(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Radhadesh, Belgium, January 2012) Lecture: SB. 5.9.4
Jaḍa Bharata was extremely careful about getting involved with the material energy, and we can see to the extreme….to a point where he was not even caring about his basic hygiene, and those kind of things. So he was socially very aloof. He didn’t care for his material comfort. A little later it comes up in the chapter that the father who was affectionate towards him, tried to care for him but later, the father died, and then the brothers had to take care of him. They felt that it was a great burden, and they would just give him burnt rice which was at the bottom of the pot – some black rice!
So it was a very brotherly relationship. That was going on but Jaḍa Bharata didn’t complain. He ate the burnt black rice. He just accepted that. He was extremely tolerant, and extremely determined. He had gotten this extraordinary determination by remembering his previous lives, which gave him an extraordinary motivation to be so determined!
Of course, this story is depicted in the Srimad Bhagavatam, so that we can share Jaḍa Bharata’s situation and we can also gain determination from that same pastime to also be aloof from the material energy! At the same time though, many of us (at least) in the sixties and the seventies would have made Jaḍa Bharata a hero! In the hippie era Jaḍa Bharata would have been like a real prototype of a super hippie, in a sense that he did exactly even more than like what we would have done ideally. For example, like many others who slept on cardboard boxes on the street, and I’m sure that so many people did these things, whilst travelling, without any money. Living without money was a big thing. We would be in Greece and live off the tomatoes and grapes that were growing in the orchards. Or Italy was good for growing peaches. So life was going on in this way, but eating only peaches for one week is kind of purifying the system – a peach fast. People do such things for health. We did it out of that same spirit of Jaḍa Bharata, because the mood was, that we don’t want to get entangled!