sa jighāṁsati vai prajāḥ
nāsmāṁs tat-pātakaṁ spṛśet
The saintly sages elected King Vena to become king, but he proved to be mischievous; therefore the sages were very much afraid of incurring sinful reaction. The law of karma prohibits a person even to associate with a mischievous individual. By electing Vena to the throne, the saintly sages certainly associated with him. Ultimately King Vena became so mischievous that the saintly sages actually became afraid of becoming contaminated by his activities. Thus before taking any action against him, the sages tried to pacify and correct him so that he might turn from his mischief.