1166 Sakuntala

This minor planet is named after a woman from Hindu myth. Her story was told in the epic Mahabharata, and later in the ancient play The Recognition of Shakuntala (अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् – Abhijñānashākuntala). Her name comes from Shakunta birds, which flocked to her when she was an infant. In her legend, she fell in love with and married King Dushyanta, who gave her a ring as a token of their love. Then she was cursed by a rishi that her husband would completely forget her, which could only be reversed by showing him a token of their love. But! She lost the ring in a river. But! A fisherman found the ring in a belly of a fish, and got it back to her. There are some variants to this story, some that involve afterlife shenanigans and a son.

The symbol of this minor planet is a bird, as the Shakunta birds for which Sakuntala is named, surmounting a tiny circle, representing the ring that is so essential to her happily-ever-after.

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