दुष्यन्तः N. of a king of the lunar race, descendant of Puru, husband of Śakuntalā and father of Bharata. [Once upon a time Duṣyanta, while hunting in the forest, went to the hermitage of the sage Kaṇva,
while pursuing a deer. There he was hospitably received by Śakuntalā, the adopted daughter of the sage, and her transcendent beauty made so great an impression on his mind that he prevailed on her to become his queen, and married her according to the Gāndharva form of marriage. Having passed some time in her company the king returned to his capital. After some months Śakuntalā was delivered of a son, and her father thought it advisable to send her with the boy to her husband. But when they went and stood before Duṣyanta, he (for fear of public scandal) denied all knowledge of having ever before seen or married her. But a heavenly voice told him that she was his lawful wife, and he thereupon admitted her; along with the boy, into his harem, and made her first queen. The happy pair lived to a good old age and committing the realm to the care of Bharata, retired to the woods. Such is the account of Duṣyanta and Śakuntalā given in the Mahābhārata; the story told by Kālidāsa differs in several important respects; see "Sakuntalā".]
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