yajñāya dharma-pataye vidhi-naipuṇāya
yogāya sāṅkhya-śirase prakṛtīśvarāya
nārāyaṇāya haraye nama ity udāraṁ
hāsyan mṛgatvam api yaḥ samudājahāra
yajñāya—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enjoys the results of all great sacrifices; dharma-pataye—unto the master or propounder of religious principles; vidhi-naipuṇāya—who gives the devotee the intelligence to follow the regulative principles expertly; yogāya—the personification of mystic yoga; sāṅkhya-śirase—who taught the Sāṅkhya philosophy or who actually gives knowledge of Sāṅkhya to the people of the world; prakṛti-īśvarāya—the supreme controller of this cosmic manifestation; nārāyaṇāya—the resting place of the innumerable living entities (nara means the living entities, and ayana means the shelter); haraye—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Hari; namaḥ—respectful obeisances; iti—thus; udāram—very loudly; hāsyan—smiling; mṛgatvam api—although in the body of a deer; yaḥ—who; samudājahāra—chanted.
Even though in the body of a deer, Mahārāja Bharata did not forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore when he was giving up the body of a deer, he loudly uttered the following prayer: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sacrifice personified. He gives the results of ritualistic activity. He is the protector of religious systems, the personification of mystic yoga, the source of all knowledge, the controller of the entire creation, and the Supersoul in every living entity. He is beautiful and attractive. I am quitting this body offering obeisances unto Him and hoping that I may perpetually engage in His transcendental loving service.” Uttering this, Mahārāja Bharata left his body.
The entire Vedas are meant for the understanding of karma, jñāna and yoga—fruitive activity, speculative knowledge and mystic yoga. Whatever way of spiritual realization we accept, the ultimate goal is Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The living entities are eternally connected with Him via devotional service. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ: the perfection of life is to remember Nārāyaṇa at the time of death. Although Bharata Mahārāja had to accept the body of a deer, he could remember Nārāyaṇa at the time of death. Consequently he took birth as a perfect devotee in a brāhmaṇa family. This confirms the statement of Bhagavad-gītā (6.41), śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ’bhijāyate: “One who falls from the path of self-realization takes birth in a family of brāhmaṇas or wealthy aristocrats.” Although Mahārāja Bharata appeared in the royal family, he became neglectful and took birth as a deer. Because he was very cautious within his deer body, he took birth in a brāhmaṇa family as Jaḍa Bharata. During this lifetime, he remained perfectly Kṛṣṇa conscious and preached the gospel of Kṛṣṇa consciousness directly, beginning with his instructions to Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa. In this regard, the word yogāya is very significant. The purpose of aṣṭāṅga-yoga, as stated by Madhvācārya, is to link or connect with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The goal is not to display some material perfections.
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