Stories Untold in Maha Bharatha

Ravikumar Ambadi By Ravikumar Ambadi, 5th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Mythology

“Yathihaasthi thadanyathra Yannehaasthi na thath kvachith”
A saying about the Hindu epic Mahabharatha which means that you can see the things mentioned in Maha Bharatha somewhere else, but cannot see anything anywhere that did not have a mention in Mahabharatha. However, when you read the story carefully, we feel that many things are left untold.

Karna, the Real Warrior

Kunthi, daughter of King Kunthibhoja pleased the saint Durvasa with her hospitality and in return he advised her specific mantra. The power of that mantra will help her to mother a child of that specific god whom she thinks about while chanting the same. However, there is a limitation. She can chant it only for five times.
A virgin and innocent girl at that time Kunti chanted the mantra out of curiosity thinking about the Lord Sun. Sun immediately appeared in front of her and blessed her with a boy. Kunthi realized her mistake as she will be punished for giving birth to a child well before her marriage. With the help of her friends she managed to set float the child in a small vessel in the nearby river. A person who was a charioteer got the child and he brought him up as Karna.
Meanwhile, Kunthi got married to Pandu, the Kaurava King and younger brother of Drutharashtra. Pandu being an impotent could not bless her with children and with the help of the mantra she received from Saint Durvasa, she gave birth to three children, Yudhishtira from Yama, the god of death, Bheema from Vayu, the god of wind and Arjuna from Indra the king of gods. One more chance was left and she share it with Madri, other wife of Pandu. She gave birth to twins Nakula and Sahadeva from the twin gods of medicine, Ashwini DevakaL.
Karna became a warrior in all martial arts and master all weapons including bow and arrow and after a series of many unfortunate events became the intimate friend of Duryodhana, the eldest son of Drutharastra. Time passed and the great war of Maha Bharatha came. Karna decided to fight for Duryodhana against the sons of Pandu. Well before the beginning of the war, Kunthi met Karna in a secluded place and reveal that she is his mother and in fact he is going to fight against his own brothers. However, Karna was not ready to leave Duryodhana, saying that he was the only person who gave him love and consideration when rest of the world humiliated him as the son of a charioteer. He requested her not to reveal the truth to any of his brothers as they will not fight the war if they knew that Karna is their elder brother. As a warrior, he did not need any type of mercy from anybody and he wanted to fight irrespective of the outcome of the war. He said the same thing to Lord Krishna too when he came and met Karna with a request to join the Pandava camp.
The inevitable war has started. Each day has passed with the demise of some prominent personalities from both the sides. After Bhishma has fallen down, Karna became the commander of Kaurava Army. And almost after the sun crossed the mid day mark the fight between Karna and Arjuna started. It is being regarded as the fight of all fights. All other warriors stopped their fight and lined up on both the sides of the battlefield to watch the fight between the two. Even the gods came out of heaven to see this battle.
The fight continued for a long time and in between the wheel of Karna’s chariot slumped in the soil. He had to come out of the chariot leaving his weapons inside it to lift it from the soil. According to the rules of war prevailed at that time, one should not attack the enemy when he is without weapon. Hence, Arjuna stopped for a while, but Krishna, who was his charioteer, insisted that he should kill Karna immediately. He was of the opinion that Karna did not follow the rules when he and his men together attacked Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son and killed him. Story till this will be seen in Maha Baharata, but I feel that the author left a gap between this portion and the killing of Karna.
If you analyze the character of Karna, you can find him as the person who is strictly adhere to the policies or ideology of Krishna. He was always ready to do his duty without expecting anything. When the war started, he could have joined the Pandava side as he is the elder brother of them. Naturally, they will win the war and he can be the king afterwards. But he did not want it. According to him, Duryodhana was the only person who has recognized him and loved him when everybody else has humiliated him for being the son of a charioteer. His duty, he firmly believed is to serve Dhuryodhana.
Secondly, when Kunthi requested him not to kill his brothers, he promised that he will not kill them except Arjuna. Karna believed that the purpose of his life is to kill Arjuna. Hence he promised Kunthi that she will have five sons even after the war. Either he or Arjuna will not be there. Finally, his father has given him one amulet which will protect him from all weapons. Knowing this fact Indra, father of Arjuna came in disguise of a Brahmin and requested to award him the same. Being a generous person Karna gave it to him and thus got more exposed to death. The highlighting fact is that Sun; Karna’s father gave him a hint about Indra’s plan. Still he did not think twice while removing the amulet and presenting to Indra. He was a firm believer in destiny and believed that he cannot avoid anything happens in his life. He was ready to face the life as it comes.
Now let us go back to the battlefield where Arjuna is a bit confused. He did not want to kill Karna when he is without weapons, but Krishna is insisting to do it. Karna knows that Arjuna will obey Krishna and he will do whatever told by Krishna. Krishna gave apt replies to Karna whenever he questioned the morality of killing him when he is without weapon and started forcing Arjuna to kill him.
Karna smiled at Krishna at the end of their debate. That smile was filled with abhorrence. He lifted his face and looked at his father. Although sun was in his journey to the western hemisphere, he was watching the scenes at Kurukshethra. He understood the fate of his son. He could not control himself, but that hapless father was not in a position to help his son. He has been entrusted with the duty of serving the living things over the earth and if he leave it half the way, entire earth will suffer. After all duty is first and the sentiments should not dominate. He took a piece or two of clouds to block his view.
He understood the emotions of his father. But he too was helpless. After all he is just human being and cannot control the nature. He said goodbye with his tearful eyes and nobody heard his words except his father. Then he stared at Krishna. His mind was filled with different emotions. Various scenes from the past went through his mind as if in a movie. Taking birth as the son of a princess he had to live as the son of a charioteer. He was very much interested in warfare and went for learning the same. He has been cursed by his own master for telling lies about his cast. Later he had to suffer the curse of a Brahmin, whose son got killed by Karna by mistake. The insults he had to eat at the hands of royals, especially the pandavas and other elders such as Bhishma and Drona were limitless. Fate always had bad things for Karna in store. A life that was without a purpose, a life that only meant to do duty and not to enjoy the fruits of labor; death will be the end for a futile life. And Karna was not a coward who fears death.
He again looked at Krishna with a smile filled with abhorrence. He stared at Krishna’s eyes. Then he uttered in his mind
“Krishna, you are forcing Arjuna to kill me and you think you can succeed in it. But please remember that there is a secrete, which both of us know and Arjuna does not. The secrete, the truth, that I am his elder brother. If I reveal that truth, do you think that he can kill me? If I reveal that secrete, do you think that he can fight with me? But I will not reveal that truth as I don’t need sympathy or mercy from anybody. If I had to live it will be a life of my own and it will not be at anybody’s mercy. Let your wish be completed. I lived as the son of a charioteer and will die as a charioteer.”
Though the words have not come out, Krishna could hear each and every word clearly. He bowed in front of Karna with his mind. A drop or two of tears fell down from the eyes of Krishna. As he was wiping his tears, the sharp arrows from the bow of Arjuna pierced into the heart of Karna.


Karna, Lord Krishna, Maha Bharatha, Mahabharata, Sun

Meet the author

author avatar Ravikumar Ambadi
A freelance writer and activist. Also engaged in digital marketing. Takes up new challenges in digital marketing and trying new techniques to yield maximum results for the client

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
6th Oct 2013 (#)

Wasn't Karna born with the shield of Surya, the Sun God?? Something he cut off and gave back to his mother or to Mantra, the maid, don't quite remember.

None the less, it would be interesting to mention Beeshma was lying on a bed of Arrows and remained that way till the end of the war which was all about the entry to the Chakraview.
The Cauravas where the son of Dritrashtra who was the blind king whose eldest son was Dhooryodhan.
I know there was something that led to the war because of Shakuni and Mantra on a game of dice.
Not sure if I am right or wrong though....

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author avatar Ravikumar Ambadi
7th Oct 2013 (#)

Lady Aiyanna, You are partially right. Karna born with the shield from sun and he removed it and gave to Indra, father of ARjuna when he came in disguise of an old man are requested for it.

Story of bheeshma will publish soon. Please keep on reading

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