The Briny Muse : Forum : Shakuntala

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12 Years Ago

'Shakuntala ' by Raja Ravi Varma                 Among the many stories in the Indo-European legends is that of Shakuntala. Born into an Indo-European family, Shakuntala, at an early age lost the love of her father, the sage, Vishwamitra. He had been seduced to have the child by a Scythian naerid called Menaka, a woman who was given to great fancies and imagination. Vishwamitra is reported to have ' lost his powers ' of perception and insight and thereafter embarked on a new endeavor to rediscover the nature of his intellect and understanding of life. He abandoned the family. Shakuntala was adopted and raised by a sage Kanva Rishi, where she came to have some semblance of a normal life in the human experience. In time, she met a king who fell in love with her and after some trials, the lovers are united in a relationship, in accordance with their natures. Like many stories in the east, this tale tells of the Indo-European relationship and the place of Indians in the world. The story was written by the Indian poet Kalidasa circa 4th century and continues to influence Indian thought in society. It brings into focus the significant role of poets in the life of the society, particularly in the way that it cultivates thought and public opinion on issues.