Amongst the innumerable stories narrated by different story tellers enumerated in "Mahabharat",hidden somewhere in the maze is the story of Shakuntala, wife of King Dushyant and mother of Emperor "Bharat".When asked by Janmejaya about the origin of Kuru lineage, Vaishampayana, the story narrator starts instead from Bharat lineage. That once upon a time there was fearless King Dushyant who abided by Dharma and was extremely popular with his subject. One day out into the jungles on a hunt chasing a deer heenters a beautiful hermitage. He surprised to finds the place full of flowers, trees laden with fruits and a clear cool river was flowing nearby. Some holy men collecting dry wood lying on the river bank tell him that up ahead is the ashram of sage Kanv. Leaving his soldiers he enters the ashram. The king is welcomed by an extremely charming young maiden.She cordially welcomes him into the ashram and tells him that her father Kanv is presently not in the ashram. He is Surprised at her words Dushyant asks as to how she can be the daughter of Kanv who is unmarried. Shakuntala then tells the king what has been told to her by her father. That Lord Indra perturbed by the deep meditation of sage Vishvamitra plans to disturb his mediation.He therefore sends apsra Menka to earth.Menka is successful in seducing the sage and with their union a girl child is born to Menka. She leaves the child in the jungle on the bank of river Malini and returns to her heavenly abode. Sage Kanv passing through the jungle is attracted by chirping of birds at a place. On investigating he finds a child, whom he takes under his care and brings her up. Shakuntala thereafter says that there are three types of father.One who gives his body, second one who protects and third one is who feeds. As sage Kanv has protected and fed me since birth hence he is my father. Deeply impressed by the words, mannerism and captivated by the beauty of Shakuntala, Dushyant asks her to marry him. Shakuntala requests Dushyant to await the arrival of her father. Dushyant however insists on a Gandharv marriage.Reluctantly Shakuntala agrees but extracts a promise from Dushyant that the child born out of their union will be successor to his throne. Dushyant bitten by the desire to possess Shakuntala agrees. With the rites of a Gandharv marriage they unite.He also gives Shakuntala his royal ring as a present. Having spent some time in the ashram Dushyant leaves. He promises Shakuntala that he will send his mighty army to escort her to his capital at the earliest. On his return to the ashram Kanv understands the complete situation and tells Shakuntala that she has not done no wrong as Gandharv marriage is superior to all different types of marriage as per the dharma.
Shakuntala subsequently gives birth to a boy child in Kanvashram. There are different stories about ultimate meeting of Shakuntala and her child with Dushyant. The most charismatic and capturing story is written by one of the greatest writer, poet and dramatist "KALIDAS" in his fabulous creation "Abhigyan Shakuntalam".In this the poet creates a series of tragic events which befall Shakuntala before she confronts Dushyant again.Lost in thought of Dushyant,Shakuntala fails to welcome sage Durvasha who comes into the ashram.Enraged Durvasha curses Shakuntala that lost in whose thought she has not given him a befitting welcome in the ashram, will forget her. The inhabitant of the ashram are extremely shocked when they hear of the curse. They implore the sage to forget and forgive.They assure him that Shakuntala regrets the omission and has accepted her mistake. The sage thereafter that the curse cannot be revoked but its effect can be reduced. He thereafter says that when Shakuntala will show something to that person, he will recollect his past and remember her. The end of the story is pleasant and happy. Shakuntala along with her son and some members of the ashram go to the court of king Dushyant in his capital. According to "Mahabharat",Dushyant refuses to recognize Shakuntala. She pleads, but Dushyant is unmoved. Shakuntala, there after starts to leave his court but at that instant voice from the heaven say" Dushyant you are making a great mistake this woman is your wife and the boy with her is your son to be the future king of this nation" Dushyant there after tells all his court retinue that he knew all along that Shakuntala was his wedded wife but due to fear of the society he was afraid of accepting her.He there after accepts Shakuntala as his Queen and declares the child as prince,to be the future king or his successor. It was this son of Dushyant and Shakuntala who unified this huge land mass into one nation. The generation thereafter honouring him called this nation as "BHARAT VARSH".