Differences between Both Sakuntalas

Kalidasa is more a poet than a historian. His great play is based on the theme of Mahabharata. But how can a poetic heart create a warrior-like feminine character that we find in Sakuntala of Mahabharata?&nbsp. Mahabharata is basically the story of war. Rustomji explains the issue between the two Sakuntalas thus: “The oral creation and performance of an epic demand a style which is straightforward. The kavyas, mainly concerned with of the worldly bhavas, the emotions, or in the more universal form of their essence, rasas, need characters which are drawn with much more attention to subtle details of characterization.”(p.45) Most of the feminine characters in Mahabharata take up to war-like postures when they are challenged for their honor. The wife of Pandavas, Draupadi was one such example. &nbsp.True to the caliber of a great poet, Kalidasa created a colorful sequence about the first meeting of Dushyanta and Sakuntala. Kalidasa weaved the play based on the Mahabharata theme. The first meeting of Dushyanta and Sakuntala was a lively, ‘colorful sequence’ in the play. Dushyanta, in the course of his hunting expedition, reached out Kanva’s hermitage and in the garden happened to see Sakuntala who was watering plants with her maids and was taken in by her bewitching beauty. He expressed his instant desire to marry her. Sakuntala was impressed by his royal demeanor and finally agreed for the marriage. They marry in ‘Gandharva’ style. Here is the essential difference between the Sakuntala of Mahabharata and Sakuntala of Kalidasa. In the first version, she put the condition that her son would be made the crown prince succeed him as the King, whereas in Kalidasa’s version no such condition was put forward. It was left to presumption.
Dushyanta returned to his Kingdom, and Sakuntala was deeply lost in thoughts of his remembrance. At that juncture, when Kanva was away, Sage Durvasa arrived to call on him. Sakuntala failed to hear his calls and the sage was enraged straightaway and cursed her stating that the person in whose thought she was lost, would forget her.