Emperor Bharata was so attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of Krsna that even in his youthful life he gave up all kinds of attachments to family, children, friends, kingdom, etc., as though they were untouchable stools

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"Emperor Bharata was so attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa that even in his youthful life he gave up all kinds of attachments to family, children, friends, kingdom, etc., as though they were untouchable stools"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

There is a nice example of this detachment in connection with the character of King Bharata. In the Fifth Canto, 14th Chapter, 43rd verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated: "Emperor Bharata was so attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa that even in his youthful life he gave up all kinds of attachments to family, children, friends, kingdom, etc., as though they were untouchable stools.

When a person is undisturbed even in the presence of various causes of disturbance, he is called reserved and perseverant. An example of this perseverance and reservation is found in the behavior of King Parīkṣit, as described in the First Canto, 19th Chapter, 13th verse, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The King says there to all the sages present before him at the time of his death, "My dear brāhmaṇas, you should always accept me as your surrendered servant. I have come to the bank of the Ganges just to devote my heart and soul unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. So please bless me, that Mother Ganges may also be pleased with me. Let the curse of the brāhmaṇa's son fall upon me—I do not mind. I only request that at the last moment of my life all of you will kindly chant the holy name of Viṣṇu, so that I may realize His transcendental qualities."

This example of Mahārāj Parīkṣit's behavior, his remaining patient even at the last point of his life, his undisturbed condition of mind, is an example of reservation. This is one of the characteristics of a devotee who has developed ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

Detachment

The senses are always desiring sense enjoyment, but when a devotee develops transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa his senses are no longer attracted by material desires. This state of mind is called detachment. There is a nice example of this detachment in connection with the character of King Bharata. In the Fifth Canto, 14th Chapter, 43rd verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated: "Emperor Bharata was so attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa that even in his youthful life he gave up all kinds of attachments to family, children, friends, kingdom, etc., as though they were untouchable stools."

Emperor Bharata is a typical example of detachment. He had everything enjoyable in the material world, but he left it. This means that detachment does not mean artificially keeping oneself aloof and apart from the allurements of attachment. Even in the presence of such allurements, if one can remain unattracted by material attachments, that is called detachment. In the beginning, of course, a neophyte devotee must try to keep himself apart from all kinds of alluring attachments, but the real position of a mature devotee is that even in the presence of all allurements, he is not at all attracted. This is the actual criterion of detachment.

Pridelessness

When a devotee, in spite of possessing all the qualities of pure realization, is not proud of his position, that is called pridelessness. In the Padma Purāṇa it is stated that King Bhagīratha was the emperor above all other kings, yet he developed such ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa that he became a mendicant and went out begging even to the homes of his political enemies and untouchables. He was so humble that he respectfully bowed down before them.