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ŚB 5.8.8


तस्य ह वा एणकुणक उच्चैरेतस्मिन् कृतनिजाभिमानस्याहरहस्तत्पोषणपालनलालनप्रीणनानुध्यानेनात्मनियमा: सहयमा: पुरुषपरिचर्यादय एकैकश: कतिपयेनाहर्गणेन वियुज्यमाना: किल सर्व एवोदवसन् ॥ ८ ॥


tasya ha vā eṇa-kuṇaka uccair etasmin kṛta-nijābhimānasyāhar-ahas tat-poṣaṇa-pālana-lālana-prīṇanānudhyānenātma-niyamāḥ saha-yamāḥ puruṣa-paricaryādaya ekaikaśaḥ katipayenāhar-gaṇena viyujyamānāḥ kila sarva evodavasan.


tasya — of that King; ha — indeed; eṇa-kuṇake — in the deer calf; uccaiḥ — greatly; etasmin — in this; kṛta-nija-abhimānasya — who accepted the calf as his own son; ahaḥ-ahaḥ — every day; tat-poṣaṇa — maintaining that calf; pālana — protecting from dangers; lālana — raising it or showing love to it by kissing and so on; prīṇana — petting it in love; anudhyānena — by such attachment; ātma-niyamāḥ — his personal activities for taking care of his body; saha-yamāḥ — with his spiritual duties, such as nonviolence, tolerance and simplicity; puruṣa-paricaryā-ādayaḥ — worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead and performing other duties; eka-ekaśaḥ — every day; katipayena — with only a few; ahaḥ-gaṇena — days of time; viyujyamānāḥ — being given up; kila — indeed; sarve — all; eva — certainly; udavasan — became destroyed.


Gradually Mahārāja Bharata became very affectionate toward the deer. He began to raise it and maintain it by giving it grass. He was always careful to protect it from the attacks of tigers and other animals. When it itched, he petted it, and in this way he always tried to keep it in a comfortable condition. He sometimes kissed it out of love. Being attached to raising the deer, Mahārāja Bharata forgot the rules and regulations for the advancement of spiritual life, and he gradually forgot to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After a few days, he forgot everything about his spiritual advancement.


From this we can understand how we have to be very cautious in executing our spiritual duties by observing the rules and regulations and regularly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. If we neglect doing this, we will eventually fall down. We must rise early in the morning, bathe, attend maṅgala-ārati, worship the Deities, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, study the Vedic literatures and follow all the rules prescribed by the ācāryas and the spiritual master. If we deviate from this process, we may fall down, even though we may be very highly advanced. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.5):

na tyājyaṁ kāryam eva tat
yajño dānaṁ tapaś caiva
pāvanāni manīṣiṇām

“Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up but should be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance purify even the great soul.” Even if one is in the renounced order, he should never give up the regulative principles. He should worship the Deity and give his time and life to the service of Kṛṣṇa. He should also continue following the rules and regulations of austerity and penance. These things cannot be given up. One should not think oneself very advanced simply because one has accepted the sannyāsa order. The activities of Bharata Mahārāja should be carefully studied for one’s spiritual advancement.