Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 4 - Chapter 1 - Verse 11


निरूपित: प्रजापाल: स जिघांसति वै प्रजा: ।तथापि सान्‍त्वयेमामुं नास्मांस्तत्पातकं स्पृशेत् ॥ ११ ॥


nirūpitaḥ prajā-pālaḥsa jighāṁsati vai prajāḥtathāpi sāntvayemāmuṁnāsmāṁs tat-pātakaṁ spṛśet


We appointed this Vena king of the state in order to give protection to the citizens, but now he has become the enemy of the citizens. Despite all these discrepancies, we should at once try to pacify him. By doing so, we may not be touched by the sinful results caused by him.


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.