Karna is a very important and popular character in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. He had a disastrous life story that ended in the Kurukshetra battle in a bad way. This post shares with you Mahabharat Karna Story and Family.
Actually, Karna was the eldest son of Kunti (he was the spiritual son of Lord Surya). She abandoned him when he was just a few days old, fearing backlash from society as he was born premarital when Kunti was in her teenage.
He was brought up as a charioteer’s son by Radha and Athiratha, who loved him immensely. Karna became a competent warrior of extraordinary abilities. However, he was denied training by Dronacharya as he was a Suta Putra (a lower class than the Kshatriyas).
Karna was very close to Duryodhana and became Angaraja – the king of Anga. He fought for Duryodhana in the Kurukshetra War. Eventually, he was killed at the hands of Arjuna during the battle of Kurukshetra.
So, he turns out to be a tragic hero in the Mahabharata. He has been recorded as a man of exceptional abilities who gave up his life for friendship.
Here, we share with you some of the most important events and facts about Karna.
- Karna has been called by many names such as Sutaputra, Radheya, Angaraja, Danveer, Suryaputra, Vasusena, Vrisha, and Vijayadhari
- Karna means “the ear-ringed one.”
- He has been described as a baby born with the golden ear-rings and armored breastplate, like his father, Lord Surya.
- Karna was abandoned by his mother (Kunti). Kunti had a boon by Sage Durvasa that she could call any god (by invoking a mantra) and have a child.
While still unmarried, Kunti called Surya (Sun God), and thus Karna was born. However, Kunti became ashamed of her actions and didn’t know how to explain the birth. So, she left the child in a basket on a river.
- Karna went to Dronacharya to learn warfare. However, Drona rejected his proposal because he was a Sutaputra (a class much lower than the mighty Kshatriyas).
- He disguised himself in the form of a Brahmin to learn the art of warfare from Parashurama. He was immensely dedicated and learned everything about warfare. He became a mighty and competent warrior.
- Parashurama came to know that Karna was not a Brahmin. So, he cursed Karna that he would forget all the essential knowledge of weapons when he would need them the most.
- When the Pandavas and Kauravas had finished their training, a grand ceremony was organized to show their remarkable skills.
Karna made his way to this ceremony and performed such amazing feats of warfare that all the Pandavas and Kauravas were embarrassed.
- Karna shot the fish before Arjuna at Draupadi’s Swayamvara. However, Draupadi rejected Karna saying that she would never marry a Sutaputra (the lowly caste).
- Once he was practicing his archery when he accidentally killed a cow. The cow belonged to a Brahmin who was much enraged with Karna and cursed him that he would also be killed by an arrow when he is the most helpless. In the Kurukshetra War, he was killed by Arjuna’s arrow when he tried to remove his chariot wheel from the mud.
- Once a little girl was carrying a bowl of ghee for her mother, but she accidentally spilled it on the ground. The girl was much afraid that her mother would scold her.
He decided to help her.
He squeezed the ghee out of Earth itself by invoking powerful incantations. This caused a lot of pain to Mother Earth, and she cursed Karna that she would abandon him when he is most vulnerable.
It so happened that in the Kurukshetra War, Karna’s chariot wheel got stuck in the mud, and it could not be taken out.
- Duryodhana had nominated Karna as the commander-in-chief in the Kurukshetra War.
However, Bhisma refused to fight under Karna as he was not a Kshatriya.
Karna felt humiliated and had to wait until Bhisma fell so that he could take part in the Kurukshetra battle.
- Karna had an impenetrable golden armor that was attached to his body. Lord Indra (Arjuna’s father) knew that he was invincible because of this armor.
So, he went in a disguise and asked for the armor. Karna accepted and ripped out the armor and gave it away to Indra.
- When the Kurukshetra War was going on, and the Pandavas were facing the brunt of Karna’s might, Kunti approached him and requested him not to kill any Pandavas. he consented and told Kunti that she would have all her five sons.
- When Arjuna faced Karna, his chariot wheel was stuck in the mud while fighting Karna. So, he followed the warfare rules and stopped the fighting until Arjuna pulled the chariot wheel free from the mud.
- He was killed in the most wretched fashion. His chariot wheel was stuck in the mud. All the curses followed him, and he forgot the incantations to divine weapons. Then, Arjuna killed him when he was the most vulnerable.
- When he was dying, Lord Krishna came forth in a Brahmin’s disguise and asked for some alms from Karna. So, he took a stone, broke two of his gold teeth, and gave it to the Brahmin.
However, the Brahmin cursed Karna for giving him teeth with saliva on it. Then, Karna took a bow and arrow and punctured the Earth so that he could wash the teeth clean with a gush of water.
So, he offered his clean gold teeth to Krishna. Lord Krishna became very impressed with Karna and showed him his Vishwaroop.
Thus, we find out that Karna lived a righteous life even though fate was cruel to him. He never stopped giving. He gave away all his valuables at a request without the fear of failure. His life teaches us that we should live our lives in humility, generosity, and dignity.
Family of Karna – Wife & Sons
Not much is available about the family of Karna. So, we briefly tell you about the family of this great archer. Vrushali has been named as the popular wife of the great warrior Karna. However, not much material is available on her.
In fact, it is sad that he had two wives:
- Vrushali – from whom he had seven sons
- Supriya – a friend of Bhanumati (she was the wife of Duryodhana)
Vrushali had committed Sati on Karna’s funeral pyre.
In the Mahabharata, there is mention of Karna’s seven sons. Their names are as follows:
Vrishketu was the only son of Karna to survive the tragic war of Kurukshetra. The Pandavas later patronized him. He even accompanied Arjuna to Rajasuya Yagna. The Pandavas killed Vrishasen, Bhanusen, Sushen, and Satyasen during the Great War of Kurukshetra.
So, that’s all from us in this post on Mahabharat Karna Story and Family. We hope that you would have found the post interesting and full of information. Thanks for visiting. We welcome your comments and suggestions.