Bharata Mahārāja was a great devotee, but he did not attain success in one life. In Bhagavad-gītā 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 brāhmaṇa family or a rich kṣatriya or vaiśya family. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe (Bg. 6.41). Bharata Mahārāja was the firstborn son of Mahārāja Ṛṣabha in a rich kṣatriya 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 Kṛṣṇa. Then he was given the chance to take birth in a very good brāhmaṇa family.