yada hi dvija-varasyesu-matravalokanugater na samahita purusa-gatis tada visama-gatam sva-sibikam rahugana upadharya purusan adhivahata aha he vodharah sadhv atikramata kim iti visamam uhyate yanam iti.
yada—when; hi—certainly; dvija-varasya—of Jada Bharata; isu-matra—the measurement of an arrow (three feet) ahead; avaloka-anugateh—from moving only after glancing; na samahita—not united; purusa-gatih—the movement of the carriers; tada—at that time; visama-gatam—becoming uneven; sva-sibikam—his own palanquin; rahuganah—King Rahugana; upadharya—understanding; purusan—unto the men; adhivahatah—who were carrying the palanquin; aha—said; he—oh; vodharah—carriers of the palanquin; sadhu atikramata—please walk evenly so that there will not be bouncing; kim iti—for what reason; visamam—uneven; uhyate—is being carried; yanam—the palanquin; iti—thus.
The palanquin, however, was very erratically carried by Jada Bharata due to his sense of nonviolence. As he stepped forward, he checked before him every three feet to see whether he was about to step on ants. Consequently he could not keep pace with the other carriers. Due to this, the palanquin was shaking, and King Rahugana immediately asked the carriers, “Why are you carrying this palanquin unevenly? Better carry it properly.”
Although Jada Bharata was forced to carry the palanquin, he did not give up his sympathetic feelings toward the poor ants passing on the road. A devotee of the Lord does not forget his devotional service and other favorable activities, even when he is in a most distressful condition. Jada Bharata was a qualified brahmana, highly elevated in spiritual knowledge, yet he was forced to carry the palanquin. He did not mind this, but while walking on the road, he could not forget his duty to avoid killing even an ant. A Vaisnava is never envious or unnecessarily violent. There were many ants on the path, but Jada Bharata took care by looking ahead three feet. When the ants were no longer in his way, he would place his foot on the ground. A Vaisnava is always very kind at heart to all living entities. In His sankhya-yoga, Lord Kapiladeva explains: suhrdah sarva-dehinam. Living entities assume different bodily forms. Those who are not Vaisnavas consider only human society worthy of their sympathy, but Krsna claims to be the supreme father of all life forms. Consequently the Vaisnava takes care not to annihilate untimely or unnecessarily any life form. All living entities have to fulfill a certain duration for being encaged in a particular type of material body. They have to finish the duration allotted a particular body before being promoted or evolved to another body. Killing an animal or any other living being simply places an impediment in the way of his completing his term of imprisonment in a certain body. One should therefore not kill bodies for one’s sense gratification, for this will implicate one in sinful activity.
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