Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 17 September 2019


A Dictionary of Hinduism

W. J. Johnson


As portrayed in the Ādiparvan of the Mahābhārata, the daughter of the apsaras Menakā (Menā) and the sage Viśvāmitra, who, when living in her fosterfather Kaṇva's āśram, is seduced by King Duṣyanta. She gives birth to Bharata, whom the king initially refuses to acknowledge as his son, but Śakuntalā's rhetoric and a divine intervention change his mind. This is the story that Kālidasa retells, with significant variations, in his Abhijñānaśākuntalam (‘Recognition of Śakuntalā’).