We have travelled all the way from Shakuntala wanting to meet Parashuram and seek revenge on her husband Dushyant to the birth and full story of Parashuram. Today’s post will give a review of the story to date…
Jamadagni and Vishwamitra are born at the same time and are of the same age. Coincidentally Parashuram and Shakuntala are also of a similar age. That is because Vishwamitra is the daughter of Menaka and not from his first marriage. Vishwamitra first got married at the age of 18. He ruled the Kingdom for about 15 years and when his elder son Deval was 12 years old, he left for the forest.
As Deval is very young and not ready for Kingship, Satyavati takes over as Rajmata. On the other side, Jamadagni got married late and we know the story of him visiting Agastya Muni and marrying Renuka. At that moment, Renuka was just 18 years old and Jamadagni was 34 years, the age gap was 16 years. At that time Vishwamitra was in the forest, Shakuntala is born there to Menaka. Far away from the forest, Renuka also gives birth to Parashuram in a few years.
We have seen the whole saga of Menaka being forced to leave the forest and Vishwamitra leaving Shakuntala in Kanva Maharshi ashram. She then grows and meets Dushyant and married him and gives birth to Bharat. But after all that, Dushyant leaves her with Bharat, when she was just 17 years old. She then waits for Dushyant to come back for 5 years, but he doesn’t turn up, so she goes to confront Dushyant in Hastinapur and he refuses to accept her and humiliates her. She walks out of the place leaving Bharat in the custody of Dushyant. Around the same time, Parashuram finishes Ashvamedha Yajna and is pushed out of the world. Not knowing that Shakuntala goes searching for Parashuram to seek revenge on Dushyant who humiliates her.
Will Shakuntala meet Parashuram and fulfil her wish?
Shakuntala discusses her issue with Kanva Maharshi. Kanva Maharshi listens to her and says ‘Shakuntala, I understand your pain. But remember dharma doesn’t allow a Brahmin girl like you to marry a King. In my opinion, only your father can help you with your problem.’
Shakuntala starts her journey to Kanyakubj and not to Ayodhya. Because after all the destruction and Yajna, Vishwamitra respectfully asks Vasishtha to go back to Ayodhya and be a Kula Guru. There is a strong intention behind this for Vishwamitra. By then Vasishtha is already a Brahmarishi but Vishwamitra is not. If he has to achieve that, he should explore and meditate more.
The other way of becoming Brahmarishi is another Brahmarishi calling you Brahmarishi. Everyone knows Vasishtha wouldn’t do that because he suffered at the hand of Vishwamitra. Thus, right after Ashvamedha Yajna, Vasishtha moves to Ayodhya and Vishwamitra moves to Kanyakubj.
Shakuntala meets her father Vishwamitra and cries out her pain…
Shakuntala finally meets father Vishwamitra. The rishi knew her arrival and welcomes her. All of this is witnessed by Menaka from swargaloka. Shakuntala says ‘Dear Father, you are responsible for everything that has happened to me.’ Vishwamitra replies to it by saying, ‘Daughter, an unfortunate event happens for something fortunate’, ‘Understand that you don’t have an idea, whom you have given birth to. Also, you have got my genes which makes you angry. The same anger made me banish Menaka from my life. Unknowingly you are also doing the same to your husband Dushyant.’.
‘Dushyant is your husband. Why do you have to punish him for the mistake? He did that because he was trying to follow his Dharma. Understand Raja Dharma is more important than anything. Don’t you know that Dushyant is 30 and still unmarried? And whatever he said about your birth was right. I may be sage, but Menaka was a prostitute. Whatever he said is not fully wrong. At the same time, things have to change for good.’
‘Father, I understand whatever you are saying. But what is the solution now?’
‘Dear Daughter… you have two options in front of you…
‘One is to kill your ego and stay with Dushyant or stay here and live all alone. Going to Dushyant you will be queen and live with your son Bharat. But if you decide to live with me, you will have your self-respect.’
Shakuntala takes some time and decides to go back to Dushyant. But on one condition, she requests father Vishwamitra to come along with her. Vishwamitra happily accepts the condition and both of them go to Hastinapur.
Seeing Vishwamitra, Dushyant is pushed into mixed emotions. He is scared and happy. Happy because Shakuntala has come back, sacred because Vishwamitra might punish him. Dushyant immediately falls on the feet of Vishwamitra.
Vishwamitra says, ‘King Dushyant, I am not unhappy with you. I understand why you have done certain things in life. Let me tell you, we are in Treta yuga which started after Bhagwan Parashuram decided to rest in Gokarna. During this yuga, People are pushed into Dharma Sankat. So, you have done what is your dharma towards the people as kin. I have come here to leave my daughter. Do take care of her and give the right education to Bharat.’
Dushyant then tells, ‘Guruji, we don’t have the opportunity to seek services of Dattatreya. All we have is a great guru like you and I want you to teach Bharat. Make him the greatest of King in history.
Vishwamitra agrees to it and becomes the guru for Bharat who in future becomes a Chakravarthy on whose name we still call this country as Bharat.