Monday, January 17, 2011

The Son of The Sun

The initial reaction that I receive when I utter the name Karna is that of sympathy, often accompanied by a comparison (often uncalled-for) with his half-brother, Arjun. Indeed, Karna was a great donor (daataKorno, or a donor as generous as Karna, is a phrase often used in Bengali to emphasise generosity) and a very loyal friend. He might not have done the best possible thing at times (calling Draupadi a prostitute in public, for example), but he was someone people usually respected a lot.

There are a few side aspects as well. People generally sympathise with Karna because he was rejected at birth by Kunti, and was rejected by Draupadi in her swayamvar (though she later went on to confess that she had the hots for our hero). What people casually overlook that despite the rather humble background of his foster-parents, Karna was given an entire kingdom (Anga, present-day Jharkhand) at a very young age. He was a friend of Duryodhan; he was generally loved by all; and he was born with supposedly impregnable kavach (armour) and kundal (earrings).

I've found this rather intriguing, by the way: though the Pandavs were all exceptional people in one way or the other (sons of Gods were meant to be exceptional), none of them actually bore a physical appendage from birth. Also, I understand an impregnable armour, but why were tough earrings so important? To protect the organs named after himself?

I do not have a problem with all this. What I do really have a problem with is some people trying to establish the fact that Karna was as good a warrior as Arjun, if not better, and had he been lucky, he might have defeated Arjun on that fateful seventeenth day of The War.

Luck? Let us investigate. Let us find out the factors generally seen as reasons for Karna's defeat and analyse them:

Drona refusing to teach him:
This was the pre-reservation era, so Drona could afford the luxury of rejecting students from a "lower" caste at his will. He had done it with Ekalavya, and now he sought out Karna. Of course, Drona was someone with one of the most spectacular births ever (mentioned in details here), so he was possibly justified.

However, did it do Karna any real harm? He went to Parashuram, fooled him to believe that he was a Brahmin and took lessons from him. Parashuram's students included people of no less than Bhishma and Drona (albeit at earlier times), so he didn't really lose out on a lot as a result of Drona's refusal.

Curse 1: Parashuram
The story goes like this: Parashuram was once sleeping with his head rested on Karna's lap (I assume that it was the softest option he could find). An insect stung Karna and sucked blood (from a place not covered by his armour, or, more importantly, earrings), and Karna tolerated the immense pain with the noble intention of not letting his teacher wake up.

Little did he know that by doing so, he had actually exceeded the universally accepted endurance cut-off for Brahmins and had entered into the Kshatriya domain. His teacher cast one look at him, and took out his endurance chart, as shown below:
The illustrious axe-man thus cursed his student that he shall forget his lessons in the moment he shall need them most.

Now, put yourself in an identical situation:
1. You've been cursed that you shall not remember organic chemistry in the JEE hall.
2. You're allowed to carry study material inside the hall.
3. You've got years and years to prepare that study material.
How would you have solved the issue? And I'm not even mentioning Ghajini here, since Harvard MBA graduates who write diaries in Hindi don't really count.

Curse 2: random Brahmin
Karna was not a good student of history, otherwise he would have taken deer-hunting more seriously. The courses of the two great epics of our nation have been dictated by two shots at what the shooters thought were deer: as a result Dasharath and Pandu were cursed, and we all know the rest.

He made the same error, and shot the cow of a Brahmin. The Brahmin, instead of asking for his cow to be replaced, cursed Karna that when he would be in dire straits in a war, the wheel(s) of his chariot shall get embedded in the earth.

This could have been, once again, solved easily:
1. He could have used back-up chariots. If one went down, just shift to the next one.
2. He could have shared someone else's chariot. It wouldn't have been his chariot.
3. Easiest of all, he could have trained himself to ride something without wheels. Like what? Remember, he was the king of Anga, modern-day Jharkhand: which is where the Dalma Hills are, and anyone in West Bengal is aware of the headlines the oversized Dalma fauna makes. Come on, even the King of Gods used an elephant, and there were at least two super-elephants in Kurukshetra itself - used by Bhagadatta and Shalwa (is this the one who had rejected Amba?). What stopped Karna from training himself from fighting on elephant-back? And even if we assume that he suffered from serious vertigo, he could at least have taken up cavalry training - something without wheels.

The conversation with Kunti:
I won't go into the details of this. True, Kunti, whose brains were surpassed by only Krishna's, chose the best possible moment to come to his eldest son. Karna vowed that he wouldn't kill any of the four Pandavs barring Arjun. It's true that Karna had actually spared all four of them at various points of time during the war, and had, say, Yudhishthir been down during the war, a lot of things would've happened differently. For example, Bheem might have been crowned king in the end, Draupadi would have had the same partner 20% more frequently, and the way up to heaven in the end would've ended in a remarkable anticlimax.

But then, the duel with Arjun would have happened anyway, and his own fate would have remained the same in the end.

Giving away the kavach and kundal:
We all know the tale: to save his son Arjun Indra needed to acquire Karna's kavach and mysterious kundal. Our hero's father anticipated this, and warned Karna about this. When he learnt that Karna cannot refuse anyone anything, he asked Karna to ask for something in return: Indra's ekpurushghatini (ekaghni in some versions) weapon, which roughly translates to "killer of exactly one person".

The barter was made. Karna severed his twin protections (one of them, in case I haven't mentioned before, being somewhat irrelevant), and Indra handed him over the lethal weapon.

So, did Karna lose or gain out of this exchange? Would the kavach have really helped him? As we shall find out, it did not aid him in previous encounters, with Arjun or otherwise. The weapon, though, came in serious aid when Ghatotkach threatened to win the war almost single-handedly for the Pandavs.

Something has always confused me: why did Karna not start off Kurukshetra like this?
1. Enter the battlefield.
2. Find Arjun.
3. Cast the weapon at him.
That would have helped rewrite history, isn't it?

Shalya's sledging:
We all know what Shalya did as Karna's charioteer on the seventeenth day. What most are not aware of is that Arjun was the receiving end of much more severe stuff (one might even call it verbal bashing) on the same day from - hold your breath - Yudhishthir: possibly the only time he had lot his temper. Arjun's fault? Karna was still alive.

Karna crumbled under verbal pressure, something that even club cricketers do not succumb to these days. Arjun simply motivated himself after the Yudhishthir confrontation. We all know who won.

***

Now, let us take a closer look at Karna's military career. I am not going into ball-by-ball details - this is a simple summary of the various military experiences he had been through. I wonder how many Karna fans I would be able to convert with my effort, but it's at least worth a try.

The arena
Imagine this. An entire batch of students graduate. They're about to demonstrate their skills in an arena. Now, the star student walks up and shows off incredible stuff. Then, there enters a challenger. He demonstrates everything Arjun had (so Drona's tutions, however great, were not necessarily the best), and challenges the latter to a duel.

Oooh - the drama!

Kunti recognises Karna (possibly from that useless kundal of his) and faints. Kripacharya asks Karna about his identity. A random charioteer walks up and hugs the challenger and acknowledges him as his son. Kripa claims that Karna's birth made him ineligible to fight Arjun. Just for the sake of it, a detailed account of Kripa's birth can be found here.

Duryodhan intervened and coronated Karna as the king of Anga, but the two half-brothers were kept apart for the time-being.

Verdict: Arjun 0, Karna 0.

The swayamvar:
Draupadi's swayamvar had attracted a lot of people: mostly kings, but the open-to-all nature meant that Brahmins were also welcome. Karna was the first one to tie the string to the bow, but then, Draupadi rejected Karna because of his birth. Once again, if you're really keen on Draupadi's birth, please visit here.

The rest is history. Arjun, disguised as a Brahmin, did the necessary, and just when the Pandavs were about to sneak away with Draupadi, many of the kings challenged them: Karna led them by getting involved in a direct duel with Arjun; and losing it promptly; with his kavach, and more importantly, his kundal on; without the chariot excuse, either.

Verdict: Arjun 1, Karna 0.

Defeat by the Gandharvas:
When the Pandavs were in the forest, it occurred to Duryodhan to pay a visit and make fun of their temporary poverty. He, accompanied by his brothers of various degrees of glamour, made the journey. He was also accompanied by Karna and his kundal, Shakuni, and a seriously sizeable army.

Then, things started going wrong. A cohort of Gandharvas attacked the Kauravs, and turned out to be more than a handful for them. Karna was the only one to provide some resistance, and even he was defeated by the Gandharva King Chitrasen. Duryodhan and Dushshasan were taken as captives, while Karna ran away with his life.

Who did the army go to for help? The Pandavs, of course. They came. They saw. They conquered. Chitrasen tried Gandharva magic, but Arjun turned out to be seriously good: the Kauravs were released. The entire incident shook Duryodhan so much that he contemplated suicide, only to be talked out of it with some effort.

Verdict: Arjun 2, Karna 0.

Defeat at Matsya:
Duryodhan's spies possibly made him suspicious that the Pandavs were hiding somewhere in Matsya; combining this with the facts that the Matsya commander-in-chief Kichak was dead and the Matsya kingdom was famous for its livestock, Duryodhan launched a two-pronged attack: he joined hands with the Trigarta (Haryana, possibly) king Susharma.

Susharma went around the Matsya kingdom (north Rajasthan, possibly) and attacked from the south. Duryodhan's army took the shorter route and attacked from the north.

Susharma's army attacked first: the attack was repelled by the Matsya king, Virat, helped by the four disguised Pandavs. Bheem (as the royal chef, Vallabh) played a significant role, and the attack was dealt with, successfully.

As all this was happening, Duryodhan's army attacked the unprotected northern gates of the city: it was the entire army this time, including the Who's Who of Hastinapur. Bhishma. Drona. Kripa. Duryodhan. Karna (with his overhyped kundal). Dushshasan. Ashwatthama.

The palace had only one male left: Uttar, the young prince of Matsya (I have always found it amusing that someone called Uttar would be required to protect the northern flank). He kept on boasting that he could easily have taken on the army if he had a charioteer. Arjun, disguised as an eunuch (well, he was actually serving a one-year curse by Urvashi), volunteered.

As Uttar approached the army, he, well, to put it rather subtly, wished he had been wearing a yellow dhoti on that particular day. He panicked, got down from his chariot, and tried to run away. The eunuch chased and brought him back (let's swap roles); he also got to a certain tree and got the weapons hidden atop it.

What followed was possibly the greatest solo display in the book: Arjun felled the entire Kaurav army; he didn't even kill them - he simply made all of them unconscious (some sources say that Bhishma only pretended to be so, since he did not want to fight Arjun).

An entire army. Defeated. By one person.

Verdict: Arjun 3, Karna 0.

Day 13: Abhimanyu
As we know, Karna did not enter the battlefield for the first ten days, and was only used as a supersub for Bhishma. The first two days of his presence were somewhat eventless: the shangshaptak army (sworn to kill or die), led by Susharma, challenged Arjun and took him away from the centre of events, whereas Drona had turned his focus to capture Yudhishtir alive.

The cat-and-mouse game carried on for two days: Drona tried to reach Yudhishthir, but he was kept away by the likes of Dhrishtadyumna, Satyaki and Bheem.

Then came the thirteenth day. Drona, under the impression that Krishna and Arjun were the only ones who knew how to penetrate it, invoked Chakravyuha. He was wrong: Abhimanyu knew the way into it but not the way out (see here to learn why).

Yudhishthir asked Abhimanyu to enter, and instructed his entire army to follow him. However, the entrance was guarded by Jayadrath. As per Shiva's boon, Jayadrath would be able to defeat all four Pandavs (barring Arjun) and their entire army for a single day.

This was that day. Abhimanyu rushed through, and suddenly realised that he was trapped inside, alone.

In an incredible display of valour, Abhimanyu kept on defeating one Kaurav rathi after another: he killed Lakshman, Duryodhan's son. He almost killed Dushshasan. And he held off the likes of Karna and Drona quite easily.

The Kauravs, Karna included, had only one option: they surrounded Abhimanyu from all sides. A team of seven warriors (Drona, Kripa, Ashwatthama, Karna, Kritavarma, Bhurishrava and Brihadval) attacked him from all directions simultaneously.

Abhimanyu responded by killing off Brihadval, and making life difficult for the others. Then, on Drona's advice, Karna went behind Abhimanyu and severed his bow. He tried multiple weapons, and lost each and every of them, including both wheels of his chariot, which he used as shields. Ultimately he fell to the rather low-profile son of Dushshasan, who hit him when he was just gaining consciousness.

Not only did Abhimanyu show incredible valour, he also showed the limitations of the Kaurava army. If he could defeat each and every one of them this easily, what would Arjun do?

Verdict: This wasn't really a confrontation with Arjun, but this was the first time in Kurukshetra that Karna was up against a seriously good warrior. And he could only compete being the part of a group. That too by attacking him from behind. Great warrior? You decide.

Day 14: Jayadrath
Arjun, of course, had to kill someone to avenge Abhimanyu. Strangely, he chose Jayadrath, not the men who surrounded and massacred the helpless kid (can you imagine Thakur saying mujhe Gabbar nahin, unke checkpost-wala guard chahiye?).

Drona created a vyuha inside a vyuha (suchivyuha - the needle formation - inside chakrashakatvyuha - the vehicle-with-wheels formation), and kept Jayadrath at the heart of the suchivyuha. He would be surrounded by Karna, Shalya, Kripa, Ashwatthama, Bhurishrava and Brishasen (Karna's son, in case you're not aware) - all seriously good warriors. The outside vyuha entrance was manned by Drona himself. The plot was to defend Jayadrath, and get Arjun to take his own life.

Arjun started off in a mad rush. When he reached Drona, Krishna simply drove the chariot past him and was out of reach before Drona could react. Mind you, Arjun started this mad rush absolutely alone, unaided, matched only by Sehwag in the 21st century AD. Soon after, Yudhishthir sent Satyaki behind him (who went past Drona, once again). Bheem was sent next, and the chunk of humanity, certainly not one for subtleties, simply smashed Drona's chariot, massacred his charioteer and went on to join forces with Arjun and Satyaki.

At this point of time, Karna, for reasons only known to him, broke the plan and challenged Bheem to a duel. He was not alone: Duryodhan sent sixteen of his brothers to help him. Bheem possibly used tally marks as he killed each one of them (the count was thirty-one now) - and emerged in a fierce duel with Karna.

Of course, Bheem was no expert in long-distance duels. Karna was a far better archer, and soon he lost his bow, and as he proceeded on foot towards Karna, his sword and mace as well. He had no option but to fling elephant corpses (!), but it was clearly a losing battle. Karna did spare him, though, thanks to his promise to Kunti.

Karna's deviation from the original plan also motivated Bhurishrava to come out of the innermost ring; he was killed, though, in a fight that was basically the outcome of multiple vows and promises made over generations (there shall be a blog post on that some day).

Arjun marched on, though, occasionally stopping to create random lakes out of nowhere to provide water for his exhausted horses. We all know the rest: he reached Jayadrath, Krishna covered The Sun (Karna's father, in case you've forgotten), Jayadrath peeked out and was beheaded. Karna and team were unable once again to contain Arjun. It didn't even strike Karna to use his one-time-use killer weapon, which might have decided the war that very moment. I wonder what he was saving it for.

Verdict: Arjun 4, Karna 0.

Day 14: War at night - Ghatotkach
For whatever reason, they decided to carry on the war at night as well. Karna launched a furious assault on the Pandavs, and when a tired Arjun wanted to counter him, Krishna decided to send Ghatotkach - of course he had Karna's stupidly unused weapon in mind.

The rakshasas were supposedly stronger at night, and Ghatotkach turned out to be more than a handful for the Kauravs. He didn't rely on sheer power or military ability - he used magic to great effects. He summoned random animals and birds of prey, accompanied by demons and ghosts and other non-trivial entities; he disappeared and reappeared; he flew; he threw multiple weapons in multiple directions simultaneously; he killed the opposition rakshasas; it was like Dale Steyn bowling at you from both ends, unchanged.

Karna was forced to use up his prized possession: as Ghatotkach realised what was going to happen, he increased his size many times and fell on the Kaurav army, which was, unfortunately, converted to a two-dimensional pulp.

Verdict: 0-4 down in bilateral contests; no kavach or kundal left; main weapon used up. And still people would blame LUCK for the upcoming defeat. Also, I suppose if Abhimanyu and Ghatotkach attacked the Kauravs together, they might have won the war without any help from their parents.

Day 16: Pandavs dominate
After Drona's demise on day fifteen, Karna was appointed senapati. The first day was pathetic for the Kauravs: Bheem and Arjun killed them at will; Duryodhan was almost killed by Yudhishthir TWICE on the same day; and even Nakul reduced Kaurav counts by plenty.

Karna did manage to stop Nakul after a fierce duel, but spared his life for his promise to Kunti. He killed a lot of Panchal soldiers that afternoon, but as a unit the Kauravs were no match for the Pandavs: and Arjun was simply more than a handful.

That night Duryodhan had Karna up for a show-cause: why are you not confronting Arjun? He did have a point there.

Karna possibly meant to say "er, I'm 0-4 down in bilateral contests, and I don't have my main weapon, kavach and most importantly, my kundal, and I'm also at the receiving end of two potent curses and have been too stupid and lazy to counter them, so I'm mortally afraid of taking him on". Instead, he blabbered something like "he-has-a-better-chariot-and-charioteer-and-horses-I-need-better-ones-myself-to-take-him-on. It-would-be-nice-to-have-Shalya-as-my-charioteer."

Sadly for Karna, they were granted. Even the Shalya bit. Poor soul. He really didn't expect Duryodhan to trust him to the extent of removing possibly his second-best warrior from direct confrontation.

Verdict: Not much. See previous verdict. Now he had to fight Arjun. What were the odds the previous night, guys?

Day 17: The other four Pandavs
Karna did take on Yudhishthir, of all people, early in the day. Yudhishthir showed surprising skills and felled Karna; Karna recovered and had his revenge, and once again Karna's promise saved another Pandav's life. Bheem joined the scene now; he showed sublime archery skills, for once, and had his revenge: his arrows made Karna lose consciousness. Hell, what chance did he have against Arjun now?

Arjun, on the other hand, was quite brutal on the Kauravs. He took on Duryodhan, Kripa, Kritavarma and Shakuni simultaneously, and defeated them easily.

Karna was stopped by Yudhishthir, Nakul and Sahadev: the three Pandavs fought valiantly, but they didn't really stand a chance: Karna defeated all of them, and wounded Yudhishthir severely, who left the battlefield on Sahadev's chariot. Once again, three more Pandav lives were saved thanks to Karna's vow.

Arjun returned to the "pavillion" to see Yudhishthir in the ICCU. He possibly expected him to be on saline, but Yudhishthir, for once, uttered the choicest of words: Arjun felt so humiliated that he rushed to kill Big Brother, and it was only thanks to Krishna's intervention that sanity was restored, and Bheem's royal career did not take off. They brothers possibly even shook hands.

Thus charged up, Arjun returned to the battlefield.

Verdict: The same as before. Additionally, Arjun is now more brutal; Karna's own charioteer is sledging him; and two lesser Pandavs have already felled him earlier in the day. Arjun is yet to be defeated, barring temporarily by Bhishma on the ninth day. Mwahahahahahahaha.

Day 17: The final duel
Whatever excuse Karna might have had to avoid Arjun went straight out of the window: Arjun killed Brishasen soon after his return.

They met. To be fair to Karna, he put up a gallant fight. The highlight of the duel is possibly the intervention of Ashwasen, the son of Takshak. Arjun had killed his mother when he put Khandav to fire, and he sought revenge. He disguised himself as an arrow and entered Karna's quiver, and was cast at Arjun.

For some reason, this was supposed to be an unstoppable arrow: Arjun's repertoire had no answer to him, and Krishna intervened in the end, pressing the chariot with his toes to dig the wheels inside the ground by a few inches. Arjun lost his golden crown (a crown so famous that Arjun was also called Kiriti - the one with the crown) as a result.

Krishna recovered the chariot, and the fierce battle continued. And then it happened: Karna's chariot wheel got stuck in the ground. Karna pleaded mercy (and - heehaw! - asked Arjun to fight fair). With one final desperate effort, Karna hit Arjun on the arm and had him unconscious as he tried to recover his wheel, which, with a proper back-up chariot, would have been a totally unncessary act, as discussed above.

Arjun recovered. Cast an arrow. After a while the wheel extracted itself on its own, and Shalya returned with an empty chariot.

Verdict: It's up to the reader now.

118 comments:

  1. Verdict at first sight: It will take me weeks to finish reading this post.. :(

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  2. Isn't it ironic that the first comment would come from none other than...?

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    Replies
    1. cast system in the era of god was on the earth and injustice to karna in front of god.
      Even god was not able to full fill his words in the battle field and took the weapon to kill bhisma. So on this earth if you are buying ur death with you words which makes you superior then god .

      Its for every one if you kill any one in the battle field naked handed means you are afraid of him

      Delete
  3. You are at your best in Mythology.
    What about creating a different blog (or for that matter, seriously) writing a book on this subject?

    About the subject matter:

    1) The "Karna-Kunti" meeting was such a turning point. Although, Karna vowed not to kill any of his brothers except Arjun; a case might be made that his heart was softened a bit to Arjun after this. Which might be a big cause of the "not-confronting Arjun" syndrome.

    2) You are absolutely right about Karna not doing anything to evade his fate. That's a vicious cycle...someone made some prophecy, so he acted like its going to happen and it did happen.

    3) About Karna-Arjun confrontation and what might have been if they were at their mighty best ( A case could be made that Kabach-Kundal was unfair as it was unfair to have gilchrist-warne-McGrath-Hayden in the same Australian team; which is the main reason that the best Indian ODI team ; that during 2001-03 could not win the World Cup)... being a statistician, you know about the Time Series. So...

    4) Kundal , might actually have been the first use of Helmet in a battle-pitch; much before Graham Yallop used it and made it popular ...it actually might be like the headgear Sunil Gavaskar used.

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  4. Frankly,it's not about the alternatives that he could have employed,than the fact that fate already had odds stacked up against him.He Pledged his life to a flawed friendship with an unscruplous fellow,and could've switched sides when beckoned by Krishna(the narayana)himself.
    DO earthly relationships supercede the Omnipotent.

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  5. Regarding an earlier comment:

    "That's a vicious cycle...someone made some prophecy, so he acted like its going to happen and it did happen."

    Hmmm... I wonder if someone wrote a book (or many) about someone making a prophecy true by acting on it :).

    In the meantime, magnificent analysis as usual. I had always been bugged by one of your points - why Karna didn't just, on Day 11, go kill Arjun. I guess you show that there are several other points in the story!

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  6. In my defense, I never defend the Arjun after whom I was named !!!!!!!!!! I liked his ammo-s though....Or in that matter, all the ammo-s were so cool !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. "I wonder how many Karna fans I would be able to convert with my effort..."

    Not this one, I'm afraid. :P

    Also, Greek tragedy porlei jana jay je fate er haat theke kokhono bnacha jay na. Noile eto kath khor poranor poreo Oedipus maa ke biye kore kano?

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  8. "I wonder how many Karna fans I would be able to convert with my effort..."

    Not a single one, especially if the fans are Bengali. They love a lengi-khawa hero. We love losers.

    A very nice post. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. losers ????

      couldn't you have been a little more dumb ?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      aarekttuu beshy stupid sound korteh paarlen naah ???? :P

      Delete
  9. Okay, finally, a minute in which I can squeeze in some non-work typing.

    This is a brilliant read, and very well-researched. Excellent piece, in short. However, I must firmly object to the -- bolei feli? -- somewhat callous dismissal of what, in modern terms, would be called a deprived and deeply traumatising childhood. Karna clearly didn't fit in with his own social peers (perhaps his "innate" kshatriyaness triumphed over his nurture), and he was clearly rejected by his social 'betters'.

    One might say he lacked the spine to not react to constant, vicious, and deliberately employed "sutputra" addresses, but to praise a short temper and inability to deal with insults as "birotto" and "pourush" when Bheem does it, and label it an innate lack when Karna does is, well, blatantly prejudiced (not that YOU did this).

    And as for Ongo -- unlike a noble-born, Karna did not inherit the land. Unlike a warrior-prince, he did not win it. He was *given* it by a rich friend so he wouldn't be insulted by his rich friends other rich friend. Not only would this 'doyar daan' stand out like an insulting beacon amongst the nobility, indicating Karna could acheive nothing on his own, by the standards as they were then, the *people* of Ongo -- Karna's own subjects -- would see him merely as a local administrator, SDO BDO types, for hastinapur, because he didn't inherit or win it. Plus, Karna had no experience in administration -- Ongo *would* in fact function like it did earlier, with a Shikhondiesque ruler position granted to Karna in name. For an egoistic hot-head, this is hardly ego-boosting.

    Finally the sledging. Apart from the contemporary tradition of heroism being expressed through a zero-tolerance, no-diplomacy approach, sledging does work. It works phenomenally against professional players who are coached by top of the range psychological aides, and it works just as brilliantly against any random man on the street. The gential employment of mothers and sisters seems to be genetically coded to trigger violence in the homo sapien. And it especially works against an egotist whose ego is constantly fed by his best friend, and whose sense of personal injustice constantly feeds his need to be socially validated.

    Having said all that, I firmly believe Arjun is the better warrior by far. It had been proved time and again in the Mahabharata -- which incidentally is written by an obviously biased rishi -- that Karna cannot stand up to Arjun in one-on-one combat. Now how much of that is fate, a major deciding factor in Greek tragedies, and how much of that is their own abilities, might be debated. But for me, the debate is a foregone conclusion :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fantastic article as usual..
    Fardeen khan featured as suspected and that was seriously good. And sehwag mad rush..LOL..loved it. Actually dale styen on a green uncovered wicket with cloud cover and overnight rain.

    I am a Karna fan...beg to differ on certain points…
    Let me play defence attorney here. In draupadi’s svayamvara, Krishna stopped the war and declared that the guy is actually arjun and not any tom dick harry bramhin and upon his request, the battle was called off. So verdict 0-0.
    again during virat story as well..arjuna used sammohanastra which karna didn’t have. Neither the astra nor the answer to the astra. Drona taught arjun few choicest of astras which not everyone had. Arjun also got few from indra. Karna did learn from parshuram but that was almost useless..he could not have used it anyway..i can give this to arjun but benefit of doubt has to go to karna.
    The chitrasen battle is an outright arjun victory..so Arjun 1- Karna 0.
    I think it was Laxman who felled Abhimanyu who was duryodhana’s son. Arjun went after jayadrath because he kicked abhimanyu’s corpse and arjun got mad cause of that.And to the best of my knowledge, jayadratha wasn’t on the battlefield..arjun obviously didn’t know this and he kept on searching jayadratha everywhere. That’s why Krishna did not get in front of any notable kauravas that afternoon. While karna was searching for arjun so as to atleast engage him till the sun is set..krishna asked bheem to take karna on as he knew that bheem wont be killed. Jayadratha only came out when he (well..everyone except Krishna) thought that sun has set. While its true that karna was one of the 7 who simulteneouly faught abhimanyu…it cant be termed as arjun’s victrory over karna..
    The other points that go in karna’s favour are that he was like lara..often fighting lone battles for kaurava..bhishma and drona indeed great but semi retired and probably haven’t taken field in ages..while arjun had a very formidable side brilliantly coached by Krishna.. karna actually gave off kavach and kundal..a selfless act. He was lured by Krishna,,2 grand carrots..kingdom being eldest pandava and 1/6th share in draupadi. Would she be called shasthali then?:-) that’s kind of match fixing done by Krishna..it was Krishna who sacrificed ghatotkacha to save arjuna..ghatotkach was Jason gillespie..came in as nightwatchman and hit a double. had arjun been that great as the verdict shows, then why does he need protection? Krishna saved arjun even in ashwasen’s case. Arjun was dead atleast 3 times had Krishna not been around..the above 2 and eclipse in jayadrathas case.
    His promise to kunti..the worst part was that he knew who he is fighting against..arjun didn’t..Even in battle that would have been always at the back of his mind..
    karna could not have used any other mode as he was classified as maharathi. And due to predecided rule, people of similar rank would fight against each other. Arjun also being maharathi had to fight in chariot only. And he killed karna when he was not in his chariot and also without any weapon in hand..that was pure cheating as per rules.

    Anyway, deewar is a karnarjun story actually..the billa number 786 is kavach kundal.
    And amitabh was better than shashi kapoor even if he had maa..so eventually karna wins as vijay..incidently the name of his bow.

    Finally a quiz question on karna..
    What is the name and kula that he uses when he goes to get admission in parshurams gurukul?

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  11. mythology provides stories but no answers.
    wonder why.

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  12. Rimi, the whole purpose of the article was to show that Karna was an inferior warrior to Arjun. Once you agree to that, my point is made. Excellent response, though, BTW.

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  13. Sagar, excellent comment. Just a few things:
    1. Arjun had a knowledge of sammohanastra; Karna did not. But, isn't knowledge of weapons one of the deciding parameters for the greater warrior? Arjun didn't learn things easily; he underwent serious efforts in Drona's classes, worshipped Shiva quite rigorously and took serious lessons in heaven. Remember, Drona (assuming he had taught Arjun sammohastra) was also a part of the army attacking Matsya, and he couldn't counter Arjun.
    2. Just checked two sources: Lakshman was killed soon after Abhimanyu entered Chakravyuha. Duryodhan asked seven men to avenge THAT only. Dushshasan's son fought Abhimanyu in a mace duel and both fell unconscious. However, the former gained consciousness before and killed Abhimanyu, but the latter DID take out his killer before he breathed his last.
    3. I cannot see what was wrong in sending Ghatotkach to protect Arjun: the weapon Karna had would've felled ANYBODY, irrespective of his ability (have you ever played Age of Mythology and used Bolt?). Since it would have taken out anybody, isn't it worth to send out someone lesser (but good enough to cause enough havoc to make Karna release the weapon)?
    4. As for the Jayadrath-vadh day eclipse (yes, I promise an article on eclipses in epics) and defence against Ashwasen, remember, Arjun was smart enough to choose Krishna before the war and not his Narayani soldiers. Krishna was the supreme strategist and had divine powers which he did use (once more, as well, to protect Arjun from Bhagadatta on day twelve), but never really got involved in direct combat. Which is what Krishna had promised, and which is why Arjun chose him over his army, is it not?
    Specifically for Ashwasena, this was an external entity (Krishna) nullifying an external entity (Ashwasena), so what's wrong with that? As a charioteer it was actually Krishna's job to do what he did; Ashwasena came out of nowhere!
    5. Bhishma and Drona were old when they fought the war; but they were certainly not past their expiry date. The Pandavs were in serious trouble only twice during the war - during Bhishma's amazing ferocity in the ninth day and when Drona cast his Brahmastra on the fifteenth day (not long before he died).

    Fantastic response, though. It's always excellent to take part in a debate on Indian mythology - I wonder what I'd being doing all these years!

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  14. Mr Mukherjee: Fantastic analysis. I love this blog. I would like to know more about Urvashi's curse on Arjun.

    PS: Hope you don't find my intrusion offensive.

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  15. Sagar: Please answer your quiz question. I give up.

    Tanima: Thanks. The story goes like this:
    When Arjun was in heaven taking military lessons from his father, he met the apsara Urvashi. One night Urvashi came to his, well, guest-house and tried to seduce him. Arjun refused. An enraged Urvashi cursed that he'd become an eunuch (I found this terribly unfair; does someone not have the right to refuse proposals?).
    Indra intervened, and the tenure of Urvashi's curse was reduced to a year, that too of Arjun's choice. He chose his year at exile, and as an eunuch, taught music and dance to Uttara.

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  16. paarish-o !!!

    ekta print out ber kore Mr. Chakraborty ke dish. khushi hoben:-S

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  17. Wonderful post! As for as the Karna-Arjun comparison, Karna will always come on top; not because he could match Arjun step-by-step and yet choked in the last moment ( your post gives the true story away )but because he could have but did not.
    The winner takes everything but it is the one-who-could-have-but-did-not who remains in the mind. I was going to add that this is how it happens in India but I remember Brando's 'I too could have been a contender' speech from "On the waterfront" and I will say this is how it happens. Human nature? psychology? who knows, but this is how it happens...
    Once again, a wonderful post!

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  18. Abhishek..well..mythology is close to me as well and love that..especially all your posts on it...sent an sms request to you few weeks back..I would love to see a post on various curses and blessing and related things..i know you will do an amazing job on that.
    anyways, statistics cant be ignored. and Arjun no doubt was superior (aided by lot of people knowingly or unknowingly..which is no fault of his but still I dont prefer arjun purely as a character over lot of others..) and i am especially baised towards Karna.Duryodhana and Ravan..
    well..the answer to the question is
    Karna said his name was "vaikartana"..meaning a person without earlobes. and he used his kula/gotra as Bhrugu.

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  19. This is too good. Please write some more. I'd love to know you personally.

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  20. Been brought up on Ramanand Sagar and BR Chopra, I never thought anyone could analyse mythology this efficiently. Keep up the good work.

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  21. this is amazing stuff.want to see more posts like this.

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  22. "I wonder how many Karna fans I would be able to convert with my effort..."

    u converted me..congratz on dat.

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    Replies
    1. Don't stop admiring karn .please He was a true hero

      Delete
  23. I love this blog..... Mind-blowing analysis.....
    The blog's so lengthy but did not at all tire me..I love The Mahabharat. And I had sympathy for Karna, as most Bengalis do, albeit Karna was allegedly the greatest competitor of the hero I was named after. But, now I am so happy..:P

    Great article...One of your best that I have read( so far). Shows how much research how have done on the subject. Though the amplitude of one's research does not matter to me when I find the respective articles very tedious, and this blog of yours is definitely not one of them.....I finished the entire blog in one go.....
    YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PROFESSION..Take creative writing seriously ..
    I will read again and see if I can bother you with any question...

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

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  24. Thanks for the sharing.
    ........

    Please come to my blog and cast your vote under "Books" to the left of my blog's name, http://dibakar-sarkar.blogspot.com.

    Please...

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  25. very good ! But I must say I agree with Sagar on some of the points ..

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  26. I loved the bar chart with Fardeen Khan :D.... you are hilarious and seriously make me want to read the Mahabharat...as much as I would love to read your version of it...

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  27. Perfect description of the events in the epic. But I doubt you will be able to convince most of those that adore Karna to a fault that they even excuse his sins (or faults, whatever you may call it). For example they excuse his behaviour towards Draupadi (verbal insults, taunts, and encourgement towards gang molestation) by saying she deserved it because she refused to marry him because he was of a lower caste. In today's world it's like saying if I choose not to marry someone because he shares a different nationality or religion than mine, it's OK for that someone to disrobe and insult me in public given the opportunity. You see how warped that logic is. But this is the logic the Karna fans. I'm not surprised considering all the eve teasing that happens in India.

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    Replies
    1. Wow!!!! I must say you are the father of Logical thinking !!!!!!! Now Plz understand the perspective.....and next time you comment like an uneducated fool do read the subject first....

      Droupadi's swaymbar was a special one where only criteria was performance of given task and not any cast lineage... and it was done so becasuse Drupad wanted to find out the mist powerful man and not the most rich king..... so when there was only one condition put forwarded and fulfilling that task is only condition then Droupadi did not had the right to say no to Karna!!!!!

      If Droupadi wanted to marry on her choice she could have made a swaymbor without task!!! then her choice would be final....or else she could said that even after completing the task I will choose.....but no...she sat in swaymbor where performing the task was only condition and knowing Karna could do that she deny him....and on the same day she marries a bramhon who can perform the task!!!! Now that is wrong in any way....

      I am not saying that Karna was right in being part of bastraharan....it was one of his sins....but Droupadi did not do anything to Karna is a blatant lie...

      Delete
  28. All these kavach kundal story seems to be latter day interpolation in to glorify Karna. Karna was a mighty warrior but his achievements in his entire career was nothing in compare to Arjuna. There were many warriors like Bhima, Satyaki and Abhimanyu who were equal to or perhapes better than Karna.

    Karna lost many times with his Kavach and Kundal on. He along with Duryodhana and his brothers could not defeat Drupada and other panchalas for Drona. He lost in his first encounter with Arjuna at the time of Draupadis swayamvar. Next he was vanquished by gandharva Chitrasena. Then in virat yudh he lost to Arjuna. On 14th days battle Bhima repeatedly defeated him. Finaly Karna was able to defeat him when Bhima had no weapon left. Karna did not accept Bhima's challange for wrestling. Bhima was the best all rounder of his time. He was not only top mace fighter but a great archer as well. Satyaki also defeated Karna that day. Arjuna defeated Karna twice in Kurukshetra before the final encounter. On 17th day Bhima dfeated him again. Suddenly Karna turned in to a invincible warrior just before the final battle. Arjuna who had Pasupatyastr and Brahmshira could Nagastra. LOL. At last Karna made Arjuna faint with one deadly arrow, but he did not kill Arjuna at this opportunity. Extracting wheel was more important for him.

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  29. I think Duryodhana and Karna were big lossers. They always lost. Their sympathisers have many excuses for Karna's defeat like kavach-kundal and all. I believed them till I read the Mahabharata. Karna was defeated many times with those kavach and kundal. In war with gandharvas and virat war Karna's body was mangled and he fled. Did his 'kavach' helped him ?


    Late alone Arjuna, even Bhima and Abhianyu were better warriors than him. Bhima defeated him repeatedly on 14th day, when Karna was fighting with all his stregnth. Bhima was also in position to slay him many times. Bhima was not only a great archer but a top mace fighter also. No one was equal to him in physical might. Karna hide in his chariot when Bhima jumped to catch him. Bhima defeated him on 17th day as well. Even Yudhishthira made Karna faint once with a deadly arrow.

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  30. Abhishek, Bhishma's and Drona's admirers also have many excuses for their falure. Thease two were also helpless against Arjuna, Bhima, Satyaki and Abhimanyu. Though they killed many pandava soldiers, they could not kill any top warriors. If Pandavas were related to them, they could have kill Satyaki or Dristidyumna. They were busy killing not so popular warriors.


    On 10th day both army were facing each other. Kaurava side had many top maharathis with a larger army. Shikhandin protected by Arjuna attacked Bhishma. Bhishma avoided Shikhandin but fiercely attacked Arjuna and Pandava army and pierced Arjuna with many arrows. Arjuna also pierced him with his arrows. If Shikandin acted as Arjuna's shield how then Bhishma was able to pierce Arjuna ? Again there were so many maharathis like Drona, Ashwathaman, Shalya, Kripa and Kritvarman who could have easiely dealt with poor Shikhandin. Ten kaurava generals led by Drona attacked Pandava side. Bhima alone checked their advance for some time, then Arjuna joined him. Togather they proved invincible for them. Bhishma told Yudhishthira that he was not interested in battle now. But he kept on slaying Pandava army in thousands. He even killed virata king's brother Satanika. Duhsasana was protecting him. Then Bhishma advanced towards Arjuna shooting arrows. Arjuna cut down one after one all his bows and a dart thrown by him. Arjuna also cut down Bhishma's shword and shield and pierced him with many sharp arrows. Bhishma fall on battle field. This battle clearly Shows that Bhishma was defeated by Arjuna. Latter Bhishma's admirers interpolated Mahabharata with 'ikshamrityu' story and Bhishma himself telling pandavas the way to slay him.


    Now see how Drona died. Yudhisthira lied that Ashvatthaman has been killed, but for no avail. Then Bhima insulted him for not behaving like a brahmin. Still he was slaying Pandava army. Meanwhile his weapons exhausted. Now many sags came to stop Drona. Drona who was never known for his austerities turned in to a sage and started performing Yoga. LOL (ye baat kuchh hajam nahi hui) Dristidyumna beheaded him while he was in state of Yoga.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Anand I have never seen such and uneducated fool who thinks himself very smart, do you get orgasm by saying lie or you are just ignorant!!! Plz read the original Mahabharata First.......
      1. Visma was not only the best fighter of entire Mahabharata but he was truly beyond the limit of defeat, his years of SADHNA given him the power that he could beat anyone, He did not killed Pandavas as he knew they are right and he fought for Kauravas because of his promise. why do you think Krishna the God himself tried to kill Vishma forgetting his own words!!??? it is because Krishna Knew that Vishma can not be defeated by Pandavas.....

      2. Drona when knew that his son is dead wanted to use Brahmastra and finish the entire world!! (Vishma, Drona, Arjuna, Karna had that kind of power) as the world is worthless for him without his sons....then sages given him the sense that he should not destroy the whole world, then he wanted to leave this world through Yoga. and for GOD's sake Mr. Anand use some logic, if Drona could have been beaten by any other means would Yudhistir said his first and last lie in the battle field??!!!!

      The lesson we learn from Mahabharata is that " How much superior you can be, if you are on the other side with Dharma you would be defeated" infact Vishma, Drona and Karna none could have been killed by Pandavas without the help of Krishna, Krishna here does all the trick and instead of villain he is GOD because he was on the side of Right.....

      and Remember, Knowing all that is going to happen, Krisna never prevented Pandavas from playing the Dyut game, he can save Droupadi but he did not saved pandavas, because he wanted all of this to happen, he wanted Kurushektra to happen, if he wanted he could have prevented it. That is the reason at the end he took Gandhari's Curse with a lowered head and died an unfortunate death.

      Delete
    2. Mr.Anand you really think that Arjun ,Bheem are powerful and the students of lord Parshuram are nothing so please read below.

      1 Bhisma : Son of devi Ganga and student of lord Parshuram . When bhisma kidnaped devi amba That day lord parshuram fighted whith him and bhishma did not lose or win that bettel . So, he is unbeatable by lord purshuram.

      2 Drona : Son of rishi Bhardwaj and student of lord parshuram. He studied from lord parshuram and his father rishi bhardwaj both .

      3 Karn : The son of sun and student of lord parshuram the last studdnt and who had the Vijay bow of lord Shiva .
      The parshuram shishyas are so much powerful that in whole mahabharat no one can kill any of them when they have their bow in thier own hand . That proves

      Delete
  31. Gandhari waited for 17 days till almost all his son died, to turn Duryodhana's body in to a 'vajra'. Duryodhana who always lost against Pandava brothers, now became too hot to handle. At the time of duel between Bhima and Shalya with mace, Vyasa writes that there are only three great mace fighters, Balrama, Bhima and Shalya with no fourth equal to them. But now he was more skillful in mace fight than Bhima. He was waiting for all his brothers to be slain by Bhima to show his exellent skills in mace fight at last. On 18th day his body was of vajra , but his 'vajra' body was wounded by many arrows. So he fled from battle field and was hiding in a pond.

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  32. The Endurance Graph (with the Fardeen Khan touch! ) is really imaginative!

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  33. "And if, maddened by wrath, thou hurlest this dart, while there are still other weapons with thee, and when thy life also is not in imminent peril, it will fall even on thyself.' Karna answered, 'As thou directest me, O Sakra, I shall hurl this Vasavi dart only when I am in imminent peril! Truly I tell thee this!'"

    so you see

    he couldn't use the shakti as long as he still had other weapons and as long as his life wasn't in danger... and when he had used the shakti on ghatotkachha he new the battle was lost....... and arjuna can't be killed at all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. But remember, Arjun also did not use his fatal Brahmastra despite he could during that bloody final battle.

      Delete
    2. Many people used Brahmastra in the battle....... like Yudhishtir used it to counter Drona's brahmastra........

      using brahmastra is no big deal if it can be countered.


      i just wanted to provide you an answer to your doubt that why Karna didn't use his shakti staright away..... with my earlier post

      but still man you rock..... i am really looking forward to read more from your pen.

      lol sorry keyboard

      Delete
    3. Thank you. I did not get your earlier comment, but this one has cleared up things.

      Also, thanks again for the nice words.

      Delete
    4. @Abhishek Mukherjee


      aapnaar moton biased idiots der blogs lehhaaii uchit noyeh


      aapnii kii likhhechhen ""remember, Arjun also did not use his fatal Brahmastra despite he could during that bloody final battle"" ---------------------- bhhaaloh bhhaabhheh KMG poruun -------------------- Arjun DID use the Brahmaastra against Karna (on the 17th Day) ---------------------------- & Karna even successfully baffled that Brahmaastra (of Arjuna) with the help of ordinary astra


      aamy bujhhteh paarchhiih jeh aapnaa der moton mindset raakhhaa maanusheraa shaaraa jeebon dhhoreyii Karna'r proti pathological hatred dekhhaateh thhaakben ------------------------------------- kintuu jaayeh aasheh naa -------------- Truth keh toh aaar bodlaateh paarben naa naah


      you also said something about "pre Reservation era" ----------------------- now see, Reservation is reservinng a place/seat for some candidate of a specific community ------------------------------------------ this isn't justified
      but, depriving a DESERVING person on the basis of his/her race\caste\religion\gender\ethnicity\clan\creed\skin colour\tribe\community is a TERRIBLE thing ----------------------------- a system may not be having reserved sesta for candidates of say a community called XYZ ------------------------------------------------------------ but that surely doesn't mean that a DESERVING CANDIADTE belonging from that XYZ community can be deprived of his/her RIGHTS

      Delete
  34. dude why haven't you mentioned the Capturing the Drupada incident.

    Karna, 100 kauravas and all their army couldn't capture Drupada.

    But mere 5 pandavas alone did the task. so Arjuna leads 5-0.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're correct. But in that case, both men represented team (albeit of various sizes). This wasn't really a one-on-one thing.

      Delete
    2. Dudes are always right. They rock.

      Delete
    3. dude can u tell me if this is write......

      Arjuna could displace Karna's chariot by 10 feet backwords using the shower of his arrows.

      but Karna could displace only by 2 feet.

      still Krishna praised Karna. on asked by arjuna krishna says that Arjuna has both Krishna and Hanuman on his chariot still Karna can displace it by 2 feet..... its a big feat.

      Delete
    4. This is true, though I cannot really vouch on the exact distances.

      Delete
    5. @dick valkyrie


      and why don't you mention about Arjuna getting trounced by ordinary Robbers {who weren't even warriors} :P

      Karna would lead several millions to Arjuna's zero

      Delete
  35. then you should give that Karna some points too. Although i hate him.

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    1. I guess so, but this doesn't really count as a battle. Arjun had a better chariot, but it was because of Arjun's humble intelligence that he had managed to acquire Krishna on his side.

      And yes, I too think that Karna is the most overhyped Mahabharat character.

      Delete
  36. dont u think that the killing of karna,bhishma and drona by the way given in mahabharata is actually represent that they were better than arjuna. if arjuna was better no need to kill all those maharathis in that manner.also demanding eklavya's right thumb clearly indicate that eklavya too better than arjuna.

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    Replies
    1. You have nice points, BTW.

      Eklavya was more talented than Arjun. That doesn't necessarily mean he would have ended up being a greater warrior. A warrior needs more than raw talent to make it big.

      Karna has been defeated by Arjun each and every time they met, even when Karna was in a group and Arjun was alone.

      Bhishma had been blessed with a boon that he would never lose a battle. That was what Arjun was up against, and he had to resort to trickery.

      Dron was another thing. Throughout the battle, Arjun and Dron were rarely pitched against each other. Dron knew that Arjun was a formidable opponent, so he asked the Shangshaptaks to drive him away so that Don could pick the lesser soldiers with ease and target Yudhishthir.

      Since Dron wanted to avoid fighting with Arjun, it was for a good reason.

      Delete
    2. What we need to realize is that Arjun was not his own self as a warrior at Kurukhsetra. He was emotionally disturbed. The reason he had put down his weapons at the beginning of the war haunted him throughout. Krishna's telling him the Geeta had no effect on him as is evident in the incidents that follow. Actually after the war Arjun confessed that he had not understood what Krishna taught in the Geeta and Krishna had to tell him the "Anugeeta" all over again. I have elaborated the difference between the mental make up of Arjun and Yudhishthir on my blog while dealing with the question of Yudhishthir's untruth. http://riddlesinmahabharat.blogspot.in/

      Delete
    3. @SuchimJ


      why wasn't Arjuna then disturbed at Matsya ?????????

      Delete
    4. @Yajnavalkya
      At Matsya the task at hand was only to rescue the cattle from the Kauravs. Arjun accomplished this by using the "Sammohan Astra". The Kauravs all went to sleep. It was not a war to finish and did not entail killing Bhishm or Dron.

      Delete
  37. A really well-written blog...
    There is no doubt that as a warrior Arjun was superior to Karn, though a lot people empathize with Karn for the misfortunes that visited him.
    BTW - I think that Dron's chopping off Eklaya's thumb is more symbolic. Thumb is a symbol of authority. Probably Dron took away the authority to use the technology, just as the US of A, took it away from India while signing the nuclear deal.
    BTW another point - it is difficult to believe that Arjun declined Urvashi's favors because he thought of her as 'mother' since she was married to one of his ancestors ages ago. It's like Dada refusing to play on the offside, because there are 7 fielders there. My guess is Draupadi's humiliation took its toll. While he had indulged in several affairs - Ulupi, Chitra, Subhadra before, after Durtkrida he even refused Uttara's hand offered to him by King Virat.
    Another point hard to digest is that Kunti/Yudhishthir manipulated a woman and her five sons to burn in their place to escape from lakshagriha. The simple reason is that the builder was on guard, how would he allow them to sleep on the royal beds? and if they did not sleep on royal beds, there skeletons would be elsewhere and Shakuni would have understood they were not Pandavs. The plan was to let the Pandavs die in sleep. If Bhim or Arjun had even a few seconds they would have brought the house down or doused the fire with parjanyasra. The death of the woman and her sons must have been accidental.
    A query for Sagar, Abhishek or any one who can tell me - Did Karn go to Parshuram after Indra took away his kundals, since he called himself "Vaikartan"?

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    Replies
    1. 1. I'm glad you agree on the fact that Arjun was superior.
      2. I too feel that Ekalavya's thumb was somewhat symbolic.
      3. I disagree with your logic regarding Urvashi, though. A simple coital session would have remained a secret, and it was commonplace for warriors to bed apsaras. Draupadi may not have minded if she got to know (possibly), because bedding apsaras were commonplace.
      4. As for the Jatugriha incident, an easy explanation can be the fact that the news did not reach Shakuni to the full. He just got to know that a woman and her five sons were dead, and assumed the rest.

      Delete
    2. @Unknown


      """Another point hard to digest is that Kunti/Yudhishthir manipulated a woman and her five sons to burn in their place to escape from lakshagriha.""" --------------------- this itself depicts that you have a pre conceived belief that Kuntii and those Paannddavas could never do any wrong LOL :P

      hats off to your unprejudicedness

      Delete
    3. I want to Know Abisekh's Reply on this.....

      DO YOU THINK THAT WHAT PANDAVAS ..........LET BURN 6 INNOCENTS, JUST SO THAT KOURAVAS THINK THEY ARE DEAD??!!!

      do you think this is right???

      Delete
  38. "A simple coital session would have remained a secret and it was ommonplace for warriors to bed apsaras. Draupadi may not have minded if she got to know (possibly), because bedding apsaras were commonplace".That's exactly what I am saying about Arjun-Urvashi, that is why his lack of interest in extra-marital affairs must have some other significance.
    Re. Jatugruh - Vidur had planned the whole rescue operation. He had gone to the length of sending a miner from Hastinapur to dig a tunnel, not an ordinary job. He would have certainly realized that the absence of skeletons would have aroused Shakuni's suspicions. It wasn't a question of 'news reaching' Shakuni in normal way. He had spies planted everywhere and was all ears for the outcome of this particularly important plot. It would have been so simple for Vidur to arrange a few bones to be placed on the bedsteads instead of leaving it to Kunti and Yudhishthir to come up with a diabolic scheme. It just does not fit in with Yudhishthir's character...

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    Replies
    1. As for Jatugriha, I think you have got it right. Vidur may have planned it too well for anyone to find a dent.

      Delete
    2. I Abhishek, I have created a blog on this topic and several other dilemmas in Mahabharat. 1) Who was the real heir to Hastinapur throne 2) What role did Draupadi's question to the Kuru elders play ? 3) did the Pandavs complete 12+1 year of exile 4) why did Yudhishthir lie at the time of Dron's death?
      May I post the link here instead of writing all over again? I hope you don't mnd... http://riddlesinmahabharat.blogspot.in/

      Delete
  39. Glad that you agree on Lakshagruha... I very much appreciate that you have an open mind, an uncommon attribute among students of mythology, I must say.
    I think it would not be out of place to mention here, that Vidur had not only arranged for the miner, he had arranged for a ship and kept it waiting at the river to carry the Pandavs away complete with a change of clothes for them to remain anonymous!
    ***
    BTW - I am really curious to know the chronology of Karn's visit to Parshuram to acquire the missiles. Do let me know please if it was after Arjun's return from Svarg or before...
    ***
    And why am I unable to post my response in my name I don't understand. I am Sudhir Joglekar

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello Sudhir, welcome to my blog. You can easily post comments using your Google account, BTW.

    Arjun went to Swarg towards the end of his Vanvaas. By that time Karna was already an accomplished warrior, so I guess that Karna had taken his lessons earlier.

    However, this is an educated guess. I will research on this and get back to you.

    ReplyDelete
  41. @ Dick

    Could you tell me from where comes your story of Arjuna and Karna displacing each others chariots. Nothing about this is given in Mahabharata.

    Karna had to use vasvi astra at Ghatokcha. It means his other astras like bhargava and nagastra can not kill Ghatotkacha.

    So far astras are concerned, no one was equal to Arjuna. He had many superior astras like pasupata, vajra and brahmshir. He didn't use those astras at Karna.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anand Shankar

      & when Arjuna used Brahmaastra against Karna, K baffled that Brahmaastra (of A) with ordinary astra


      and read Ghhattotkacha vs Karna duel in proper details ---------------------- Karna had outrightly defeated him several times [---------------------------- G even hurled/threw an asanii of Rudra at Karna ------------------ & K caught that asanii & hurled it back towards G] ---------------------------- it is then that G started to resort to sorcery & illusions etc. ------------------- Vaasavii Shakti could find the desired target on its own ------------------------- Ghhattotkacha was a real master of illusions ------------------------------- 1000 Ghhattotkachas could be visible together all at the same time ---------------- how would a warrior aim/shoot any astra {except Vaasava Shakti} unless he\she knows/realizes as to which 999 images are mere illusions & which one happens to be the opponent IN PERSON physically ??????????

      ""no one was equal to Arjuna"" --------------------------------- go and read Mhbrt -------------- Arjuna had failed to defeat Bhhagadutta {during the Ashwamedha conquests} --------------------- whereas, Karna had conquered Bhhagadutta during one of Karna's Digvijayas

      Ninkumbha, a demon far less powerful than Ghhattotkacha, had managed to rout/defeat Arjuna --------------------- whereas, it is already known as to what Ghhattotkacha faced while battling Karna

      Delete
  42. You should really take these posts down, compile them and publish like a book. Trust me, a take on Mahabharata has ready audience (readers) esp in English. Please, please do!

    But, as an aside, I have a crush on Karna. He doesn't need to be the greatest warrior; why should he be? He is the greatest 'man' from that age and circumstances. Why he called Draupadi a prostitute is because he loved her. Boy psychology, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ""Why he called Draupadi a prostitute is because he loved her."" ----------------------- it was a revengeful act out of anger -------------- bcoz of the earlier Crime that Paanchaalii HERSELF had comiitted against Karna

      Delete
  43. It is actually very clear for the avid readers of the epic that Karn was never any match for Arjun, I supply further evidence

    1. In the list of names of warriors who could break the Chakravuyah - Krishna, Arjun, Pradhumna, etc there is no mention of Karn,
    2. IN the list of people who could fight with short arrows at very short distances, like Drona did with Dhristhdhumn, there is no mention of Karna,
    3. Karna was called a adirathi not even a full rathi by Vidur at the begining of the Virat Nagar war,
    4. He was spared by Satyaki after a comprehensive defeat as AArjun had sworn to kill him
    5. He retreated 4 times before Bhim suffering comprehensive defeats each times, prior to winning at his last attempt, when he called Bhim a fat glutton and touched Bhim on shoulder with his bow, even then Bhim challenged him to a wrestling match and Karna retreated
    6.Vrihsena, and all of Karna's sons were slain in his sight, including his brother, and he was unable to defend them,
    7. One of his most dastardly acts was just before his death when after shooting the snake arrow, Krishna pressed Arjuna's chariot into the ground, and it got struck in mud, Krishna jumped out and was pulling the chariot out when he Arjun were pierced by numerous arrows - just as Shakti Kapoor would have acted, when Karna's wheel became stuck he was pleading righteousness and mercy .....
    8. He retreated and attacked numerous times in the Virat Nagar battle and was comprehensively defeated every time, and numerous times in the 17 days of war
    9. The reason for not using the one off Indra weapon is it was a physical weapon and he did not carry it all the time, also Krishna influenced his judgement making him confused and indecisive on several occasions as explained by Krishna after Ghatochkatch's death

    ReplyDelete
  44. For all karna's Fans:

    (SOURCE-TRANSLATION OF ORIGINAL MAHABHARAT OF VYAS BY KESARI MOHAN GANGULY
    & WHICH IS THE ONLY PRECISE TRANSLATION AVAILABLE ON PUBLIC DOMAIN):



    Incident 1:Karna fled from battlefield from Arjuna(Virata Yudh):

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04060.htm




    Incident 2:Karna defeated by Gandharwa chitrasena:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03239.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03240.htm




    Incident 3:Arjuna defeat Ghandarwas & rescued Duryodhan & kurus:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03243.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03244.htm



    Incident 4:Karna defeated & freightened by Abhimanyu in chakruvyuhu:

    Hearing these words, Karna, afflicted with the shafts of Arjuna's son, once more said unto Drona, 'Exceedingly afflicted with the shafts of Abhimanyu, I am staying in battle, only because (as a warrior) I should stay here. Indeed, the arrows of this south of great energy are exceedingly fierce. Terrible as they are and possessed of the energy of fire, these arrows are weakening my heart.'

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m07/m07045.htm




    What Karna's own friend Ashwathama & kripacharya think of karna:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04049.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04050.htm




    what Lord Krishna think of karna's bravery:

    Krishna said(To Arjuna):.I swear by Truth to thee, O friend, that my limbs are burning at the thought that while the son of Subhadra was thus advancing, consuming the hostile army with his shafts, even on that occasion the wicked-souled Karna was engaged in acts of hostility to that hero,Unable, O Partha, to stay in that battle before Abhimanyu's face, mangled with the shafts of Subhadra's son, deprived of consciousness, and bathed in blood, Karna drew deep breaths, inflamed with rage. At last, afflicted with arrows, he was obliged to turn his back upon the field.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08073.htm



    & Finally karna himself accepting Arjuna's supeority:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08079.htm




    FINAL KARNA ARJUNA BATTLE(DAY 17 OF MAHABHARATA):


    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08089.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08090.htm

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08091.htm

    ACCORDING TO MY ANALYSIS OF THIS TRANSLATION IN THE FINAL BATTLE OF MAHABHARATA,ARJUNA & KARNA ASSAULTED EACH OTHER 35 TIMES WITH NUMEROUS, THOUSANDS & LAKHS OF ARROWS ………8 TIMES THEY NULLIFIED EACH OTHER ARROWS ,12 TIMES BOTH KARNA & ARJUNA PIERCED EACH OTHER BUT THE REMAINING 15 TIMES ARJUNA PIERCED KARNA IN EVERY PART OF HIS BODY & KARNA’S LIMBS,YOKE,STANDARD,STEEDS,CHARIOT WERE RIPPED APART & KARNA WAS LEFT MANGLED BATHED IN BLOOD & KARNA HAD NO ANSWER FOR ARJUNA’S ARROWS..BY THE TIME KARNA CHARIOT WHEELS GOT SWALLOWED BY BHUMI,KARNA HAS SUFFERED A CLEAR DEFEAT..EVEN WHEN ARJUNA DIDNT USE THE UNFAILING & IRRESTIBLE PASHUPATASTRA & BRAHMASIRHASTRA ON KARNA!!!



    Authenciaty of vyas original mahabharat by km ganguly:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kisari_Mohan_Ganguli

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Akshadh Katyal

      I can myself present you KM Ganguli extracts to establish Arjuna to be far far far inferior a warrior as compared to Karna

      also, why don't you mention about Arjuna getting defeated by ordinary Robbers {who weren't even warriors} ?????


      why don't you mention about/on/regarding Arjuna's toothlessness against Bhhagadutta {during the Ashwamedha conquests} ?????

      why don't you mention about Saatyakii getting defeated by Karna 7 times ????? why don't you mention that the one time that he had momentarily prevailed over Karna {something that you are terming to be a "defeat"}, he was on Lord Kriishnna's chariot [Lord Kriishnna instructed Saatyakii to ride that chariot and combat Karna coz Shree Kriishnna took Arjuna away from Karna to a safer location to keep Arjuna safe from Karna]


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's defeat at the hands of Ninkumbhha ????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's defeat at the hands of Babruvaahhana ???????


      why don't you mention about Bhheema hiding behind an elephant to save himself from Karna ??? why do you mention nothing about Bhheema getting dragged along the ground by Karna ????? why do you not mention anything about Bhheema's robes getting torn by Karna in front of Yudhhishtthhira's eyes ?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna fleeing like a coward against Karna's Bhhaargavaastra ?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's helplessness when up against Bhhagadutta's Vaiishnavaastra weapon ????????



      why don't you mention about Arjuna's helplessness against Ashwatthhaamaa on the 15th Day



      why don't you mention about the several group attacks that Bhheema + Saatyakii + Dhhrishttadyumnya + the Upapaannddavas {+ even Arjuna on a few occasions} + the Paanchaalas etc. carried out against a single---handed solitary Karna & yet kept losing to Karna though Karna was alone n single---handed


      why don't you mention anything on the fact that Karna {using ordinary normal astra} baffled Arjuna's Brahmaastra weapon ????


      why don't you mention anything about Bhheema's repeated defeats {& spanning over multiple/various days of the Great War} at the hands of Karna ????


      why don't you mention anything about Arjuna's inability against Duryodhhana {14th Day} ???


      why don't you mention that during the fight/battle at Draupadii's Swayamvara, Arjuna was using the transcendental Lord_Shiva__bow whereas Karna was having to use an ordinary saadhhaaran bow ????????


      why don't you mention\state that at Matsya Nagrii {Viraat War}, Arjuna was using the great divine super--magical Gaannddeeva bow whereas Karna was using an ordinary bow [despite having a chance to use the Vijaya bow] ?????


      why don't you mention anything about Arjuna's defeat at the hands of Kalkanjaya ?????

      Delete
    2. also @Akshadh Katyal jii



      why don't you mention anything about Bhheema getting defeated by Duryodhhana on the 8th Day of the War ?????


      why don't you mention anything about Karna defeating Ghhattotkacha multiple times [Karna even caught a fiery Asanii of Rudra that Ghhattotkacha had hurled/thrown towards Karna ------------------ & Karna even hurled it back towards Ghhattotkacha] & and forcing Ghhattotkacha to resort to sorcery n black--magic n illusions n witchcraft etc. [also remeber that Demons used to grow thousands of or tens of thousands of times MIGHTIER during the nighttime ----------------------- more so, on New Moon or No Moon nights ---------------------- despite this HUGE ADVANTAGE in his favour, Ghhattotkacha could not defeat Karna even when Ghhattotkacha started using magic n black--magic n sorcery n illusions n witchcraft etc.]?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's failure against demon Alayudhha's illusions [despite the fact that Alayudhha was way LESS mightier than Ghhattotkacha & also the fact that Karna had faced Ghhattotkacha during nighttime whereas Arjuna, even during daytime, had got defeated by demons on more than one occasions & at multiple/various stages\points\scenarios in his life] ?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna getting scared and thus fleeing from Dronaachaarya on the 15th Day ????????


      why don;t you state\mention the fact that Duryodhhana had checked Arjuna many a times {despite the fact that Arjuna had the great Gaannddeeva (swayam Lord Brahhmadeva's divya dhhanush was this great Gaannddeeva bow) with him & also had Lord Shree Kriishnna n Lord Hhanumaana on his chariot too ------------------- & his chariot was also a divine transcendental one too} ?????


      why don't you mention anything about Lord Bhhagwaana Hhanumaana's presence on/over/atop Arjuna's chariot in the Viraatt War {which is actually the primary reason behind Arjuna's achievment in the Viraatt War in Matsya nagrii} ?????



      all these above--stated stuff {+ also numerous similar others too} are all present in KM Ganguli's work on Mhbrt ------------------------------------------------- why are you SELECTIVELY quoting/citing/extracting/excerpting only those stuff that can whitewash your Icon the Paannddavas ??????


      & shall we talk about Arjuna's numerous defeats at the hands of Bhheeshma on repeated successive days/occasions in the Bhheeshma parva ???????????????

      Delete
  45. First of all Karna never accompanied duryodhan during the war with drupadh,drona refused him to take part in it,secondly draupadi refused to marry him as she wanted to marry arjun and she knew karna could have easily hit the target so she insulted him and that was insulting ,for everyone there.. In the name of swayamwara they only wanted arjun in that's why they put up such a challenge

    ReplyDelete
  46. Moreover Karna was better than arjuna,it was just because of lord krishnas support arjun won...lord himself declared Karna as better and karna lost it because of his curses,he was helpless elsewise in first day Arjuna nearly died..krishna used his powers to cast sunset..otherwise he would have been killed..

    ReplyDelete
  47. And Arjuna won during virat yudha as he used that Astra otherwise he wouldn't have...he broke the rules..arjun was never better than karna..draupadi was also wrong in insulting karna...he would have felt hurt seeing people reject him and this would have made his heart heavy and made him say so plus duryodhans company exploited him..he tried correcting him but was bound to help him..otherwise he would have failed always..karna was man of his words...defeated all pandavs easily but spared them.. He was the best and a true donor...he let himself die so as to keep his friendship and let dharma prevail...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes..................................................................................


      & if Karna would have wished, he could have ended Arjuna's life in Viraatt War itself ------------------- Karna already had the Vaasava Shakti with him by that time ------------------------------------- but, he spared Arjuna's life by not using the Vaasava Shakti in this Matsya War

      Delete
  48. If he stood for ryt ...no none would have defeated him

    ReplyDelete
  49. Nice analysis. One more thing, Karna was older than Arjuna by at lease 5 years. When this war happened Arjun might have been very young and that puts Karna in 20's. The 5 years may not be big difference but during school age it is and that might have put Arjun at disadvantage since Karna had more experience since he was older.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Im not sure bour d exact age.. But they were somewhere btwn 75 to 90 yrs old.. N at that age.. 5 yrs makes no diff !!

      Delete
    2. Yes.. Arjuna was 89 yrs old during d war
      yudhistir 91
      Bheem 90
      Nakul n sahadev 88

      Delete
  50. Fantastic style :)
    Love the flow and analysis :))
    Would love to have you read some of my own analysis on the subject.
    http://www.pushti-marg.net/bhagwat/Mahabharata/Mahabharata.htm

    ReplyDelete
  51. TO FIND OUT WHO IS THE GREATEST WARRIOR KARNA OR ARJUNA FROM ORIGINAL VYAS'S MB,VISIT:

    https://www.facebook.com/karnavsarjuna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can myself present you KMG extracts to establish Arjuna to be far far far inferior a warrior as compared to Karna

      Delete
  52. FOR ALL THOSE WHO CALL ARJUNA INFERIOR TO KARNA,VISIT THIS LINK & FIND OUT THE TRUTH YOURSELF FROM ORIGINAL VEDA VYAS' MAHABHARATA TRANSLATION:

    https://www.facebook.com/karnavsarjuna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude arjun was the hero of mahabharat......in your dreams

      Delete
  53. Karna was always mountains above arjun.roger that.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Karna karna karna that's all I can say He is the HERO of mahabharat u couldn't convert me and never can so beat that

    ReplyDelete
  55. Dude what do u have against karn huh?what ever u say karn will be the greatest archer. God himself agreed and however curses will somehow work their way out so he couldn't avoid them I repeat karn was the best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. madam\sire

      please follow my replies in response to Akshadh Katyal's comments ----------------------------- Karna's superiority {& the Paannddavas warriors' including Arjuna's spinelessness in fighting\warfare\combat} you will notice in those replies of mine

      Delete
  56. well the KUNDAL was important..very important..
    heres why..
    i hope its quite sane to assume that the Kavach did not protect his Head n Neck ??
    so you cant keep em bare :/
    these Kundals were no ordinary kundals my dear friend... the had very strong ELECTROMAGNETIC activity to repel off any arrow or spear ...(any metallic projectile for that matter)
    ...
    SO YESSS...
    just like in X-men how u can defeat magneto wuth rubber bullets from carbon fibre guns... i guess the kundals wouldnt work against wooden or any other nonmagnetic weapon...
    sadly there wernt any (or many) non metallic weapons back then !! :/

    ReplyDelete
  57. Karna was a very skillful and religious man.Due to his lower cast all best guru rejected him.But he greatly wanted to teach archery and warfare skills.Parshuram does not hate lower cast people,he promised him to teach only Bramhins.Karna went to parshuram as a bramhin because he thought that if he told parshuram that he was suta,so parshuram would have rejected him like many gurus.Karna was really a obedient student of parshuram.Because only not to disturb his guru he did not move at all for his pain which was stung by a insect.Parshuram got angry because of the lie of karna but in that situation he was very happy to see the obedience of karna for him.so he gave him vijaya weapon which is very powerful and nobody can able to stop it.so that in kurukhetra war when karna trying to pull his wheel Krishna instructed Arjun to shot bramahstra.Because he knew that after the weapon of indra this Vijay weapon was very powerful than that.I must tell you that if somebody cursh at you then you can not able to delete that cursh.For example a sage curshed Krishna that his city Dwarika would be drowned by the sea,so here Krishna was a god and he was very intelligent but he could not able to delete or defeat that cursh.so according to my opinion karna was very powerful than Arjun because when karna shots arrow at Arjun then Krishna and Hanuman rescues Arjun from that weapon.Karna was also defeated for his Danavir nature.If he did not give promise to Kunti that he would not kill the four brothers except Arjun then Karna could easily kill Yudhistir,Bheem,Nakula and Sahadev.And if Krishna and Hanuman wouldn't help Arjun then Karna shot the vijaya weapon and could easily cut off the head of Arjun.But I must say you that Panadavs couldn't able to defeat Karna,Bhisma and Drona,with out Lord Krishna.Lord Krishna was the master of intelligence and Maya.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I must say you that if somebody curse on you then you can't be able to overcome that curse.For example a sage curse upon lord Krishna that his city Dwarika would be drowned by the sea.so here the matter is,all we knew that Krishna was not also had powers but also had uncommon intelligence.so that Krishna wouldn't able to overcome on that curse.so I think it is properly proved that even if god can not be able to overcome on curse.

    ReplyDelete
  59. how dumb are you... destiny can't be changed may be you are an exception chuck norris

    ReplyDelete
  60. Dear Abhishek Mukherjee,

    Normally I would not comment on anyone else's blog since its their freedom to express their views and its their perspective about a person or event.
    But what you have written is absolutely brutal and baseless. It says that you simply wan show off about what you know.Your facts are misleading, it clearly shows that you don't know any of the versions of Mahabharata properly.And it is disrespectful that u compare cricketers with the characters in the great epic and that too by living in a country where people respect such epic as Veda.You just writing as if you are commenting a cricketer or movie,even to write that you should stick to some facts.And how dare you can say " Karna's stupid arrow(astra given by Lord Indra). My intention is not to hurt you or abuse you. But please understand that mocking a respectful epic is a sin.Either you are following a false version of the epic or someone is guiding you wrongly.Anyway pls stop posting baseless posts like to this!!!

    Pls find my explanation s below for all your points.

    Regards,
    Manikandan.K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you know, @Manikandan.k Mani jii, I can use the same source\version {i.e. KMG's translation of Mhbrt} to prove that this blog/article by Abhishekh is untrue

      Delete
    2. @Manikandan.k Mani jii


      you can ask the admin/blogger Abhishekh to explain these::::::::::::::::::::



      @Abhishekh

      I can myself present you unanimously accepted extracts to establish Arjuna to be far far far inferior a warrior as compared to Karna

      also, why don't you mention about Arjuna getting defeated by ordinary Robbers {who weren't even warriors} ?????


      why don't you mention about/on/regarding Arjuna's toothlessness against Bhhagadutta {during the Ashwamedha conquests} ?????

      why don't you mention about Saatyakii getting defeated by Karna 7 times ????? why don't you mention that the one time that he had momentarily prevailed over Karna {something that you are terming to be a "defeat"}, he was on Lord Shree Kriishnna's chariot [Lord Kriishnna instructed Saatyakii to ride that chariot and combat Karna coz Shree Kriishnna took Arjuna farther away from Karna to a safer location so as to keep Arjuna safe and distant from Karna]


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's defeat at the hands of Ninkumbhha ????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's defeat at the hands of Babruvaahhana ???????


      why don't you mention about Bhheema hiding behind an elephant to save himself from Karna ??? why do you mention nothing about Bhheema getting dragged along the ground by Karna ????? why do you not mention anything about Bhheema's robes getting torn by Karna in front of Yudhhishtthhira's eyes ?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna fleeing like a coward against Karna's Bhhaargavaastra ?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's helplessness when up against Bhhagadutta's Vaiishnavaastra weapon ????????



      why don't you mention about Arjuna's helplessness against Ashwatthhaamaa on the 15th Day



      why don't you mention about the several group attacks that Bhheema + Saatyakii + Dhhrishttadyumnya + the Upapaannddavas {+ even Arjuna on a few occasions} + the Paanchaalas etc. carried out against a single---handed solitary Karna & yet kept losing to Karna though Karna was alone n single---handed


      why don't you mention anything on the fact that Karna {using ordinary normal astra} baffled Arjuna's Brahmaastra weapon ????


      why don't you mention anything about Bhheema's repeated defeats {& spanning over multiple/various days of the Great War} at the hands of Karna ????


      why don't you mention anything about Arjuna's inability against Duryodhhana {14th Day} ???


      why don't you mention that during the fight/battle at Draupadii's Swayamvara, Arjuna was using the transcendental Lord_Shiva__bow whereas Karna was having to use an ordinary saadhhaaran bow ????????


      why don't you mention\state that at Matsya Nagrii {Viraat War}, Arjuna was using the great divine super--magical Gaannddeeva bow whereas Karna was using an ordinary bow [despite having a chance to use the Vijaya bow] ?????


      why don't you mention anything about Arjuna's defeat at the hands of Kalkanjaya ?????

      Delete
    3. also @Abhishekh Mukherjee


      why don't you mention anything about Bhheema getting defeated by Duryodhhana on the 8th Day of the War ?????


      why don't you mention anything about Karna defeating Ghhattotkacha multiple times [Karna even caught a fiery Asanii of Rudra that Ghhattotkacha had hurled/thrown towards Karna ------------------ & Karna even hurled it back towards Ghhattotkacha] & and forcing Ghhattotkacha to resort to sorcery n black--magic n illusions n witchcraft etc. [also remeber that Demons used to grow thousands of or tens of thousands of times MIGHTIER during the nighttime ----------------------- more so, on New Moon or No Moon nights ---------------------- despite this HUGE ADVANTAGE in his favour, Ghhattotkacha could not defeat Karna even when Ghhattotkacha started using magic n black--magic n sorcery n illusions n witchcraft etc.]?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna's failure against demon Alayudhha's illusions [despite the fact that Alayudhha was way LESS mightier than Ghhattotkacha & also the fact that Karna had faced Ghhattotkacha during nighttime whereas Arjuna, even during daytime, had got defeated by demons on more than one occasions & at multiple/various stages\points\scenarios in his life] ?????


      why don't you mention about Arjuna getting scared and thus fleeing from Dronaachaarya on the 15th Day ????????


      why don't you state\mention the fact that Duryodhhana had checked Arjuna many a times {despite the fact that Arjuna had the great Gaannddeeva (swayam Lord Brahhmadeva's divya dhhanush was this great Gaannddeeva bow) with him & also had Lord Shree Kriishnna n Lord Hhanumaana on his chariot too ------------------- & his chariot was also a divine transcendental one too} ?????


      why don't you mention anything about Lord Bhhagwaana Hhanumaana's presence on/over/atop Arjuna's chariot in the Viraatt War {which is actually the primary reason behind Arjuna's achievment in the Viraatt War in Matsya nagrii} ?????


      all these above--stated stuff {+ also numerous similar others too} are all present in KM Ganguli's work on Mhbrt ------------------------------------------------- why are you SELECTIVELY quoting/citing/extracting/excerpting only those stuff that can whitewash your Icon the Paannddavas ??????


      & shall we talk about Arjuna's numerous defeats at the hands of Bhheeshma on repeated successive days during the Bhheeshma parva ???????????????

      Delete
    4. additionally


      whilst speaking\talking about/on/regarding Arjuna's toothlessness against Bhhagadutta {during the Ashwamedha conquests}, it is also pertinent to mention that Karna had comprehensively overcome Bhagadutta during one of Karna's digvijayas



      also,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, while speaking/talking about Arjuna's defeat\inability against various demons {albeit during daytime} at various points in his life,,,,,,,,,, it is also necessary to mention that Karna had pummelled numerous demons during his 4 Digvijayas {besides what he did to Ghhattotkacha on the 14th Night}

      Delete
  61. Before me answering your points in the above post, I wan you to understand few things.
    1.The intention of Krishna through the great epic is to preach Dharma to the mankind.I.e. even though you have all the super powers in the world you still be perished if you don't follow Dharma.
    2. If you go deep into the epic, you ll understand that it is an execution of Lord Vishnu's play/drama to preach Dharma to mankind and through mankind. For every incident in the epic there is a history.
    3.All the immortal characters in this epic such as Sage Vyasa, Sage Durvasa, Lord Indra, Lord Krishna etc., and to some extent Sage Parushrama knew this .
    4.The only one mortal person knew this was Sahadeva.
    5.The purpose of Kavacha and Kundala is not to make him as victorious always rather it was to make him invincible. So it doesn't mean that no can defeat Karna but it means no one can kill Karna.
    6.Karna's vow to Duryodhana is that no one can kill him till Karna is alive.So in order to preach Dharma, Duryodhana has to be killed. So it is obvious that Lord Krishna has to kill Karna first before killing Duryodhana. And that's why all these twists are made.

    I believe you got the answers. But anyways I ll give explanation for few your claims.

    Regards,
    Manikandan.K

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  62. Pls understand that Karna is a normal human being like you and me with all the emotions that a man possess, may be he had some super powers cos of his birth, learning's and Astra's. So pls don't expect him to be always positive and divine.It stands same for every character in the epic including Pandavas.

    It would be impossible for me to type here with my tab. Pls send me your email ID so that I can send you the explanations to the best of my knowledge. Pls dont mistake me with my words. Its just that I wan insist few things hard.


    Regards,
    Manikandan.K



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  63. Dear Abhishek,

    Would like to bring upon light related to the Kavacha & Kundals of Karna.
    As per Itihas, The Kundals & Kavacha was handed over to Lord Indra. If its so then wat happened to the Kavacha & Kundals after the end of the battle????? Is it hidden on Himalayas??? If yes then is it exactly or approximately located till date????
    Or is are there any trails of the same in any other version???? If yes please mention.

    Regards,
    Somnath.

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure of the kundal, but it is rumoured that the kavach will soon be distributed among cartoonists.

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  64. Excuse me
    Draupadi never said she had the hots for Karna
    The Jambu fruit story is only a Bengali folk story which of course only those with a belief in the supernatural can accept
    Also the insult during swayamvara was not included in the BORI critical edition of Mahabharata as they could not find reliable citations; so it likely was not part of the original story. In fact the Southern versions say he tried and failed

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    Replies
    1. KMG, however, DOES state\mention (about) the CASTEIST tarnishment that Draupadii handed out to Karna {at King Druupada's swyamdaamaada}

      Neelkanntthha Mhbrt also has this event as a conical incident

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    2. sorry, I meant 'canonical' ----------------------------- "conical" was typing error

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    3. Versions of Mahabharat differ on the episode of Karn's humiliation by Draupadi at her Swayamvar. The episode has been dropped by the intensively researched Critical Edition prepared by Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Pune. The reason is that Karn is mentioned in the list of warriors who FAILED to string the bow prepared by Drupad.

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  65. I am a big Karna Fan...and reading a lot of materials on this topic lately including sacred text. So I will not go blind Karna guna kirtan or Arjun gun kirtan as did by blogger....here are my points....

    1. The Swyambhar is 0 - 0 as Arjun did not really beat Karna
    2. Defeat by Gandharba - Arjun 1 - Karna 0
    3. Defeat by Sammohan astra at virat yudha - Arjun 2 - Karna 0
    4. Karna and Abhimanyu is not part of this comparison, so actually it irrelevant.
    5.in Jayadratha Case the writer actually twisted facts - The real scenario already told by many is like this - Arjun was fighting bravely but Karna did a continuous rain of arrows and It was obvious to both Karna and Arjuna that Arjuna can not fulfill his promise, so actually Krisna did the trick and his sudarsan chakra covered the sun so Jayadratha came out and get killed. so if not helped by Krisna Arjuna was dead on that day he was not in place to complete his promise before sun set. result I can give like Arjuna 2 - Karna 1 but as Karna did not beat Arjuna on that day I will keep result like - Arjuna 2 - Karna 0
    6. Now the final duel Arjuna Beat Karna so the result is Arjuna 3 - Karna 0. this is summary of Arjuna fans discussion....
    now lets see Karna's Part

    1. Karna Pushes Arjuna's Rath 2 feet while Arjuna pushes Karna's rath 10 feet, still Krisna praises Karna!! why?? later after Kurusektra is over Krisna takes Arjuna to a forest and asked him to disembark from the Chariot and disembark himself from the chariot; the chariot become vaporized. Krisna then said, it was hanuman who is the most powerful god he protected your chariot all this time, it was karna who pushed not only your chariot but including two of the most powerful god along with!!!! if Hanuman did not protected your chariot you would have been pushed to infinity by Karna!!! so are the battle between Arjuna and Karna or the battle between Karna Vs Arjuna + Krishna + Hanuman??? Result Karna 1 - Arjuna 3
    2.When Takshak Nag was shot to Arjun and Krishna saved him (why Arjun need to be saved if he is the best??!!!) then takshak came to Karna and asked to sit on his arrow once again and said this time he will not miss Arjuna, But Karna wanted to win fight on his own not by the help of others (Arjuna gets help by Krishna and Hanuman and already two time saved by them) so Karna refuses. Result Karna 2 - Arjuna 3.
    3. Arjuna was more potent fighter than Karna - that is why he beat Karna three times?? right Arjuna Fans?? I did not understood one thing.....why Karna was killed when he was weaponless??!!!! (all those bullshit that Karna has done sin so he can not ask for rightful war) but would not it be more fitting to Arjuna's character that he made Karna weaponless first and then kill him?? !! but no!!! Arjun Killed him when he was busy with his chariot wheel and was weaponless!!! only because Krisna knew that neither Arjuna can make Karna weaponless not he can Kill Karna if he has his Vijay bow in his hand!!!!! So he made Arjuna kill a weaponless Karna.....Karna 3 - Arjuna 3.......

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  66. Now that we have done with Fighting scene.....I want to do a character analysis of Karna & Arjuna......

    Karna Sins -
    1. Droupadir Bastraharan - He was part of it
    2. Abhimanyu Badh - he was part of it

    Sin towards Karna by the Gods and Humans
    1. He was humiliated and suppressed throughout his childhood and not given the right to be Khsattriyo....He had to lie to Parsuram in order to learn weapons and get cursed. but if we see his character he never lied except that one occasion which society made him do.
    2. Karna could have won swaymbor but Krisna did the trick and asked Droupadi to refuse him - God himself is tricking a innocent man from his rightful deserved destiny.
    3. Karna kavach Kundal was taken away by Indra - (Now Arjuna fans dont start bull shitting saying that he got ekaghni) why kavach and kundala was nothing compared to ekaghni??? reason is - if kavach and kundala with Karna he can not be killed with all his curse and with all the bravery of Arjuna, if Karna can not be killed the war can not be over!!!! the Whole Mahabharata can not be completed!!!!! And tell me arjuna fans when Indra knows that Karna would want to use ekaghni towards Arjun still why he took away Kavach kundala and give ekaghni??? only because it was one deciding factor of war. Now Arjuna has sammohani astra so he can win over Karna..No sun god helps Karna....But Karna has Kavach Kundala what happens??!!! God by them selves cheat Karna.....
    4.Kunti took Promise from Karna - if Gandhari asked the same from Vim?? or from Arjuna? would they said that except Durjodhan and dushasan we will spare your 98 sons???!!!!! but Karna did, so before bashing him for Droupadi or Abhimanyu plz remember all his life he did good and get deceived by Gods and humans. and those are the two faults of his life.


    Now lets do a character analysis of Arjuna
    Sins towards Arjuna -
    1. Tried to get killed by Duryodhon three times
    2. 13 Year had to spent in forest leaving his kingdom

    Sins Arjuna did!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. He complained to drona that ekalabhya is better archer than him!!!! (lol Arjuna fans got heart attack) as a result to get the satisfaction of his best student Drona takes thumb of ekalabhya!!!!!'
    2. He offered his wife to his brothers to keep his mother's word ( now there can be a debate on this whether this is right or wrong, but to me this is down right wrong)
    3. He fought behind Shikhandi!!!!!! why to fight behind a unaq!! (if Arjuna is the best fighter in the world why he could not beat Visma???)
    now any Arjun Fans plz clarify my points

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  67. Awesome writing. Informative as well as humorous.
    If I want to read a complete version of Mahabharata (both in English and Bengali), which books will you suggest?

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  68. Anish, try the Rajsekhar Basu translations (Kaliprasanna Sinha,though the more comprehensive, may be a bit tiresome). Devdutt Pattanaik's Jaya is also a recommendation.

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  69. There have been many myths about Goddess Draupadi, many are mis-interpretations, base-less. She is considered to be the grama devetha and kula devatha for many people. There are many shrines for Goddess Draupadi, spread in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. One of the shrines, where She is a Grama-Devatha and Kula-Devatha to many, is located in one of the small villages of Tamil Nadu.

    The village is named KONDAL, Mayiladuthurai Taluk, Nagapattinam District, Nidur P.O, Tamil Nadu. There are more details about Goddess and way to the shrine at:

    http://blog.thitherwards.com/draupadi/

    Draupadi Amman Thunai - May Her blessing be always on you all!!

    ReplyDelete

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