sa mam smrtir mrga-dehe ’pi vira
krsnarcana-prabhava no jahati
atho aham jana-sangad asango
visankamano ’vivrtas carami
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
My dear heroic King, due to my past sincere service to the Lord, I could remember everything of my past life even while in the body of a deer. Because I am aware of the falldown in my past life, I always keep myself separate from the association of ordinary men. Being afraid of their bad, materialistic association, I wander alone unnoticed by others.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In Bhagavad-gita (2.40) it is said: svalpam apy asya dharmasya. It is certainly a great fall to go from human life to animal life, but in the case of Bharata Maharaja or any devotee, devotional service to the Lord never goes in vain. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (8.6): yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram. At the time of death, by nature’s law the mind is absorbed in a certain type of thinking. This may lead one to animal life, yet for a devotee there is no loss. Even though Bharata Maharaja received the body of a deer, he didn’t forget his position. Consequently, in the body of a deer he was very careful to remember the cause of his downfall. As a result, he was given a chance to be born in a family of very pure brahmanas. Thus his service to the Lord never went in vain.