Episode # 91 – Shakuntala Devi goes in search of King Dushyanta!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vaishampayana continuing with the narration of King Dushyanta’s accord, wherein he explains to King Janame-Jaya how King Dushyanta was a very righteous king and how he ensured that all the aspects of “Dharma” prevailed in his kingdom. Subsequently, while King Dushyanta was venturing for his regular hunting one day, he spotted a beautiful woman amidst the thick forest named Shakuntala. She was originally Sage Vishwamitra’s daughter, but since Sage Vishwamitra had obtained this girl through an “Apsaras” woman called Menaka, she had to be left alone to fend for herself. Both Menaka and Sage Vishwamitra parted ways and Shakuntala was brought up by Kanva Maharishi all these years. Thus, as King Dushyanta roams around Kanva Maharishi’s ashram, he spots this beautiful Shakuntala and falls in love with her. After a lot of convincing, Shakuntala accepted him and both of them got into a union. After this, King Dushyanta assured her that he would come back and marry her with all the rituals for the marriage. With this, King Dushyanta went back to his kingdom, and Shakuntala got pregnant. Shakuntala was waiting for King Dushyanta to come back and marry her. But did he come back? Let us witness today. 

As Shakuntala was waiting thus, King Dushyanta never came back! She was waiting, waiting and waiting, but King Dushyanta did not keep up his word for some reason. However, Shakuntala delivered a baby after her tenth month of pregnancy and this baby boy was named “Bharata”. Thus, Bharata was born to King Dushyanta and Shakuntala. As this Bharata was growing up and when he was a six-year-old boy, Indra comes along that path and blesses Bharata thus, “Oh Bharata! You would be one of the greatest kings in this world. You would be an embodiment of all “Dharma” in this world and at the same time, you would be blessed with all valor and power to take on any enemy that comes and attacks you!” As per Indra’s boon and words, Bharata was really a powerful boy! He was playing with the lions and tigers in the forest with ease. With just one leg, Bharata was able to kick away the lions and tigers in the forest! If such is the case with the wildest of animals in the forest, we do not even need to ask about how Bharata handled human beings. If any enemies came by, Bharata would take them down single handedly! 

As days, months and years pass by, Shakuntala was still patiently waiting for Dushyanta to come and marry her. But King Dushyanta never came back even after so many years! With this, Shakuntala was extremely depressed and was crying out to Kanva Maharishi every day. Upon seeing his daughter in such a pitiable state, Kanva Maharishi advises her thus, “Oh Shakuntala! Please go in search of King Dushyanta and introduce yourself to him. Perhaps he might have forgotten you because of other important and compelling reasons, as he is a great king. You should not stay without your husband anymore and it is not good for you and for Bharata!” Shakuntala accepts Kanva Maharishi’s advice and thus starts towards King Dushyanta’s kingdom. However, Bharata did not want to go along with his mother. He wants to stay back with Kanva Maharishi in the ashram and wants only his mother to go in search of King Dushyanta. However, after a lot of convincing from Kanva Maharishi that Bharata has to be only with his mother at all times and not leave her alone, Bharata accepted. He thus accompanies his mother all along the way to meet King Dushyanta. 

After travelling a long distance, they finally reach King Dushyanta’s palace. It was a huge palace with enormous amounts of wealth and richness. Huge buildings adorned the entire area. Upon seeing all these, Shakuntala and Bharata had their own doubts whether they would be allowed to enter inside the palace and see the king or not. They had this fear that they might be chased away by King Dushyanta or his security guards upon seeing their shabby attire and tired faces. So what is going to happen next? Is King Dushyanta going to accept them or chase them away? Let us wait till 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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