Jaḍa Bharata, despite all kinds of injustice endured because of his deaf and dumb display, remained silent by the strength of his spiritual advancement. Nonetheless his brahma-tejaḥ, his Brahman effulgence, was indistinctly visible in his person.