The Story of Shakutala & King Dushyanta - Indian Mythology Story for Children


Shakuntala was a beautiful adopted daughter of the sage Kanva. She lived with her pet deer in the sage's hut inside the forest. One day, Dushyanta who was the king of the Hastinapura came for hunting in that forest. He saw a beautiful deer and shot an arrow at it. When Shakuntala found the deer, she felt very sad for the injured animal. She tried to comfort the deer.

When the king Dushyanta saw her affection for animals, he was moved. He apolgized for his cruelty. Shakuntala asked Dushyanta to stay in the forest for few days and take care of that wounded deer. King Dushyanta agreed to this and stayed in the forest for few days.

During his stay, king Dushyanta and Shakuntala fell in love. When time came for the king to return, he gave a diamond ring as gift to Shakuntala. He promised to return back soon to take Shakuntala with him to the kingdom. He then left for Hastinapura.


Then one day, the great sage Durwasa came to Shakuntala's place. From outside the hunt, he asked for some water to drink, but Shakuntala was lost in thoughts of Dushyanta and didn't hear the sages voice from outside. The sage felt very insulted because of this. With anger, he cursed Shakuntala saying that the person whom she was thinking about then would forget her at that moment. 

Shakuntala was shocked to hear such a curse. She begged the sage to forgive her. The sage said that he could not take back the curse - but could change it - the person she was thinking about would remember her if she showed him something he had given her. Due to this curse, Dusyanta had forgotten about Shakuntala. He didn't return to the forest for a very long time.

After waiting for few months, Shakuntala decided to go to Hastinapura to meet him. She took the diamond ring with her. On the way she had to cross a river, where she missed her balance and her ring fell inside the water. A fish swallowed the ring.

When Shakuntala reached the palace, the king Dushyanta did not recognize her. Since Shakuntala had lost the ring, she couldn't provide any proof about their love. Ashamed to return to her father's home, Shakuntala went to another part of the forest and live alone there. Very soon she gave birth to a son and named him as Bharatha.

One day, a fisherman in the kingdom cought that fish which had swallowed the king's ring. When cutting the fish, he found the ring inside it. The fisherman  saw the kingdom's emblem on the ring, so he took that ring to the king. When king Dushyantra saw that ring, he immediately remembered about Shakuntala and their love. He felt very sad for insulting her on the other day.

He immediately went to her father's hut, but she was not there. He searched for her but it was all in vain. Few years passed. The king again went for hunting into the forest. There he saw a young boy playing with lion cubs. He went near that boy and asked him about his parents.

The little boy said that he was the son of the king Dushyanta and Shakuntala. On hearing the name 'Shakuntala' , the king Dushyanta was very happy and asked the boy to take him to his mother. When he saw, Shakuntala he apologized for his mistake and the family united again.

King Dushyanta took Shakuntala and Bharatha along with him to Hastinapura. Later Bharatha grew up to become a great king like his father.



           

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