An article about lesser know stories about Karna in Mahabharata. asked Duryodhana why he didn't doubt her, he replied, "In a relation there. In the Stri Parva, once, when Duryodhana was travelling across the kingdom, Bhanumati and Karna playing Pachisi To pass the time, Bhanumati and . When you're exploring other relationships So, on the anointed day, Bhanumati was ready to test all the men, to find herself the most suitable groom. The Karna Duryodhana relationship is regarded by many as the perfect example of great friendship. The way they valued each other was beyond words to.
And it lead him to join the group in humiliating Draupadi and killing Abhimanyu against all norms and rules. Karna goes through a lot of dilemma's throughout his life. He had to choose between righteousness and a friendship. When he's revealed his true identity, he's submersed in a deep confusion. The realization that his sworn enemy whom he hated the most is his own brother wasn't able to overcome Karna's hostility towards Arjuna.
Over years, he had gotten so close to Duryodhana, and had so deeply hated Arjuna that he stood by his decision to fight Arjuna. Desite knowing that he would be at a big disadvantage against the mighty Arjuna by imposing restrictions on the usage of weapons, he takes this upon himself to console his mother who's facing a great misfortune. Karna emerges clearly a mentally and emotionally strong character.
He was able to overcome the emotional blackmail and temptation by the best strategist of the time, Krishna himself. The very fact that he was able to bury his confusion and face the Pandava camp with all his might shows how quickly he could bury the newly found blood relations and stand by his long lasting friendship and fight for the goal he's been waiting for years - to prove himself superior to Arjuna.
He becomes party to the cold blooded murder of his nephew Abhimanyu. Burying all his previous losses to Arjuna, he bring up the best fighting spirit of his life against Arjuna and nearly kills him on the 16th day of the war. Apart from his freindship Karna is renowed for his generousity as well. His oath to never leave anyone ,approaching him for help, emptyhanded gets glorified when he decided to offer some promises to his mother Kunti, and when he decided to donate his primary defense system before the war.
With lots of positive and negative attributes associated with him, Karna still emerges as one of the most celebrated characters in the epic. His strengths and sacrificess make him one of the most admired characters in modern times. The Karna Duryodhana relationship is regarded by many as the perfect example of great friendship.
The way they valued each other was beyond words to describe.
Ever since Karna offered his allegience to Duryodhana at the Rangabhoomi in Hastinapur, he stuck to his promise even during events which he disapproved of.
Karna was willing to give up his honour and grace for the sake of his friendship with Duryodhana. And for Duryodhana Karna was the dearest person in the world. But if you take a back seat and look at the intricacies of this relationship, you could notice that it's in fact a relationship boldened with feelings of appreciation,gratitude, obligation and promises.
Duryodhana who was terribly disappointed with the rise of Arjuna had lost his hope of challenging the Pandavas. It was then he saw a skilled young man who could stand up to Arjuna, and he grabbed the opportunity to get him to his side. His offer of the kingdom of Anga to Karna was not an act of generousity, but was done with a price tag, which Karna offered immediately. And Karna's affection towards Duryodhana was in fact caused by a single feeling - gratitude for the honour bestowed on him when the entire world was mocking at him.
Karna was at times torn between his own moral values and the promise to Duryodhana and he chose Duryodhana over his own conscience. When people of conflicting principiles associate over a period of time, they are bound to get influenced by each other. In this case, Duryodhana did not really get influenced by the principles and values of Karna, but Karna on the other hand sailed to the depths of sins along with his friend.
The Karna who challenged Arjuna at the rangabhoomi was a man of principles who was proud of his righteous nature. Bu the Karna who insulted Draupadi had already become a pawn of his beloved friend and lost his moral values. By the time the war arrived, Karna was already recounting on the unfortunate path that he ended up travelling.
But Karna chose to honour his commitment and friendship till the very end, though it brough his own doom, and well for the same reason, he's seen as a symbol of friendship today. Arjun or Karna Who is a better warrior?
I've come across this question quite often in a lot of forums and discussions, and wasn't surprised to see that many people come up with Karna as the answer.
And it's indeed a pity to hear that, since anyone who has read an unbiased version of the epic will never think twice before picking Arjun. For the most authentic version, I would always turn to Kisari Mohan Ganguly's translation as mentioned in the referencesand could find umpteen number of instances where Karna is unable to stand up to Arjun. While Karna's rivalry with Arjuna is most spoken about, it is less realized that Karna was in fact one of the great warriors that Arjuna rivaled with.
The admirers of Karna cite 2 incidents to claim him superiority over Arjun; Arjun's failure to thwart the Nagastra on the 17th day and Krishna saving Arjunand Arjun killing Karna when he was unarmed, but all other instances of Arjun's supeiriority are ignored. In a war, no warrior goes unharmed even in victory, and even the mightiest warrior will have their moments of failure.
In fact Karna was not the only warrior who got Arjun off-guard. The valient Bhagadatta did it. And of course Karna also did it. But Arjun's superiority could be seen from his victory over the entire Kaurava army including Karna at the battle of Virata or from his victory over Karna and Duryodhana's army at the battle of Panchala, or even from the battle with the Gandharva's where Karna had retreated.
Karna's character resonates a lot with the image of a modern day hero, and hence rose to the heart of millions of people who read Mahabharata. As the epic transitioned through different sections of the society, he became the hero of the oppressed, of all those who fight against an unjust society.
To add to this, Karna's image as a generous donor made him even more admired. Many stories on Karna's valour got added to many local and tribal versions of the epic. These include the story of Krishna praising Karna's might for thrusting Arjun's chariot with his arrows, Karna's heroics to defeat vasuki and save the pandavas, Krishna's test of generosity for Arjun to realize Karna's greatness, and on and on. But you would find none of these stories in K. Karna indeed is a great warrior, but a close examination of the epic crowns Arjuna as the greatest warrior of his time.
Today Karna stands as a role model for the fight against discrimination. He was a victim of caste based discrimination that existed in ancient India and still exist in some form today.
Balarama described Duryodhana's body to be "lightning made flesh" and declares him to be the greatest mace fighter of his generation. Relationship with Karna[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources. August Learn how and when to remove this template message Killing of Karna At the martial exhibition where the Kaurava and Pandava princes demonstrate their skills before their elders, their guru Drona and the people of the kingdom, Karna appears and challenges an unsuspecting Arjunawho is considered by Drona to be the best of the princes.
But Karna is stopped when Kripa asks him to ascertain his lineage, as it would be inappropriate for unequal to compete. Karna, not being a kshatriyahangs his head in shame. Duryodhana immediately defends Karna, arguing that it is actions, and not birth, that defines a warrior. Using the boon granted to him by DhritarashtraDuryodhana makes Karna king of Anga so that he is regarded as Arjuna's equal.
Karna pledges his allegiance and friendship to Duryodhana. Neither of them know that Karna is in fact Kunti's oldest son, born to sun god Suryabefore her marriage to Pandu. In the Kurukshetra WarKarna is Duryodhana's greatest champion and serves as commander from the fifteenth day. Duryodhana sincerely believes that Karna is superior to Arjunaand will defeat his four brothers. When Karna is killed, Duryodhana mourns his death intensely, even more so than the death of his own brothers and was inconsolable.
When Karna's identity is revealed to him, Duryodhana's love for Karna only grows and it is he, and not the Pandavas, who performs Karna's last rites. Tendencies and schemes[ edit ] During their childhood Bhima used his brute strength to inflict injuries on the Kaurava brothers. As Bhima was gluttonous, Duryodhana, guided by Shakuni attempted to kill Bhima by feeding him poison, but Bhima survived the trap and emerged even stronger than before.
Duryodhana then participated in a plot by Shakuni to burn the Pandavas at Varnavata; however, they managed to escape the trap having been warned by Vidura.
Usurping the Kingdom[ edit ] After the Pandavas reveal that they have survived the wax house, with a new wife to boot, Bhishma suggests that the kingdom be divided in order to ease the obvious tension. Yudhishthira is given half the kingdom and made king of Khandavprasthaso as to avoid a clash with the Kaurava princes over the whole Kuru Kingdom.
Duryodhana becomes the crown prince of Hastinapuraand owing to the age and blindness of his father, he accumulates much control and influence, managing the state affairs himself with a group of his advisers that include his uncle Shakunibrother DushasanaBhishma, Vidura, and Karna. But Duryodhana remains jealous of Yudhishthira, especially after the Pandavas along with Krishna transform Khandavaprastha to Indraprastha. Moreover, Yudhishthira performs the Rajasuya Yagna and gains the authority over several other kingdoms; Indraprastha's prosperity and fame appear to exceed Hastinapura's.
Duryodhana is unable to contain his anger, which is intensified when BhimaArjunathe twins, and the servants laugh at him when he slips into a pool of water during a visit to Indraprastha. Draupadi insults Duryodhana by saying "Look what a pity the son of the blind man also is blind" this enraged Duryodhana and increased his hostility towards the Pandavas.
To support his will, Shakuni devises a scheme to rob Yudhishthira of his kingdom and wealth by defeating him in a game of dicewhich Shakuni cannot lose due to his superior skill over Yudhishthira's ineptitude and addiction to the game of dice. Unable to resist the challenge, Yudhishthira gambles away his entire kingdom, his wealth, his four brothers and even his wife, in a series of gambits to retrieve one by staking another.
Duryodhana encouraged his brother Dushasana to drag Draupadi into the court. As she is Duryodhana's property after Yudhishthira had gambled everything away to him, Duryodhana tells Draupadi to sit on his left thigh, showing and patting it to insult her for revenge.
Due to this action, Bhima swears, he would break Duryodhana's thigh. As an enraged Draupadi is about to curse the Kuru clanGandhari intervenes. Fearing retribution by the Pandavas, their allies, and history, Dhritarashtra and Gandhari reverse all of Yudhishthira's losses.
But then either through Duryodhana forcing his father to command the Pandavas to play again, or through Shakuni's vicious tricks he might have made Dhritrashtra to order them to play the game is repeated.
For this game of dice Shakuni sets the condition that upon losing, Yudhishthira and his brothers must spend thirteen years in exile in the forest before they may reclaim their kingdom. The thirteenth year must be passed incognito, or else the term of exile would be repeated. The Pandavas lose and begin their exile. The Emperor[ edit ] In the Chaturdhari compilation, it is interpolated that Karna took up the task of establishing Duryodhana as the Emperor of the world India.
Karna embarks upon a worldwide military campaign, otherwise called Digvijaya Yatra. No person in the entire universe, except Lord Vishnu, had performed this Vaishnava sacrifice. Duryodhana thus became the most powerful and the wealthiest man in the world. With the help of Karna, Duryodhana even made plans and preparations to conquer Indrathe lord of the heavens and the father of Arjuna in order to become the sovereign ruler of both heaven and earth.
Although Dhritarashtra openly criticizes his son, he tacitly desires that Duryodhana retain his throne. In a final attempt at securing peace, Krishna returns with the Pandavas' final proposal: Scoffing, Duryodhana says he will not even give even a needlepoint of land to the Pandavas.
Egged on by Krishna, Duryodhana attempts to arrest him. Krishna reveals his Vishvarupa form. The entire Kaurava court, save for Bhishma, Drona, Vidura, and Dhritarashtra who was granted divine vision in order to see that by supporting his son, he was going against Godis temporarily blinded by the form.
This confirms to those present that Krishna is indeed an avatar of Vishnu. Duryodhana, being vastly egoistic in some versions of the story an outright atheistbrushes off the incident, not convinced of Krishna's divinity, and believing that strength of arms, not philosophywould win him a war. Gathering the army[ edit ] With war inevitable, Duryodhana gathers support from his powerful vassals. The most legendary warriors — BhishmaDronaKarnaKripaAshwatthamaShrutyudhaeven those who were critical of him are forced to fight for Duryodhana due to their previous commitments.
He ends up amassing a larger army than his rivals. Shakuni also advises Duryodhana to seek Krishna's help.
Duryodhana rushes to Dwarika only to find Krishna sleeping; he waits at the head of Krishna's bed when suddenly, Arjuna arrives with the same goal in mind. Arjuna waits at the foot of Krishna's bed. When Krishna wakes up, both Duryodhana and Arjuna appeal for his alliance.
Krishna offers a choice of himself, completely unarmed, or the entire Vrishini army. Duryodhana proclaims that because he arrived first, he should get first-pick. However, Krishna says that because he saw Arjuna first and because Arjuna is younger, that Arjuna gets first choice. Duryodhana becomes worried but is overjoyed when Arjuna elects to reject Krishna's army in favor of Krishna alone. Joyously, Duryodhana returns to Hastinapura with the Vrishini army in-hand, only to be rebuked by Shakuni, who comments that Krishna is worth many armies by himself.
Duryodhana also manages to win the army of Shalyathe maternal uncle of the Pandavas. Duryodhana intercepts Shalya's army as it comes to Kurukshetra and offers hospitality; Shalya accepts thinking Yudhishthira had made the offer. After Shalya has enjoyed Duryodhana's comforts, Duryodhana reveals the duplicity and indicates that Shalya is now indebted to him. He uses this indebtedness to extract Shalya's army and support.
Duryodhana wanted Shalya mainly so that Karna would have an equivalent charioteer to Arjuna's Krishna.
During the War[ edit ] In the war, Duryodhana repeatedly eggs on the invincible Bhishma and Drona to forward his cause, even though his main hope is Karna. He desires to appoint Karna as his commander-in-chief ; however, Karna and Shakuni point out that his already reluctant allies would much rather fight under Bhishma, an older, experienced, god-bornkshatriya than fight under a suta-putra.
Reluctantly, Duryodhana appoints Bhishma as the commander in chief. When Bhishma falls to Arjuna, Duryodhana appoints Drona as commander-in-chief and orders him to capture Yudhishthira to win the war. On the thirteenth day of battle, his heir Lakshmana is killed by Arjuna's son, Abhimanyuwho proceeds to try and arrest Duryodhana.
Duryodhana orders his soldiers to brutally kill of Abhimanyu, even if thought it takes unethical means to finish him off. Duryodhana is repeatedly frustrated, as the Pandavas succeed in downing Drona, and is emotionally distraught when, on the 14th dayArjunaenraged by Abhimanyu's death, tears through the Kaurava army and slays Duryodhana's brother-in-law Jayadratha. Throughout the war, Bhima is steadily slaying his brothers, increasing his misery and bringing him closer to a defeat.
Duryodhana's hopes are finally shattered when Karna is felled by the strategy of Lord Krishna and Arjuna. It is said that Duryodhana never shed a single tear for any of his real brothers except Dushasana who were killed in the battlefield, but when his beloved friend Karna was slain, he was inconsolable.
Duryodhana appoints Shalya as the next commander-in-chief. On the final day of war, Duryodhana takes out his anger by smashing open Chekitana's head. As Shalya is killed by Yudhishthira, Duryodhana's paltry army-once eleven akshauhinis strong-breaks, and the army is essentially routed. Having lost his horseDuryodhana leaves the battlefield. He cools his body by entering a lake, all hope of winning lost.
Yet, he prepares for his final battle; for a death befitting a warrior on the battlefield and hoping to reunite with his friends and relations in the afterlife.
He re-emerges from the lake after Ashwatthama and Kripa counsel him to face his destiny with courage. In some versions of the story, after Karna's death, Duryodhana doesn't even join his army and instead heads immediately to the lake.
When the Pandavas and Krishna eventually find him, Duryodhana tells them that he wants to gift the kingdom to them, and retire to the forest. Yudhishthira balks at the offer, telling him that Hastinapur is not Duryodhana's to gift. Instead, he offers that Duryodhana may pick any of the Pandava brothers to fight against one-to-one with a weapon of his choice, with the winner of the conflict the victor of the war.Mahabharat; Bhishma after lies on the Bed of Arrows Karna meets Bhisma
Despite his proposed advantage over Yudhishthira, ArjunaNakulaor Sahadeva with the gadaDuryodhana picks his nemesis Bhima. Despite Bhima's physical advantage, Duryodhana had the better technique due to his devotion to his craft.
After a long and brutal battle between the two disciples of Balarama, Duryodhana begins to exhaust Bhima, and nearly makes Bhima faint. At this point, Krishna, observing the fight, calls out to Bhima and signals him by repeatedly clapping his own thigh with his hand.
Duryodhana - Wikipedia
As intended, Bhima was reminded of an oath he had taken after the game of dice to crush Duryodhana's thighs. Bhima victoriously attacks Duryodhana with his mace and strikes his thigh, mortally wounding Duryodhana. After having his face insultingly kicked by Bhima, Duryodhana bemoans that he was slain by unfair means, given that it was illegal to attack below the waist in a mace fight. Infuriated at the violation, Balaramathe brother of Lord Krishna, raises his weapon to attack.
Lord Krishna consoles Balarama, by reminding him of Duryodhana's evil deeds, and reprimands him for trying to influence a war he refused to participate in.
Relenting but fuming, Balarama curses Bhima to be known in the world as a crooked warrior and blesses Duryodhana with glory, naming Duryodhana his greatest pupil.