Episode # 90 – King Dushyanta – An epitome of righteousness and “Dharma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vaishampayana continuing his lengthy accord on the various “Amsas” of Devas, Raakshasas, Apsaras Women, etc. who were born as part of the enormous “Chandra-Vamsa”. Till this point, he was only going on a “briefing” mode, and subsequently after this, Sage Vaishampayana wanted to go on the “lengthy description” mode. For this, he was looking for a point to commence. He has to start describing the “Chandra Vamsa” at some point, isn’t it? He decided to commence with Dushyanta’s birth. However, King Janame-Jaya intervened in the middle as he did not understand from where did this Dushyanta come from all of a sudden! He wanted to understand who Dushyanta was and what his previous background was. If Sage Vaishampayana had to explain this, he needed to start from Puru, the Pouravas, and from there how Dushyanta was born. 

King Janame-Jaya asked Sage Vaishampayana thus, “Oh Sage! You’re commencing the detailing from Puru. But who is this Puru?” Sage Vaishampayana gives a “one-liner reply” saying that Puru was Yayati’s son, and stops there. However, King Janame-Jaya wasn’t convinced with this “one-liner”. He wanted to know who this Yayati was. Again Sage Vaishampayana gives another “one-liner” reply that Yayati was Nahusha’s son. Again, King Janame-Jaya wanted to know who this Nahusha was! Again, Sage Vaishampayana gives an immediate “one-liner” saying that Nahusha was the son of Pururava. Now who was this Pururava? He was the first person who was born as part of the “Chandra-Vamsa”! Hearing thus, King Janame-Jaya requested Sage Vaishampayana thus, “Oh Sage! You’ve to start from this point then! Start detailing to me as to who Pururava was and how did the “Chandra-Vamsa” grow from here on?” 

As King Janame-Jaya requests thus, Sage Vaishampayana begins detailing how Puru lost his moral right to be a king and how Yayati obtained it in place of Puru. Subsequently, since Sage Vaishampayana had in his mind that he would start from Dushyanta’s story, he goes ahead with that initially. After sometime, he would come back to the stories of Puru and Yayati and at that particular time, we shall witness how Puru and Yayati established themselves as part of the “Chandra-Vamsa”. Dushyanta was an excellent and a righteous king who came as part of the “Chandra-Vamsa” after Puru. In Dushyanta’s country, there was nothing except “Dharma” that was prevailing. There was 100% righteousness everywhere. Everybody in Dushyanta’s kingdom was good and kind-hearted. Each and every person in the kingdom were completely devoted to Bhagawan. All the “Dhaanas”, “Yagnyas” and other spiritual offerings were happening in Dushyanta’s kingdom without any blemish and at all the prescribed timings. 

Once upon a time King Dushyanta was going into a thick forest for hunting. At that time, King Dushyanta happened to visit Kanva Maharishi’s Ashram. As King Dushyanta visits this great sage, he spots a beautiful woman by name Shakuntala. This Shakuntala was the daughter of the great Sage Vishwamitra and Menaka. Upon seeing this Shakuntala, King Dushyanta fell in love with her immediately by getting attracted to her beauty. As we move further with this,  we need to witness who this Shakuntala is and how she came to Kanva Maharishi’s ashram. As we’ve seen earlier, Shakuntala was born to Sage Vishwamitra. Once upon a time, when Sage Vishwamitra was amidst a deep penance, Menaka, who was a beautiful “Apsaras” woman happened to pass by him. As she passed by, Sage Vishwamitra’s penance was disturbed and upon seeing her, he fell in love with Menaka. It is because of this desire on Menaka, Sage Vishwamitra got along with her and as a result of this union, Shakuntala was born. 

As the baby was born, Menaka wasn’t ready to take the child to her place as this child was a normal human being and Menaka was an “Apsaras” woman. She thus left the child amidst the forest itself and disappeared. Sage Vishwamitra too couldn’t take this baby with him because his penance would be disturbed. Hence both the parents left the baby alone in the forest and parted ways. However, months later, there were some “Shakunta” birds which took care of this baby by covering it with their wings. Since this baby was grown up by these “Shakunta” birds, she obtained the name “Shakuntala”. Years later, Kanva Maharishi spotted this beautiful baby girl roaming in the forest all by herself. Upon seeing her, Kanva Maharishi was moved and he brought her to his ashram. After this, Shakuntala was brought up as Kanva Maharishi’s daughter in his ashram. 

It is this Shakuntala that King Dushyanta spots. Initially when King Dushyanta proposed his love for her, Shakuntala did not accept him straightaway. However, King Dushyanta assured her repeatedly that he would marry her in the “Gandharva” style and with this assurance, both of them united with each other. After this union, King Dushyanta left that place by giving her the assurance that he would come back shortly to marry her. With this assurance, Shakuntala was waiting and meanwhile she became pregnant. So what is King Dushyanta going to do? Is he going to come back and marry her? Let’s wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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