Shakuntala

Kanva is a great ascetic sage, head of the hermitage that’s the setting of the play’s first few acts, and Shakuntala’s beloved foster father. At the beginning of the play, he is absent from his hermitage because he’s trying to appease the gods on Shakuntala’s behalf. When he returns, he’s pleased to learn of his daughter’s good marriage and sends her to join King Dusyanta, accompanied by an escort of ascetics and seers.

Kanva Quotes in Shakuntala

The Shakuntala quotes below are all either spoken by Kanva or refer to Kanva. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Natural World, The Body, and Spiritual Beauty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Shakuntala published in 2008.
Act 2 Quotes

BOTH SEERS. The inhabitants of the ashram have learnt that Your Honor is here, and they have a request to make of you.

KING. Their wish is my command.

BOTH SEERS. They say that, owing to the absence of the great and revered sage Kanva, evil spirits are disrupting their rituals, and so they ask that you should come with your driver and protect the ashram for the next few nights.

KING. It's an honor to be asked.

VIDUSAKA [aside]. This couldn't be better if you'd planned it yourself.

[…]

BOTH SEERS [with delight].

And so you are at one with your ancestors:
For all the descendants of Puru are initiates
In that great sacrifice which protects
The afflicted and alleviates
Their pain.

Related Characters: King Dusyanta (speaker), Vidusaka (speaker), Shakuntala, Kanva
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
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Kanva Character Timeline in Shakuntala

The timeline below shows where the character Kanva appears in Shakuntala. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
...King to receive the hospitality of the nearby hermitage, which belongs to the great sage Kanva. The visit will make the King realize “how far your own bow-scarified arm / Reaches... (full context)
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Vaikhanasa then explains that Kanva himself is not at home, because he has gone to appease the gods on behalf... (full context)
The Natural World, The Body, and Spiritual Beauty Theme Icon
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Dusyanta is surprised to see Kanva’s beautiful daughter doing menial tasks. He watches her more intently. As Shakuntala loosens her chafing... (full context)
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Dusyanta asks how it’s possible that the chaste sage Kanva has a daughter. Anasuya explains that Kanva is Shakuntala’s foster father. She’s the biological daughter... (full context)
Act 2
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Just then, two seers are ushered in with a message from Kanva. They explain that in Kanva’s absence, evil spirits are disrupting the ascetics’ rituals, so Dusyanta... (full context)
Act 3
The Natural World, The Body, and Spiritual Beauty Theme Icon
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
An assistant of Kanva says that King Dusyanta is so powerful, he had only to enter the ashram in... (full context)
The Natural World, The Body, and Spiritual Beauty Theme Icon
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
...back and then to leave herself, but the King soothes her. He reminds her that Kanva “knows the law, and he shall find no fault in what you’ve done.” She wouldn’t... (full context)
Act 4
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
...he’s faithless after all, or has been affected by Durvasas’s curse. She also fears how Kanva will react now that Shakuntala is carrying Dusyanta’s child. (full context)
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
...Priyamvada appears, delighted—they are to celebrate Shakuntala’s departure as a bride. It turns out that Kanva, while making a sacrifice, heard a voice chanting the news: “For the world’s welfare your... (full context)
The Natural World, The Body, and Spiritual Beauty Theme Icon
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
The trees of the forest bless Shakuntala, and she and Kanva share an emotional farewell. As Shakuntala bids goodbye to her favorite tree, the Light of... (full context)
Act 5
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
...duty.” He reports that a group of forest ascetics have appeared with a message from Kanva, and that there are women among them, too. Dusyanta is surprised and wonders what business... (full context)
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
One of Kanva’s messengers informs the King that Kanva isn’t displeased with Shakuntala’s secret marriage, since the two... (full context)
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Prophecies and Curses Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
...call Shakuntala presumptuous, saying that if she’s what Dusyanta claims, then she can’t stay in Kanva’s house. If her actions have been faultless, on the other hand, then she can bear... (full context)
Act 7 
Duty vs. Love Theme Icon
Concealment and Separation Theme Icon
...who will later be called Bharata, “Sustainer.” One of Marica’s pupils is sent to tell Kanva the happy news of the broken curse and the reunited family. Now, Marica says, Dusyanta... (full context)