Story of the great king Bharat
There lived a great King Bharat in ancient times. He belonged to Puru dynesty. He was an ancestor of the Kauravas and Pandavas. India’s original and true name, Bharat (which is pronounced as Bhaarat), is named after him.
Story of Bharat’s birth:
Bharat was a son of Shakuntala and Dushyant. Dushyant was the king of Hastinapur and Shakuntala had been found and raised by Kanva rishi and his wife. Once while hunting in the forest, Dushyant came to Kanva’s ashram and saw Shakuntala. He fell in love with her. Shakuntala too fell in love with the king and they got married. Dushyant had to leave for his kingdom. He gave Shakuntala a royal ring as a sign of their love and promised her that he would come later and take her to Hastinapur. Shakuntala missed him very much.
Time passed by. Shakuntala waited for the king Dushyant for a very long time. Wondering why did he not return, she then finally set out to go to the Hastinapur and meet Dushyant. She also took the royal ring with her so that Dushyant could recognize her. On her way to Hastinapur, she crossed a river. Unfortunately while crossing a river, her ring slipped off her finger without her realizing it.
Shakuntala reached Hastinapur to see the king. But king Dushyant, being engaged in his duties, completely forgot her. He did not even recognize her when she came to see him. Humiliated Shakuntala had no place to go. She did not want to return to her father’s ashram. So she started living in sage Marich’s ashram. Here, unknown to Dushyant, Shakuntala gave birth to a son named Bharat.
Bharat was a very brave child. He was not afraid of anyone or anything. He played with wild animals every day. Opening a lion’s mouth and counting its teeth was his favourite game. Meanwhile, a fisherman found the royal ring lost by Shakuntala. He returned it to the King Dushyant. Upon seeing the ring, his memories came back to him. He remembered about his relationship with Shakuntala. He immediately set out to find her but could not.
Once, Dushyant happened to pass by the ashram. He watched a little boy playing with a lion. The boy opened the lion’s jaws by his hands and said, “O king of the jungle! Open your mouth wide, so I can count your teeth.” Dushyant was very astonished by the child’s bravery. Later Shakuntala came out of the ashram and saw Dushyant. Both overjoyed seeing each other. Shakuntala told him that Bharat is nobody but his son. Extremely happy Dushyant hugged Bharat. Dushyant then took Shakuntala and Bharat along with him to Hastinapur.
After Dushyant, Bharat was crowned as a king of Hastinapur. He was unquestionably the greatest king of this land. As mentioned earler, after him the country came to be known as Bhaarat. He was Chakravarti, literally meaning “turner of the wheel”. This term used for a successful or imperial ruler of all. Being the most illustrious king of the dynasty, he expanded the empire greatly and was widely respected by everyone.
King Bharat had three wives and nine sons. But none of his sons seemed fit to rule after him. Bharat was worried about the future of his kingdom. So, he adopted a capable child, Bharadwaja and declared him as his heir. Bharadwaja later succeeded the king Bharat.
King Bharat’s time has been one of the greatest and golden times in Indian history. He has been remembered and will be remembered generations to generations for his greatness.