tasminn api kālaṁ pratīkṣamāṇaḥ saṅgāc ca bhṛśam udvigna ātma-sahacaraḥ śuṣka-parṇa-tṛṇa-vīrudhā vartamāno mṛgatva-nimittāvasānam eva gaṇayan mṛga-śarīraṁ tīrthodaka-klinnam ut-sasarja.
tasmin api—in that āśrama (Pulaha-āśrama); kālam—the end of the duration of life in the deer body; pratīkṣamāṇaḥ—always waiting for; saṅgāt—from association; ca—and; bhṛśam—constantly; udvignaḥ—full of anxiety; ātma-sahacaraḥ—having the Supersoul as the only constant companion (no one should think of being alone); śuṣka-parṇa-tṛṇa-vīrudhā—by eating only the dry leaves and herbs; vartamānaḥ—existing; mṛgatva-nimitta—of the cause of a deer’s body; avasānam—the end; eva—only; gaṇayan—considering; mṛga-śarīram—the body of a deer; tīrtha-udaka-klinnam—bathing in the water of that holy place; utsasarja—gave up.
Remaining in that āśrama, the great King Bharata Mahārāja was now very careful not to fall victim to bad association. Without disclosing his past to anyone, he remained in that āśrama and ate dry leaves only. He was not exactly alone, for he had the association of the Supersoul. In this way he waited for death in the body of a deer. Bathing in that holy place, he finally gave up that body.
Holy places like Vṛndāvana, Hardwar, Prayāga and Jagannātha Purī are especially meant for the execution of devotional service. Vṛndāvana specifically is the most exalted and preferred holy place for Vaiṣṇava devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa who are aspiring to return back to Godhead, the Vaikuṇṭha planets. There are many devotees in Vṛndāvana who regularly bathe in the Yamunā, and this cleanses all the contamination of the material world. By constantly chanting and hearing the holy names and pastimes of the Supreme Lord, one certainly becomes purified and becomes a fit candidate for liberation. However, if one purposefully falls victim to sense gratification, he has to be punished, at least for one lifetime, like Bharata Mahārāja.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fifth Canto, Eighth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “A Description of the Character of Bharata Mahārāja.”
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