Bharata was a legendary emperor of India, and is referred to in Hindu and Jain theology. He was the son of King Dushyanta of Hastinapura and Queen Śakuntalā and thus a descendant of the Lunar Dynasty of the Kshatriya Varna. Bharata had conquered all of Greater India.
This was a beautiful act, was it not? But alas! It proved to be the spiritual downfall of Bharatha. He now became very fond of his deer child. He looked after it with paternal care, fed it soft green grass and juicy fruits till it grew up to a beautiful deer. Now it so happened that instead of turning more towards god, his mind turned more and more towards his deer. In the evening, when he should have been meditating upon the Lord, he would anxiously be waiting for the deer to come back from its romping in the forest. He would sit at the door of his hermitage, in deep concern, and wonder, "O why has my little one not come yet? Is it in trouble? Has a tiger attacked it and eaten it up?" Thus passed some years. The noble king who had given up wealth and power, nay, the rule of an entire country; who had made his mind pure and free form attachments, had now become so attached to a little deer rescued from a running stream, that he had completely stopped his devotional practices! The more fonder he grew of the deer, the less did he think of God. The time came for Bharatha to die. As he lay then, waiting for death, the deer stood by his side like a faithful son, shedding tears of sorrow. Bharatha was touched by this,that his last thought, instead of being God, was of the deer.
The brothers, sad to say, did not take very good care of him. They made him do all the heavy work and their wives too, treated him very unkindly. They would not even give him enough food or clothing. But Bharatha uttered not a word in protest or anger. He would obey them and with perfect peace and quite of mind he would do the work allotted to him- whether it was fetching and carrying, or ploughing the fields. Sometimes, when they lost their temper with him, he would go and sit under a tree till their anger had cooled off. Then he would go back to the house. A robber chief once wanted to offer a sacrifice to the goddess Bhadrakali, as he wanted to be blessed with a son. But it so happened the victim whom they had got untied himself ran away. The band of robbers looked high and low for him but all in vain. After much searching, they came across the insane looking Bharatha sitting under a tree, watching and keeping guard over a field. They caught him and took him to their chief, who was pleased to see such a strong looking man as a victim for the sacrifice. The robbers then bathed Bharatha in fragrant waters, gave him new clothes, gold ornaments, sandalwood paste, flower garlands and fed him a good meal. Then they took him and tied him to a post.
Bharatha then lay down the pole. He smiled, and , for the first time in his life he opened his lips to speak. "O King," he said. "Whom do you call fool? Whom do you call strong? If it this body you are addressing, then it is made of the same flesh and blood as yours. I am no mad man, King. My mind is steadily fixed upon the Lord. But this body did not want to trample poor and innocent calling worms, therefore it went slow. The true self never wearies, for it has nothing to do with the body. It knows no command because it is neither master nor slave. It is the same self everywhere in the universe. Then who should command and who should obey? Realize this great truth, O King,that you too may come to know this self." King Rahugana was astonished to hear Bharatha's words of wisdom. He got down from his Palanquin and prostrated before him "Full length". "Pardon me for insulting you, O holy sage," he said. "For I did not know your greatness. I wish to learn more about this from you. Please teach me, for I now consider myself as your disciple ." "Now King, cut your bonds of attachment. Embrace the world in your love for him. You shall reach him, who dwells in the heart of all." This holy land of ours has always been the land of sages and men of wisdom. For it is only here that the supreme ideals of love, service, worship and meditation are taught as the means of self realization. We are taught to love and serve him, not for any material gains or benefits, but for the sake of love and service themselves. In this story we see how mighty kings gave their throne and power because of their love for truth. They renounced all, that they may be one with God.