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History of Dauṣyanti Bharata.

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There are many Bharatas in history, of which Bharata the brother of Lord Rāma, Bharata the son of King Ṛṣabha, and Bharata the son of Mahārāja Duṣyanta are very famous. And all these Bharatas are historically known to the universe. This earth planet is known as Bhārata, or Bhārata-varṣa, due to King Bharata the son of Ṛṣabha, but according to some, this land is known as Bhārata due to the reign of the son of Duṣyanta. So far as we are convinced, this land’s name Bhārata-varṣa was established from the reign of Bharata the son of King Ṛṣabha. Before him the land was known as Ilāvati-varṣa, but just after the coronation of Bharata, the son of Ṛṣabha, this land became famous as Bhārata-varṣa.

But despite all this, Bharata, the son of Mahārāja Duṣyanta was not less important. He is the son of the famous beauty Śakuntalā.While hunting in the forest, Duṣmanta once approached the āśrama of Mahāṛṣi Kaṇva, where he saw an extremely beautiful woman and became attracted to her. That woman was the daughter of Viśvāmitra, and her name was Śakuntalā. Her mother was Menakā, who had left her in the forest, where Kaṇva Muni found her. Kaṇva Muni brought her to his āśrama, where he raised and maintained her. When Śakuntalā accepted Mahārāja Duṣmanta as her husband, he married her according to the gāndharva-vidhi. Śakuntalā later became pregnant by her husband, who left her in the āśrama of Kaṇva Muni and returned to his kingdom.

After that, Mahārāja forgot his wife Śakuntalā by the curse of Kaṇva Muni, and the child Bharata was brought up in the forest by his mother. Therefore, when Śakuntalā approached him with her newly born child, Mahārāja Duṣmanta refused to accept them as his wife and son. Later, however, after a mysterious omen, the King accepted them. After Mahārāja Duṣmanta’s death, Bharata, the son of Śakuntalā, was enthroned. He performed many great sacrifices, in which he gave great riches in charity to the brāhmaṇas.

Even in his childhood he was so powerful that he challenged the lions and elephants in the forest and would fight with them as little children play with cats and dogs. Because of the boy’s becoming so strong, more than the so-called modern Tarzan, the ṛṣis in the forest called him Sarvadaman, or one who is able to control everyone.

A full description of Mahārāja Bharata is given in the Mahābhārata, Ādi-parva. The Pāṇḍavas, or the Kurus, are sometimes addressed as Bhārata due to being born in the dynasty of the famous Mahārāja Bharata, the son of King Duṣyanta.

Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.


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