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Mahabharat: Unknown stories of Mahabharat’s characters (Chapter 17)


Karna being son of Surya, is known for his noble nature. He was being insulted at each and every point of time because he was raised by low caste parent. He was a noble man who is known for his generosity.



Karna was insulted by Draupadi during her swayamvar as she told in the court that she don’t want to marry a suthputra. She did so because she was destined to marry Arjun as per the wish of his father Drupad, who worship lord fire to get a girl who one day will marry Arjun so that he can destroy Guru Dronacharya.


Although karna was devasted with this event, he wanted to help Drapuadi when she was about to disrobed in the court of Hastinapur. Draupadi cried for help by telling the name of all great warriors Pitamaha Bhisma, guru dronacharya etc. She got sad reply from Pitamaha Bhishma “My daughter, dharma works in subtle ways. It is difficult for us to analyze right or wrong”.



Karna was ready to fight with his best friend also, if draupadi had pleaded him once.In the mounting tension, Karna was torn. On one side was his friendship to Duryodhan as well as Draupadi’s prior insults. On other, the brutal dishonor of a woman happening in his presence. The ever gentle warrior reached a decision. He was ready to tear off Dushasan’s hands. He would betray his friend. He would fight for honor. He would die for honor.


He only needed one call of help from the lady.


She didn’t.


She called out the name of Padmanabhan, who was sitting next to Karna, and who kept his head down. But when she approached Karna, and he stood up and got ready to fight, with the older warriors of the clan staring at him in surprise, she only looked at him, and moved on.


This absolutely devastated Karna. Maybe she felt so superior to him that even in such a situation, she would not take the help of someone from a lower caste.


Finally, another Kaurava, Vikarna, got up and opposed the horror. He stood for her and said, “Insulting your sister in law is an offense for the entire Kuru clan. Her respect and chastity are our families pride and what are we doing? This is an extremely disgraceful act on our part. Stop this! God will never forgive us for it”.




It was then that Karna committed the mistake which would haunt him. In his rage, he insulted Draupadi as an indulgent woman having five husbands. This silenced Vikarna and gave fresh energy to Dushasan. Finally, her call is to Krishna who saves her.


Later, he realized that she did not call on him because of her own regret and shame in having previously insulted him.


This made me think a lot about how people think versus how they actually behave. And how it is so easy to misinterpret someone’s actions.


People, almost always, say that Mahabhart happened because of Duryodhan, Shakuni and Dhritrahtra’s blind love for his son. Some even blame Draupadi (misogyny, of course).


The truth, however was different.


Before karna’s death, Lord Krishna had a conversation with him, explaining it to him that he wasted his entire life try to prove himself superior. It was in that conversation, he told Karna that Mahabhart didn’t happen because of Duryodhana or Shakuni. It was because of three people. Dronacharya, Bheeshma and Karna himself.



Krishna said that the three of you will be blamed for the massacre of thousands of people. Had it not been for the three of you, Duryodhan would never have dared to fight against the Pandavas.


Krishna enlightened Karna before his death.


In the end, when Karna asked him if the world will ever consider him a capable warrior, Krishna replied to him by saying, you have forgotten all your knowledge because of a curse. You are unarmed. The wheel of your chariot is stuck. We are killing you after such mishaps. We would not have been able to kill you otherwise. This, itself is the proof that you are one of the greatest warriors of all time. The world will remember you that way only.


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