Dushyant and Shakuntala (full & correct) (love) story | King Dushyant family tree

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Just before going to “Dushyant and Shakuntala (full & correct) (love) story | King Dushyant family tree“, let us know a brief, basic and very important information.

Dushyant in Sanskrit is written as : दुष्तन्त duṣṭanta (Dushyanta). | Dushyant parents names are : Ilin or Santurodha (father) and Rathantī (mother).

Dushyant wife name is : Shankuntala. | Dushyant siblings names are : Sura, Bhima, Pravasu, and Vasu. | Dushyant and Shakuntala son name is : Bharata (Bharat) (भरत).

Shakuntala in Sanskrit is written as : शाकुन्तल (śākuntala) (Shaakuntala). | Shakuntala parents names are : Vishvamitra (father), Menaka (mother) and Kanva (adoptive father). |

Shakuntala husband name is : Dushyant (दुष्तन्त duṣṭanta (Dushyanta). | What is the relationship between Shakuntala and Dushyant : They were the husband and wife as per the epic Mahabharata.

Now, let us understand the meaning of the beautiful name “Shakuntala” as given below:

Shakuntala name meaning : “Shakun” means beautiful birds and ‘tala’ means protected by. Thus “Shakuntala” means “someone who is protected by birds”.

In Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma Shakuntala is one of the main characters. Shakuntala is the mother of Chakravarti / Emperor ‘Bharata Chakravarti’ and also Shakuntala is the wife of King Dushyanta.

King Dushyanta was the founder of the Paurava vamsha / vansh / family (Paurava Dynasty). Shakuntala was the daughter of the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra and Menaka.

(One should remember that the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra was indeed seduced by the Indra Loka’s divine woman Menaka.)

(This happened as per the wishes of Lord Sri Vishnu. If someone great has to be born means, then his / her parents also need to be great / daivi / divine.)

(Since Shakuntala was indeed daivi / divine / great, tus her parents also need to be daivi / divine / great.)

(Many people don’t know another story where once the same Great Maharshi Vishvamitra was doing a ‘very hard tapas’  / penance.)

(This time also another Daivi / divine woman Urvashi came to seduce the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra.)

(But this time Lord Sri Vishnu’s desire was something else. Thus this Daivi / divine Devi Urvashi was not able to seduce our Great Maharshi Vishvamitra.)

(We should note that whatever happens is as per the wishes of Lord Sri Vishnu. Lord Sri Vishnu knows best and does best to everybody.)

(If Devi Menaka had not married the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra, then would had not begotten a daughter like Shakuntala. If Shakuntala was not born, then a great son like Bharata (Bharat) would had not born.)

(Just think my dear friends, think? Everything is the vidambana / divine drama / pastimes of Lord Sri Vishnu and nothing else).

Let us come back to our story:

Rishi Kanva found baby Shakuntala in the forest surrounded and protected by beautiful birds, so she was named as Shakuntala (see above to know the full meaning of the beautiful name “Shakuntala”).

Once, King Dushyanta had come to a forest for hunting the beasts and was passing through a place which was full of different trees, plants, flowers, wild animals etc.

The forest was undulated with many rocky hillocks and extended over several yojanas (miles) and there was no trace of any humans over there and it was full of wildlife all over the forest.

King Dushyanta, along with his soldiers were passing through an extensive desert and later they reached a thick forest.

This forest was indeed beautiful and was also covered with many ashramas (hermitages) and there were only fruit-bearing trees and plant. In this forest there was no sign of shushka vrikshas / xerophytic trees.

Here, King Dushyanta came across an ashrama (hermitage) of Rishi Kanva, the son of the Great Maharshi Kashyapa. This ashrama (hermitage) was surrounded by the river called Malini river.

Let us now go back to the story as how the beautiful Shakuntala was born:

Once a Daivi / divine Devi Menaka had come at the behest of the King of the Devatas (Demigods) Lord Sri Indra Deva to distract the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra from his ‘ghana ghora tapas’ (very very hard penance).

Daivi / divine Devi Menaka was able to distract and was succeeded in seducing the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra, and begot a baby from the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra.

But later, Maharshi Vishwamitra was angered by the loss of the virtue gained through his many hard years of strict tapas.

Thus after sometime Maharshi Vishvamitra distanced himself from the baby (Shakuntala) and mother (Devi Menaka) to be returned to his real works.

Devi Menaka realizing that she could not leave the child with Maharshi Vishvamitra, and having to return to her loka (world) called Indraloka (Heaven), Devi Menaka left baby Shakuntala just after her birth on the banks of the Malini river on the peaks of the Himalayas.

[Here we should note that, there is a group of these types of Daivi / divine Devis who are sent by Lord Sri Indra Deva just to begot a child or children and to go back to their loka (world), that is, to Indraloka (Heaven).] 

(They are not ordinary humans who would live on earth for long time. But their purpose is to begot a child / children from a great Daivi / divine ‘maanava’ (man) and nothing else. Usually they are known as ‘apsara strees’ and they are Daivi / divine Devis.)

(Few of such Daivi / divine Devis are Menaka, Urvashi, Tilottame, Rambha, Ghritachi, Manjukesi, Budha, Misrakesi,)

(Sukesi, Sulochana, Kalabha, Vividha, Devasena, Sumukhi, Supuskala, Manorama, Sudati, Sundari, Vigagdha, Saudamini,)

(Sarala, Dhrti, Vividha, Supuspamala, Sumala, Santati, Sunanda, Magadhi, Arjuni, Kerala, Nanda, Devadatta etc.)

Now let us continue with our story:

As stated earlier, Kanva Rishi found the newly born baby girl in the forest surrounded and protected by birds and thus that baby was named as Shakuntala (see above to know the meaning of the word Shakuntala).

When King Dushyant was hunting near the Kanva Rishi ashrama (hermitage), he saw the beautiful Shakuntala who was nursing her pet deer.

Seeing the beauty of Shakuntala, King Dushyanta fell in love with Shakuntala instantly. He approached Shakuntala and spent some time at the ashrama (hermitage) of Kanva Rishi.

Both Shakuntala and Dushyanta fell in love and after some time they both got married in the ‘Gandharva reeti’ (in the Gandharva way – this is, one of the ways where the couple may get married as per Hindu Texts).

But, later having to leave the Kanva Ashrama (hermitage) after some time due to some unrest in his capital city, King Dushyanta gave Shakuntala a beautiful royal diamond finger ring as a sign of their love.

King Dushyanta promised Shakuntala that he would return to her as soon as possible.

Later, Shakuntala spent most of the time dreaming of her love and was often distracted by her daydreams.

Once, the Great Rishi Durvasa (He is an avatar of Lord Shiva), came to the ashrama (hermitage) of Kanva Rishi. But Shakuntala had lost in her daydreams thinking only about her husband King Dushyanta.

Shakuntala completely failed to welcome and greet Rishi Durvasa. Incensed by this sight, Rishi Durvasa gave shaapa (curse) to Shakuntala, saying like this:

“The person you (Shakuntala) are daydreaming will forget you (Shakuntala) altogether.”

Thus after Rishi Durvasa departed in a rage, one of Shakuntala’s friends quickly explained to Rishi Durvasa the reason for her friend’s distraction.

After realizing this, Rishi Durvasa in his extreme wrath was not warranted and thus modified his curse and said like this:

“The person who had forgotten Shakuntala will remember everything again if Shakuntala showed him a personal symbol that had been given to her”.

As time passed, Shakuntala started to wonder why King Dushyanta did not returned to meet her.

Thus, Shakuntala set out for the capital city of King Dushyanta with her father Kanva Rishi and few of her companions.

On the way, Shakuntala was playing with her hands on the surface of the river.

They had to cross a huge river and due to the heavy flow of water in the river, Shakuntala’s diamond ring slipped off her finger without her realizing it.

Then after reaching at King Dushyant’s court, Shakuntala was hurt and surprised when her husband (King Dushyanta) did not recognize her and also was not able to recollect anything about her.

Thus humiliated, Shakuntala returned to the forests and settled in a wild part of the forest by herself without the support of her father Kanva Rishi.

Here, Shakuntala spent her days as her son Bharata (Bharat) was born and grew older.

Surrounded only by trees, plants, wild animals Shankuntala’s son Bharata (Bharat) had grew up to be a strong youth and made a sport of opening the mouths of wild animals like tigers, lions and counting their teeth had become his daily routine.

While on the banks of the same river (where Shakuntala had earlier visited) a fisherman was surprised to find a royal diamond ring in the belly of a matsya (fish) he had caught in the waters.

But, fisherman was intelligent enough to recognize that it would be a royal diamond ring and thus the fisherman took the ring to his Raja (King) (Maharaja Dushyanta’s palace).

After seeing his ring, King Dushyanta’s memories of his lovely wife came rushing back immediately to him. King Dushyanta immediately set out to find her beautiful wife Shakuntala.

After arriving at Shakuntala’s father Rishi Kanva’s ashram (hermitage), King Dushyanta discovered that Shakuntala was no longer living there. King Dushyanta searched deeper into the forest and was able to found out his wife. 

King Dushyanta came upon a surprising scene in the forest as given here: A young boy had put his hands inside the mouth of a lion and was busy counting its teeth!

King Dushyanta first greeted the boy and was amazed by his boldness, mind power and strength. And finally asked that young boy about his name.

King Dushyanta was surprised when the young boy informed that he is the son of Shakuntala and his name was ‘Bharata (Bharat)’.

Later that young boy Bharata (Bharata) took Maharaja (King) Dushyanta to his mother Shakuntala.

Upon seeing her beloved husband, Shakuntala became happy and thus the family was reunited and started to live in togetherness.

PS: Most of the people who like to discuss about this story is about the story of the Great Maharshi Vishvamitra and Divine Devi Menaka.

People who don’t know anything of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) or people who want to spoil the greatness of our great culture, or people who always will be dreaming of intimacy and sex or people who will be ready to insult our great culture etc. will be ready to talk ill about this great pair Great Maharshi and Devi Menaka.

First of all these people should better understand the real moral behind this story and then need to talk about great people like Great Maharshi Vishvamitra and Devi Menaka.

These people don’t know anything about the greatness of our great culture. These people just think about themselves as liberals and want to malign our great culture. These people don’t the real meaning of been ‘liberal’.

Thus, we need to be very careful about these types of less knowledgeable liberals.

King Dushyant family tree is as given below:

Puru : He is the son of the King Yayati and Queen Sharmishtha. Puru consort name is Kausalya (Not Lord Rama mother).

Práchinvat : He is the son of King Puru.

Pravíra : He is the son of Práchinvat.

Manasyu : He is the son of Pravíra. His mother name is Śūrasenī.

Nileel (Ilina) : He is the 16th son of Manasyu. His consort name is Rathandari (Rathantara).

Dushyanta : He is the son of Nileel (Ilina) and Rathandari (Rathantara). His consort name is Shakuntala.

[Dushyanta in Sanskrit means, the destroyer of all the wicked people. Dushyanta = Dushta + Anta = Wicked people + Destroyer.]

(Shakuntala means = Sha + Ku + Tala = Birds + With + Grown = Someone who is grown with birds is called as Shakuntala in Sanskrit.)

[Shakuntala is the daughter of the great Brahmarishi Vishwamitra and Menaka Devi (apsara).]

[Brahmarishi Vishwamitra is the son of गाधि (Gādhi).]

Bharata : This name is pronounced as भरत. He is the son of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala. King Bharata consort name is Sunanda (She is the daughter of Sarvasena, the King of Kashi).

[Bharata (Bharat) means = Bhara + Ata = All the qualities + With = He is someone with all the qualities.]

(King Bharata (Bharat) was grown up with animals like lions, tigers in a hermitage with her mother Shakuntala.)

Bhumanyu : He is the son of King Bharata and Sunanda. His consort name is Vijaya (She is the daughter of Dasarha).

Suhotra : He is the son of Bhumanyu and Suvarna. His consort name is Suvarna.

Hasti : He is the son of Suhotra and Jayanti. His consort name is Yashodhara (Princess of Trigarta).

(Hasti is the main person who built the great place Hastinapura. Hastinapura is also called as Hastinavati.)

Vikanja (Vikunthana) : He is the son of Hasti and Yashodara. His consort name is Sunanda (Sudeva), the daughter of Dasarha.

Ajameedha (Ajameedh) : He is the son of Vikanja (Vikunthana) and Sunanda (Sudeva). His consorts names are Raikeyi, Gandhari, Visala and Irusha (Riksha) 1st. Ajameedha beget 2400 sons.

Among the 2400 sons, Irusha (Riksha) 1st was the prominent son.

Irusha (Riksha) I (1st) : He is the son of Ajameedha (Ajamedh) (Ajamidha).

Samavarana (Samvarna) : He is the son of Irusha. His consort name is Tapati (Tapti). Tapati (Tapti) is the daughter of Lord Surya and Chhaya Devi.

Kuru : He is the son of Samavarana (Samvarna) and Tapati (Tapti). His consorts names is Shubangi and Vahini.

Jahnu : He is the son of King Kuru.

Suratha : He is the son of Janu.

Viduratha : He is the son of Suratha. His consort name is Amruta (Amrita).

Saryabhauma : He is the son of Viduratha.

Jayasena : He is the son of Jayasena.

Radhika : He is the son of Radhika.

Ayutayu : He is the son of Radhika.

Akrodhana : He is the son of Ayutayu.

Devatithi : He is the son of Akrodhana.

Riksha II (2nd) : He is the son of Devatithi

Dilipa : He is the son of Risha II (2nd)

Pratipa : He is the son of Dilipa. His consort name is Sunanda. Pratipa and Sunanda has three sons namely Devapi, Santanu (Shantanu) and Bahlika (Vahlika).

[Bahlika (Vahlika) is an avatar of Prahlada, the son of Hirankashipu.]

[Bahlika (Vahlika) participated in the battle of Kurukshetra supporting Duryodhana (Kauravas) and was killed the mighty Bhima.]

[His first avatar is Shankukarna (Satya Yuga), second is Prahlada (Satya Yuga), third is Bahlika (Vahlika) (Dwapara Yuga),]

[Fourth is Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha (Kali Yuga) and fifth is Sri Raghavendra Swamy (Kali Yuga) of Mantralaya.]

Santanu (Shantanu) : He is the son of King Pratipa and Sunanda. His two brothers are Devapi and Bahlika (Vahlika).

Santanu (Shantanu) two consorts names are Sri Ganga Devi and Satyavati Devi.

From Sri Ganga Devi, Santanu (Shantanu) begets 8 sons including Devavrata (Bhishma).

From Satyavati Devi, Santanu (Shantanu) begets 2 sons namely Chitrāngada and Vichitravirya.

Vichitravirya : He is the son of Santanu (Shantanu) and Satyavati Devi. Vichitravirya consorts names are Ambalika and Ambika.

Vichitravirya with Ambalika give birth to Pandu, whereas with Ambika, Dhritarashtra is born.

Dhritarashtra : He is the son of Vichitravirya and Ambika. His consort name is Gandhari Devi and also had a relationship with a prostitute lady.

Dhritarashtra and Gandhari Devi had 100 sons and one daughter Dushala.

Prominent among these 100 sons are Duryodhana and Dushasana.

Duryodhana wife name is Bhanumati, a Kalinga Princess and their children are Lakshmana Kumara, Lakshmanaa, Kalaketu and Lakshmi.

Dushasana wife name is Jyotsyana (Charumati), a Trigarta Princess and their son name is Dhrumasena.

[Jyotsyana (Charumati) is a cousin of Duryodhana wife Bhanumati.]

Pandu (King) : He is the son of Vichitravirya and Ambalika. Pandu had two consorts and their names are Kunti Devi and Madri Devi.

King Pandu and Kunti Devi children names are Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna.

[Yudhishthira is an avatar of Lord Dharma (Sri Yama Deva), Mighty Bhima is an avatar of Lord Sri Vayu Deva and Arjuna is an avatar of Lord Sri Indra Deva.]

[During Ramayana period, Lord Sri Yama Deva was born as Jambavan, Lord Sri Vayu Deva was born as Lord Hanuman and Lord Sri Indra Deva was born as Vali.]

Kunti Devi with Niyoga Neeti had a son called Karna with Lord Sri Surya Deva.

[Karna is an avatar of Lord Sri Surya Deva. During Ramayana period, Lord Sri Surya Deva was born as Sugriva.]

King Pandu and Madri Devi children names are Nakula and Sahadeva.

[Both Nakula and Sahadeva are the twin brothers and avatar of Lord Sri Ashvini Kumaras. In their origin form, they are called as Nasatya and Dasra.]

Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahedeva all five married the divine Sri Draupadi Devi.

Yudhishthira and Sri Draupadi Devi had a son named Prativindhya (Shrutavindhya). They also had a daughter named Suthanu.

Bhima and Sri Draupadi Devi had a son named Sutasoma.

Arjuna and Sri Draupadi Devi had a son named Shrutakarma

Nakula and Sri Draupadi Devi had a son named Shatanika.

Sahadeva and Sri Draupadi Devi had a son named Shrutasena.

Yudhishthira also married another woman called Devika and their son name is Yaudheya.

Bhima also married Hidimbi (Hidimba), Valandhara and approximately 21 sisters of Lord Krishna (Lord Krishna father Vasudeva’s daughters from his 13 wives).

Bhima with Hidimbi had a son named Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkacha married Ahilavati and their children names are Anjanaparvan, Meghavarna and Barbarika.

Bhima with Valandhara had a son named Sarvaga. Sarvaga became the King of Kashi after Kurukshetra war.

Arjuna apart from Sri Draupadi Devi also married Ulupi, Chitrangada and Subhadra.

Arjuna begot Iravan as son with Ulupi, Babruvahana with Chitrangada and Abhimanyu with Subhadra.

Bharuvahana wife name is Kimveka, son name is Aarusha and daughter name is Krithika.

Abhimanyu consorts names are Vatsala (Shashirekha) and Uttarā (Uttarā Kumari). Abhimanyu and Uttarā had a son named Parikshita (Parikshit).

Nakula apart from Sri Draupadi Devi also married Karenumati (Renuka) and their son name is Niramitra.

Sahadeva apart from Sri Draupadi Devi also married Vijaya and their son name is Suhotra.

Parikshita (Prikshit) : He is the son of Arjuna and Subhadra Devi. Parikshit consort name is Madravati.

Parikshit sons names are Janamejaya, Shrutasena, Ugrasena and Bhimasena.

[Shuka Muni (Shukacharya Ji), an avatar of Lord Shiva preached the divine Srimad Bhagavatam to Parikshit.]

Janamejaya (Nagayagna) : He is the son of Parikshita (Parikshit) and Madravati and their sons names are Śatáníka and Sankukarna.

Śatáníka : He is the son of Janamejaya (Nagayagna).

Ashwameghadutta : He is the son of Janmejaya (Nagayagna).

(Continue reading from the below given images for more names.)

We all Bharatavanshi (Indians) should be highly proud of being born in this greatest country Bharata (India).

We have born in this greatest country as we may have done some ‘punya karma‘ (good deeds) in our earlier lives.

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  • Kedar Jugdar


    Am Interested to know, how this is linked with Mahabharata . . Is this Pre/Post Mahabharata ?

    Kedar Jugdar

    • Dear Kedar Jugdar,
      Thanks for your valuable comment.
      Dushyanta and Shakuntala story is much older than the Pandavas and Lord Sri Krishna time. But it is very much part of the Mahabharata. Dushyanta is the forefather of the Kauravas and Pandavas. Dushyanta and Shakuntala’s son is Bharata (Bharat). In Bhagavad Gita Lord Sri Krishna calls Arjuna as the son of Bharata (Bharat), as Arjuna has come in the same lineage.
      Hope this has given the answer to your question.
      Keep in touch.

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