f. (said to be fr. śakunta-) Name of a daughter of the apsaras-menakā- by viśvāmitra- (she was supposed to have been born and left in a forest, where she was protected by birds till found by the sage kaṇva-, who took her to his hermitage and reared her as his daughter;she was there seen by king duṣyanta-, when on a hunting expedition, and married by him, and became the mother of bharata-, sovereign of all India;the story of duṣyanta-'s accidental meeting with śakuntalā-, their marriage, separation, his repudiation of her through temporary loss of memory caused by a curse, his subsequent recognition of her by means of a ring which was lost but afterwards recovered, forms the subject of kālidāsa-'s celebrated drama called abhijñāna-śakuntalā-q.v).
शकुन्तला [शकुन्तैः लायते ला घञर्थे क] N. of the daughter of Viśvāmitra by the nymph Menakā who was sent down by Indra to disturb the sage's austerities. [When Menakā went up to the heaven she left the child in a solitary forest where she was taken care of by 'Śakuntas' or birds, whence she was called "Śakuntalā". She was afterwards found by the sage Kaṇva and brought up as his own daughter. When Duṣyanta in the course of his hunting came to the sage's hermitage, he was fascinated by her charms and prevailed on her to become his wife by the Gandharva form of marriage; (see Duṣyanta). She bore to him a son named Bharata, who became a universal monarch, and gave his name to India which came to be called Bharatavarsa.]
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