tasmad bhavanto hrdayena jatah
sarve mahiyamsam amum sanabham
aklista-buddhya bharatam bhajadhvam
susrusanam tad bharanam prajanam
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
My dear boys, you are all born of My heart, which is the seat of all spiritual qualities. Therefore you should not be like materialistic and envious men. You should accept your eldest brother, Bharata, who is exalted in devotional service. If you engage yourselves in Bharata’s service, your service to him will include My service, and you will rule the citizens automatically.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In this verse the word hrdaya indicates the heart, which is also called urah, the chest. The heart is situated within the chest, and although instrumentally the son is born with the aid of the genitals, he is actually born from within the heart. According to the heart’s situation, the semen takes the form of a body. Therefore according to the Vedic system, when one begets a child his heart should be purified through the ritualistic ceremony known as garbhadhana. Rsabhadeva’s heart was always uncontaminated and spiritual. Consequently all the sons born from the heart of Rsabhadeva were spiritually inclined. Nonetheless, Rsabhadeva suggested that His eldest son was superior, and He advised the others to serve him. All the brothers of Bharata Maharaja were advised by Rsabhadeva to adhere to Bharata’s service. The question may be asked why one should be attached to family members, for in the beginning it was advised that one should not be attached to home and family. However, it is also advised, mahiyasam pada-rajo-’bhiseka — one has to serve the mahiyan, one who is very spiritually advanced. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimukteh: by serving the mahat, the exalted devotee, one’s path for liberation is open. The family of Rsabhadeva should not be compared to an ordinary materialistic family. Bharata Maharaja, Rsabhadeva’s eldest son, was specifically very exalted. For this reason the other sons were advised to serve him for his pleasure. That was to be their duty.
The Supreme Lord was advising Bharata Maharaja to be the chief ruler of the planet. This is the real plan of the Supreme Lord. In the Battle of Kuruksetra, we find that Lord Krsna wanted Maharaja Yudhisthira to be the supreme emperor of this planet. He never wanted Duryodhana to take the post. As stated in the previous verse, Lord Rsabhadeva’s heart is hrdayam yatra dharmah. The characteristic dharma is also explained in Bhagavad-gita: surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To protect dharma (paritranaya sadhunam), the Lord always wants the ruler of the earth to be a devotee. Then everything goes on nicely for the benefit of everyone. As soon as a demon rules the earth, everything becomes chaotic. At the present moment, the world is inclined toward the democratic process, but the people in general are all contaminated by the modes of passion and ignorance. Consequently they cannot select the right person to head the government. The president is selected by the votes of ignorant sudras; therefore another sudra is elected, and immediately the entire government becomes polluted. If people strictly followed the principles of Bhagavad-gita, they would elect a person who is the Lord’s devotee. Then automatically there would be good government. Rsabhadeva therefore recommended Bharata Maharaja as the emperor of this planet. Serving a devotee means serving the Supreme Lord, for a devotee always represents the Lord. When a devotee is in charge, the government is always congenial and beneficial for everyone.