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Story of Menaka Apsara in Hindu Religion

Menaka is a celestial woman or apsara and she is one of the most beautiful dancers in the palace of Indra, the king of Devas. Indra who is constantly scared of being disposed by more pious living beings takes the help of Menaka to keep his throne intact. When saints perform intense penance to achieve more spiritual powers, Indra deputes Menaka to distract the saints.

As per Mahabharata, Shakuntala is the daughter of Menaka and Sage Vishwamitra.


Sage Vishwamitra was performing intense austerities. Indra felt his position as king of celestial beings will be threatened if Vishwamitra acquired spiritual powers by virtue of the penance.

So he deputed Menaka to distract the sage. She successfully did this. And Shakuntala was born from the union of Menaka and Sage Vishwamitra.

Later Shakuntala married Dushyanta and they had a son named Bharata, after whom India got the name Bharata.

Apsara Menaka was also the first link in the events that led to the Churning of Ocean or the Samudra Manthan.  



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