Complete Story Of Karna | Mahabharata


Dhritrashtra marries Gandhari

who blindfolds herself for life to share her husband’s condition

Pandu marries Kunti and Madri unaware that Kunti has a secret in her past.

The story of the secret in Kunti’s past starts

when she was a young woman growing up in her uncle Kuntibhoj's court

She was wise and full of life.

The king, her adopted father loved her as his own daughter.

One day sage Durwasa paid a visit to the court of Kuntibhoj.

Durwasa was known for his fierce temper and his habit of laying curse on the people for the slightest of offence..

Everyone in the palace from ministers to serving maids were scared of the legendry sage.

Everyone except Kunti.

Kunti served the sage with good cheer and kept him company.

She spoke her mind and engaged him in spirited conversation.

Durwasa who was used to people fearing him and keeping their distance, was delighted with Kunti.

When the time came for Durwasa to go he gave Kunti a gift,

He whispered in her ear a Mantra.

When the innocent Kunti asked him what the mantra was for.

He only told it was a way for her to summon any God she wants.

Kunti was confused.

Sometime after Durwasa had left, Kunti decided to test the gift he had given.

She beheld the blazing sun in the sky and spoke the Mantra.

In no time Suryadev, the Sun-god stood before her in all his glory.

Kunti was in shock and could not answer the God when he asked her why she had summoned him.

As she stood in the blinding light of the celestial being

Kunti realized that the mantra was not merely a way to summon a God.

Suryadev took Kunti into his embrace, she was lost in his light.

When the light faded and Surya left, Kunti found in her arms a child.

He was the most beautiful thing she had seen in her life.

He was born with golden ear rings and was armoured as well.

Kunti could sense that he was destined for greatness.

But she also understood how impossible it was for her to keep him and to claim him as her son.

She was after all unmarried.

With a heavy heart Kunti did what no mother should ever have to do.

She paved her son in a basket and took it to the bank of a river.

There she cried in anguish and showered his smiling son with blessings.

She looked up to the sun and begged Suryadev to watch over him.

Then she placed the basket on the waves and watched it float away.

Somewhere far from Hastinapur, a young man by the name of Karna lived a humble life with his parents

His father was a suta -- a charioteer.

He knew however, that he was different somehow

and that he was meant for great things.

His body for example, wore an enchanted armour

and his ears had beautiful golden kundals.

He had had these gifts for as long as he could remember.

One day, he asked his mother about these gifts and the burning desire in his heart to fight

and pursue the life of a Kshatriya. In response, Karna's mother told him the story of how he

came to be in this family. She told him that years ago, his father had found him floating

in the river in a basket. He had brought the baby home with him.

The armour and the rings on his ears had grown as he had grown into a man.

Having thus understood that he was really
a Kshatriya, Karna set out to learn the ways of war.

He sought out the greatest master
of arms he could find -- Drona.

But Drona told him what he had told Ekalavya -- that
he only taught Kshatriyas.

Karna could have told Drona that he was a Kshatriya, but he did not do so because that would mean demeaning

the parents who had brought him up.

Karna returned home disheartened and wept in silence.

His parents, who knew he was suffering because he bore the label "suta putra", blamed themselves.

But Karna never spoke to them about this.

He was and would remain his entire
life, someone who bears his pains in silence.

Karna's mother was surprised one morning when he came running to her and spoke breathlessly

about having found a teacher.

She asked him if the guru will teach him despite him not

being a Kshatriya. And if he would was he
a guru of repute.

Karna answered by saying that this was a guru beyond any other.

His fame spanned ages and there was no one greater than him in all the realms.

And this was also a guru who would never - not even a thousand years - ever teach the art of war to a Kshatriya.

When Karna the soot-putra appeared before legendary avatar of Vishnu and begged to be

accepted as his student, the only question Parshuram asked him was if he was a Kshatriya.

Every fabric of Karna's being wanted to fight.

But he knew why Parshuram asked him this question.

In ages past, this Brahmin had picked up his axe and wiped the earth clean of Kshatriyas

- not once but twenty-one times.

Karna, who had been rejected by all teachers he had approached,

told Parshuram that he was not a Kshatriya,

but a Brahmin just like him.

Parshuram accepted the young man as his disciple.

He saw seeds of greatness in Karna and taught

him all there was to know about the art of
war.

Karna learnt with eagerness and made himself into one of Parshuram's most illustrious students.

Karna quickly became an archer par excellence and learnt the use of devastras which could

devastate entire worlds.

Parshuram imparted to him knowledge of the highest secrets and the most dangerous ways of fighting.

One day, Parshuram was resting in the noonday sun and he laid his head on Karna's thigh.

A scorpion emerged from the grass and stung Karna.

Karna felt the pain and ignored it

so as to not disturb his beloved teacher's
nap.

When Parshuram awoke and found that Karna was bleeding form the sting

He inquired about it, Karna told him that he had quietly suffered the pain of a scorpion sting.

He was very surprised to see his teacher losing his temper.

Parshuram accused Karna of being a Kshatriya.

He said that no Brahmin could have remained silent through such pain.

Everything Karna said in his defence fell
on deaf ears.

Parshuram said that Karna had betrayed his trust and drove him out and laid a curse upon him in addition

He said that the day that Karna needs his skills the most, he would forget them.

After the Pandavas and the Kauravas learnt all they could from Kripacharya and Drona,

to test their skills, a tournament was organised so the cousins could exhibit their talents

before the royal family and the public.

In the tournament, Arjuna displayed his extraordinary skills in archery and the use of weapons.

All who saw Arjuna were lost in admiration and wonder.

This was when Karna, who had learnt the art of war from Parshuram himself, appeared before the crowds.

He wanted to challenge Arjuna's skills. To show his might, Karna performed

feats that outshone everything Arjuna had
done so far.

Arjuna was greatly insulted.

Since Karna was not invited to the tournament, he was refused the title of victor

To prove their strength over Karna, the Pandavas said they were ready to battle him

However, before the battle
between the Pandavas and Karna could commence,

Kripacharya, the teacher of the Pandavas,
stepped in. He announced that a combat could

not be staged without knowledge of Karna's lineage

Karna had to be of royal blood to fight the Pandavas.

All Karna could tell them about his lineage was that he had been discovered in a basket

floating down the river and brought up by
a humble charioteer and his wife.

As the Pandavas laughed at Karna, what they did not notice was that their mother Kunti

had fainted upon hearing this.
Surprisingly, it was Duryodhan who stepped

in and saved Karna from further humiliation.

To make him worthy of challenging the Pandavas,

Duryodhan declared Karna the King of Anga, a kingdom under him.