Updated: Dec 9, 2022
This is the love story of one of the famous couples of our culture - king Dushyanta and Shakuntala, daughter of rishi Vishwamitra and the apsara, Menaka. Read on to know the detailed story…
Once upon a time, a rishi named Kanva found a baby girl on the banks of a river near his ashram whom he adopted and named Shakuntala. She was actually the daughter of another rishi - Vishwamitra & the apsara (celestial nymph) Menaka, who had abandoned her.
Shakuntala grew into a wise and beautiful young woman deeply devoted to her adopted father.
One day while the rishi was away, the young king Dushyanta came across the ashram while out hunting and fell in love at first sight with her. He convinced her to marry him; however Shakuntala was scared of how her father would react to this. But Dushyanta persisted and even declared to make their future child his heir. Shakuntala finally relented and the couple got married. With this, the king then left after promising her that he would be back soon with his entourage and take her to his kingdom.
Time passed by and the rishi returned home. Shakuntala told him everything that happened. Much to her relief, rishi Kanva was very happy for his daughter and gave his blessings. Soon, Shakuntala realised that she was with child. More time passed and she gave birth to a boy, but her husband had not yet returned.
Finally, the rishi advised his daughter to visit the king along with her son and she agreed.
When she reached the palace and reminded him of the past, the king at first refused to believe her.l or recognise their son. He was very harsh with her and made her turn back. But then, the devas intervened and revealed Shakuntala to be a honest woman. Finally the king accepted her and even mentioned the reason for his actions. He had wanted the truth of his wife and son be unquestionable and the intervention of the devas had it possible.
Their son was named Bharata, who later became of the most powerful kings of the country.