Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Bharata included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Bharata

Son of Duṣyanta born of Śakuntalā.


Descending in order from Viṣṇu-Brahmā-Atri-Candra-Budha-Purūravas-Āyus-Nahuṣa-Yayāti-Pūru-Janamejaya-Prācinvā-Pravira-Namasyu-Vītabhaya-Śuṇḍu-Bahuvidha-Saṃyāti-Rahovādī-Raudrāśva-Matināra-Santurodha-Duṣyanta-Bharata.


Duṣyanta was once hunting in the forests when he hit a fawn with his arrow. The fawn fled to the Āśrama of Kaṇva Muni and the king followed it. On reaching the Āśrama grounds he saw Śakuntalā watering the plants helped by her companions Anasūya and Priyaṃvadā. Duṣyanta and Śakuntalā fell in love with each other at first sight. Kaṇva was absent from the Āśrama and they married according to the Gāndharva rites and Śakuntalā became pregnant soon. The king gave her his signet ring as a sign of faith and left for his palace. When Duṣyanta left her Śakuntalā fell into a deep reverie and she never knew about the arrival of the arrogant sage, Durvāsas to the āśrama. Durvāsas mistook her as disrespectful and cursed her saying that she would be forgotten by the man of whom she was thinking then. Śakuntalā never knew about the curse also.

Kaṇva Muni when he returned to the Āśrama and knew everything, sent Śakuntalā to the palace of Duṣyanta. But King Duṣyanta never recognised her and when Śakuntalā was returning deeply grieved Menakā her mother, took her and left her in the āśrama of Kaśyapa. There Śakuntalā delivered a son. The boy grew brave and fearless and he could subdue even the wildest of animals around there. Kaśyapa, therefore, named him Sarvadamana.

Once when Duṣyanta was returning home after visiting Indra he saw Śakuntalā, recognised her, and took her and the boy to his palace. This was the boy who later on became known as Bharata. (Chapter 73, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

Marriage and reign.

Bharata was a partial incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu. Even while he was young he became a ruler and conquering the world destroyed the wicked. Bharata had three wives. All the sons born to them were bad and so the mothers killed them all. Aggrieved over the loss of his sons he worshipped the devas to get a son for him. At that time the great preceptor Bṛhaspati forcibly married Mamatā the wife of his brother. Mamatā was pregnant then and when she conceived from Bṛhaspati also she bore two children. On delivery she threw the child of Bṛhaspati in the forests and went away with the other son.

The Devas took care of the discarded child and named him Bharadvāja and gave the child to Bharata. Bharata gave the boy the name Vitatha (Dīrghatamas). Bharata ruled over his land for twentyseven thousand years and the land was, therefore, called Bhārata. (Śloka 96, Chapter 2, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

After ruling the land ideally he left for the forests entrusting the land to his son, Vitatha. (Navama Skandha, Bhāgavata).

Vitatha also was called Bharata and he had five sons: Suhotra, Suhota, Gaya, Garbha and Suketu. (Chapter 278, Agni Purāṇa).

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: