Story of Shakuntala in Mahabharata


This famous story is found in Mahabharata. King Dushyant of Puruvansh and Bharat, son of Shakuntala, is counted among the 16 best kings described in ‘Mahabharata’. According to an account in Kalidasa’s great Sanskrit text ‘Abhigyana Shakuntalam‘, Bharatavarsha was named after Bharata, the son of King Dushyanta and his wife Shakuntala. By the grace of Marudganas, Bharat got a son named Bhardwaj. Bharadwaj was a great sage. The character of Chakravarti king Bharata is also mentioned in the Adiparva of Mahabharata.

King Dushyant & Shakuntala’s first meet

One day King Dushyant saw Shakuntala in the hermitage of sage Kanva in the forest and he was infatuated with her. Shakuntala was the child of Vishwamitra and Menaka. Both of them got Gandharva married. They started living in the forest. After telling good days with Shakuntala, the king again started going to his kingdom and he promised Shakuntala to return and take her. He gave the ring as a token and went away. One day sage Durvasa came to Shakuntala’s ashram. Shakuntala did not give her proper hospitality. He cursed her that whoever you are remembering will forget you. Pregnant Shakuntala apologized to the sage for her actions. Rishi’s heart melted. He said that if you tell him a sign, he will remember it.


Curse of Durvasa become true

Shakuntala left to meet the king. On the way that ring fell in a pond. Which the fish took out. She reached the Raj Bhavan but King Dushyant refused to recognize her. Due to the insult of Shakuntala by King Dushyant, lightning flashed in the sky and Shakuntala’s mother Menaka took them away. On the other hand, that fish came in the net of a fisherman, from whose stomach that ring came out. The fisherman gifted that ring to King Dushyant considering it precious.

When King Dushyant saw that ring, he remembered everything. Maharaj Dushyant repented a lot. After some time, King Dushyant went to Amaravati, the city of Indra, to fight with the Devas on the invitation of Indradev. After the war, he was returning from Akash Marg when he saw a beautiful boy playing in the hermitage of sage Kashyapa. Menaka had left her in the hermitage of sage Kashyap. That child was the son of Shakuntala.

Bharat made King Dushyant regain memory

When King Dushyant saw that child, his heart swelled with love after seeing him. As soon as he stood up to lift that child in his lap, Shakuntala’s friends warned that Rajan, if you touch this child, then the black thread tied in his arm Will bite you like a snake. The king did not heed this warning and lifted the child in his arms. But as soon as he picked the boy, the black thread tied around his arm broke, which was a sign of his father. When her friend told the whole thing to Shakuntala, she came running to King Dushyant. King Dushyant also recognized Shakuntala and apologized for his actions and took them both to his kingdom. Maharaj Dushyant and Shakuntala named the child Bharat who went on to become a great glorious emperor.

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