Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 5 - Chapter 1 - Verse 1-2
श्रीशुक उवाचअथ कस्यचिद् द्विजवरस्याङ्गिर:प्रवरस्य शमदमतप:स्वाध्यायाध्ययनत्यागसन्तोषतितिक्षाप्रश्रयविद्यानसूयात्मज्ञानानन्दयुक्तस्यात्मसदृशश्रुतशीलाचाररूपौदार्यगुणा नव सोदर्या अङ्गजा बभूवुर्मिथुनं च यवीयस्यां भार्यायाम् ॥ १ ॥यस्तु तत्र पुमांस्तं परमभागवतं राजर्षिप्रवरं भरतमुत्सृष्टमृगशरीरं चरमशरीरेण विप्रत्वं गतमाहु: ॥ २ ॥
śrī-śuka uvācaatha kasyacid dvija-varasyāṅgiraḥ-pravarasya śama-dama-tapaḥ-svādhyāyādhyayana-tyāga-santoṣa-titikṣā-praśraya-vidyānasūyātma-jñānānanda-yuktasyātma-sadṛśa-śruta-śīlācāra-rūpaudārya-guṇā nava sodaryā aṅgajā babhūvur mithunaṁ ca yavīyasyāṁ bhāryāyām yas tu tatra pumāṁs taṁ parama-bhāgavataṁ rājarṣi-pravaraṁ bharatam utsṛṣṭa-mṛga-śarīraṁ carama-śarīreṇa vipratvaṁ gatam āhuḥ.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, after giving up the body of a deer, Bharata Mahārāja took birth in a very pure brāhmaṇa family. There was a brāhmaṇa who belonged to the dynasty of Aṅgirā. 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 Mahārāja. This, then, is the story of the birth he took after giving up the body of a deer.
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.