Bharat

 
     
 
 
 

Bharat was the son of Shakuntala and Dushyant. Dushyant was the king of Hastinapur and Shakuntala had been found and raised by Kanva rishi and his wife. Once while hunting in the forest, Dushyant came to Kanva's ashram and saw Shakuntala. He fell in love with her. Shakuntala too fell in love with the king and they married. Dushyant had to leave for his kingdom. He promised Shakuntala that he would come later and take her to Hastinapur. Shakuntala missed him very much.

Once, lost in his thoughts, she forgot to serve Durvasa rishi when he arrived. Durvasa had a very short temper and he cursed her, "In forgetting to serve me, the one you were thinking of will forget you."

Dushyant had forgotten Shakuntala because of that curse. He did not recognise Shakuntala when she went to Hastinapur. Thereafter, She did not have the heart to return to her father's ashram and started living in sage Marich's ashram. Here, unknown to Dushyant, Shakuntala gave birth to a son named Bharat. He was a very brave child. He was not afraid of anyone or anything. Bharat played with lion cubs everyday.

Dushyant had forgotten his wife Shakuntala and had no idea that he had a son. Once, Dushyant happened to pass by the ashram. He watched a little boy playing with a lion cub. The boy opened the lion's jaws by his hands and said, "O king of the jungle ! Open your mouth wide, so I can count your teeth." Dushyant was very astonished by the child's bravery.

Later Shakuntala came there and Dushyant realised that Bharat was his son. He was overjoyed at this and hugged Bharat lovingly. Dushyant took Shakuntala and Bharat along with him to Hastinapur. Later Bharat grew into a great king. Our country's true name is Bharat (pronounced Bhaarat), named after him. Bharat is remembered by all for his bravery.

 
 
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