Yayāti was the tenth in the line of descendants from Dakṣa-prajāpati; his son was Pūru. Further in his lineage Duṣyanta was born.
Duṣyanta – “Listening to the story you just narrated confirms that you indeed are a princess from a royal lineage. Please be my wife! Tell me what you desire to have! Golden necklaces, clothing, earrings, bangles, gems and gold coins – I will give them all. My entire kingdom will be yours. Please be my wife. Let us get married through gāndharva-vivāha. It is the best among the various kinds of marriages.”
Śakuntalā – “O King! My father is gone to fetch fruits. Once he comes back, he will hand me over to you!”
There lived a king named Duṣyanta who belonged to the lineage of Puru. He was valorous and was ruling over the earth in a dhārmic manner. There was no varṇa-saṅkara, i.e., mixing of the varṇas in his kingdom. There were no hardships faced for cultivation of crops and for growing food. All citizens got their share of artha and kāma by strict adherence to dharma. No one committed sins. People knew no fear of thieves; they did not even know what hunger felt like and were never tormented by diseases.
āśīrnamaskriyā vastunirdeśo vā || (Dandin: Kavyadarsha)
As Yudhiṣṭhira went ahead, he first saw Duryodhana. He was sitting amidst the Devatās, glimmering with the wealth of courage, seated on a throne that was resplendent like the sun. Upon looking at that ungainly sight, Yudhiṣṭhira simply could not contain himself. Not looking in that direction a moment longer, he sharply turned his head the other way and said, “I don’t want to be in the world that is inhabited by Duryodhana! Owing to his insatiable avarice, we already performed the ghastly feat of killing all our relatives and friends!
After Yudhiṣṭhira heard the tragic tale of the Yādavas from Arjuna, he felt like renouncing everything and setting out on a long voyage. He looked at Arjuna and exclaimed, “Time indeed brings maturity to all animals, it creates balance in all beings; I too am caught in the grip of Time; you too know this very well!”
Arjuna concurred with his brother’s opinion and said, “Oh! Time! Time! Who indeed can escape from it?”
Thirty-six years after the Mahābhārata War transpired, yet another catastrophe struck. Once, the three mahaṛṣis – Viśvāmitra, Kaṇva, and Nārada – came to Dvāraka. Sāraṇa and other Yādavas desired to play a prank on them; they got Sāmba, one of the Yādavas, dressed as a girl and took him to them with a request: “This is Babhru’s wife; he wishes a son to be born to him. Now, will this damsel give birth to a boy or a girl, please tell us! You are all ṛṣis; you will indeed know this correctly!”