Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 05, Chapter 09, Text 01-02


SB 5.9.1-2

sri-suka uvaca
atha kasyacid dvija-varasyangirah-pravarasya sama-dama-tapah-svadhyayadhyayana-tyaga-santosa-titiksa-prasraya-vidyanasuyatma-jñanananda-yuktasyatma-sadrsa-sruta-silacara-rupaudarya-guna nava sodarya angaja babhuvur mithunam ca yaviyasyam bharyayam yas tu tatra pumams tam parama-bhagavatam rajarsi-pravaram bharatam utsrsta-mrga-sariram carama-sarirena vipratvam gatam ahuh.
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada: 
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, after giving up the body of a deer, Bharata Maharaja took birth in a very pure brahmana family. There was a brahmana who belonged to the dynasty of Angira. He was fully qualified with brahminical qualifications. He could control his mind and senses, and he had studied the Vedic literatures and other subsidiary literatures. He was expert in giving charity, and he was always satisfied, tolerant, very gentle, learned and nonenvious. He was self-realized and engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. He remained always in a trance. He had nine equally qualified sons by his first wife, and by his second wife he begot twins — a brother and a sister, of which the male child was said to be the topmost devotee and foremost of saintly kings — Bharata Maharaja. This, then, is the story of the birth he took after giving up the body of a deer.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada: 
Bharata Maharaja was a great devotee, but he did not attain success in one life. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that a devotee who does not fulfill his devotional duties in one life is given the chance to be born in a fully qualified brahmana family or a rich ksatriya or vaisya family. Sucinam srimatam gehe (Bg. 6.41). Bharata Maharaja was the firstborn son of Maharaja Rsabha in a rich ksatriya family, but due to his willful negligence of his spiritual duties and his excessive attachment to an insignificant deer, he was obliged to take birth as the son of a deer. However, due to his strong position as a devotee, he was gifted with the remembrance of his past life. Being repentant, he remained in a solitary forest and always thought of Krsna. Then he was given the chance to take birth in a very good brahmana family.
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 05, Chapter 09, Text 03