evam anuśāsyātmajān svayam anuśiṣṭān api lokānuśāsanārthaṁ mahānubhāvaḥ parama-suhṛd bhagavān ṛṣabhāpadeśa upaśama-śīlānām uparata-karmaṇāṁ mahā-munīnāṁ bhakti-jñāna-vairāgya-lakṣaṇaṁ pāramahaṁsya-dharmam upaśikṣamāṇaḥ sva-tanaya-śata-jyeṣṭhaṁ parama-bhāgavataṁ bhagavaj-jana-parāyaṇaṁ bharataṁ dharaṇi-pālanāyābhiṣicya svayaṁ bhavana evorvarita-śarīra-mātra-parigraha unmatta iva gagana-paridhānaḥ prakīrṇa-keśa ātmany āropitāhavanīyo brahmāvartāt pravavrāja.
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—in this way; anuśāsya—after instructing; ātma-jān—His sons; svayam—personally; anuśiṣṭān—highly educated in culture; api—although; loka-anuśāsana-artham—just to instruct the people; mahā-anubhāvaḥ—the great personality; parama-suhṛt—everyone’s sublime well-wisher; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ṛṣabha-apadeśaḥ—who is celebrated and known as Ṛṣabhadeva; upaśama-śīlānām—of persons who have no desire for material enjoyment; uparata-karmaṇām—who are no longer interested in fruitive activities; mahā-munīnām—who are sannyāsīs; bhakti—devotional service; jñāna—perfect knowledge; vairāgya—detachment; lakṣaṇam—characterized by; pāramahaṁsya—of the best of human beings; dharmam—the duties; upaśikṣamāṇaḥ—instructing; sva-tanaya—of His sons; śata—hundred; jyeṣṭham—the eldest; parama-bhāgavatam—a topmost devotee of the Lord; bhagavat-jana-parāyaṇam—a follower of the devotees of the Lord, brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas; bharatam—Bharata Mahārāja; dharaṇi-pālanāya—with a view to ruling the world; abhiṣicya—placing on the throne; svayam—personally; bhavane—at home; eva—although; urvarita—remaining; śarīra-mātra—the body only; parigrahaḥ—accepting; unmattaḥ—a madman; iva—exactly like; gagana-paridhānaḥ—taking the sky as His dress; prakīrṇa-keśaḥ—having scattered hair; ātmani—in Himself; āropita—keeping; āhavanīyaḥ—the Vedic fire; brahmāvartāt—from the place known as Brahmāvarta; pravavrāja—began to travel all over the world.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Thus the great well-wisher of everyone, the Supreme Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, instructed His own sons. Although they were perfectly educated and cultured, He instructed them just to set an example of how a father should instruct his sons before retiring from family life. Sannyāsīs, who are no longer bound by fruitive activity and who have taken to devotional service after all their material desires have been vanquished, also learn by these instructions. Lord Ṛṣabhadeva instructed His one hundred sons, of whom the eldest, Bharata, was a very advanced devotee and a follower of Vaiṣṇavas. In order to rule the whole world, the Lord enthroned His eldest son on the royal seat. Thereafter, although still at home, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva lived like a madman, naked and with disheveled hair. Then the Lord took the sacrificial fire within Himself, and He left Brahmāvarta to tour the whole world.
Actually the instructions given to Lord Ṛṣabhadeva’s sons were not exactly meant for His sons because they were already educated and highly advanced in knowledge. Rather, these instructions were meant for sannyāsīs who intend to become advanced devotees. Sannyāsīs must abide by Lord Ṛṣabhadeva’s instructions while on the path of devotional service. Lord Ṛṣabhadeva retired from family life and lived like a naked madman even while still with His family.
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