Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen by Kavita Kané
When Duryodhana and Arjuna came to Krishna to request his army, Krishna Krishna sacrificed Ghatotkach so that Karna couldn't kill Arjuna. Karna was the closest friend of Duryodhana and fought on his behalf against the Pandavas in Karna was born before his mother's marriage to prince Pandu. The relationship between Karna and the Pandavas, particularly Arjuna, were hostile. The Mahabharata mentions Karna as the main challenger of Arjuna at .
At school and in episodes where his character appears, he is repeatedly rejected, subjected to ridicule and bullied for being the son of a poor family, and particularly for his low birth. The boy Karna came to be known for his solitary habits, hard work, pious yoga before Surya every day, compassion and eager generosity to help anyone in need particularly Brahmins, his gift of speech, and for the pursuit of excellence in whatever he did.
Duryodhana sees in Karna a man who is an equal of Arjuna in martial abilities, and someone to befriend to balance out Arjuna and thereby "diminish the Pandavas". After Arjuna announces his royal lineage, it is time for Karna to present his lineage. Duryodhana steps in and says Karna is an Arajna a non-king, but also a word play on Arjuna but announces that he is offering to anoint Karna as the king of Angas Bengal.
Once Karna is a king, states Duryodhana, Arjuna would not have the excuse to avoid Karna and not compete with the able warrior. Karna accepts the anointment, becomes a king that day. It also transforms him into a loyal friend to Duryodhana, with an eagerness to reciprocate the favor. Karna asks Duryodhana what he would want in return for the kingdom he just gave out of his empire, Duryodhana replies, "I want your endless friendship Karna".
Bhima, one of the Pandavas, ridicules him for his low status and calls him dog-like. The public insult of his father makes Karna hate the Pandavas. Karna feels Duryodhana is that friend who stood by him when everyone rejected him. Duryodhana becomes Karna's lifelong close friend. In Karna, Duryodhana finds an able man and talented commander who can help him gain and retain power over an empire.
In Duryodhana, Karna finds a caring friend and resourceful supporter when almost everyone is bent on ridiculing and disowning him. Karna participates with Duryodhana in schemes to effect the downfall of the Pandavas. In contrast, Bhisma and Drona suggest a conciliation and dividing the kingdom into two, half for Kauravas and other for Pandavas. He calls for "together we should slay the Pandavas" as the final solution. Karna persistently recommends violence and an all-out war, to settle things once and for all, by good brave warriors.
Karna also accuses Bhisma and Drona as covetous materialists and dishonest in counseling Duryodhana with non-violent strategies. Arjuna and his brothers, however, are disguised as mendicant Brahmins.
Karna's objection is that the competition is only meant for Kshatriyas, and Brahmins such as "the mendicant who just strung the bow" should not be competing for the hand of Draupadi, a Kshatriya bride.
The gathered Kshatriyas too angrily support Karna, for they against the mixing of varna here, Brahmin-Kshatriya marriage. Arjuna maintains his calm, continues to hide his true identity, insists that he is a "Brahmin who fight". Arjuna's accomplishments and calmness win Draupadi's heart. Draupadi picks Arjuna and awards the garland to him, signify that she chooses to marry the disguised-Brahmin Arjuna. Draupadi too never likes Karna thereafter.
Karna later regrets this anger and outburst. There, Karna uses the choicest words to insult Draupadi, then recommends a form of sexual assault where she is dragged and publicly disrobed, an injury with insult that takes the bitterness of Pandavas for Karna to much more emotional level from what previously was a dispute about respective martial prowess.
Later, in a quieter moment with Krishna such as in section 5. The first meeting is with Krishna, the second where his biological mother Kunti comes to meet him for the first time.
Krishna starts by complimenting Karna for knowing "the Vedas and the subtlety of the dharmasastras". He then requests his support to end the cascading cycle of violence and war. Krishna tells Karna that Kunti is his biological mother and Pandavas are his half-brothers. Through his relationship to his mother Kunti, all Vrishnis on Krishna's side will also recognize him and be his tributary, he can be the emperor with power over everyone. Yudhisthira will hold the fan for him as he sits in the throne, Bhima his umbrella, and the common wife of the Pandavas — Draupadi too — says Krishna, will sleep with him,[note 8] after some time, were Karna to press his status as the eldest biological Pandava brother, end the war and rule the world.
Karna replies that though he was born from Kunti, it was the wife of a charioteer "Radha who gave him love and sustenance", and that makes her his real mother. He is already married, says Karna, he has two sons and now grandsons, all because his father Adhiratha helped him settle into his married life.
He shall betray no one, remain loyal to those who love him, including his friend Duryodhana, with whom he has been in allegiance for thirteen years. It is not "blood ties" that matter, but how someone treats you over a period of time that does. He made a promise to Duryodhana and he will keep it. It is his duty to fight Arjuna.
Krishna left it to her to choose between Karna and her five other sons. Kunti then went to meet Karna, finds him praying. After he finished his prayers to Surya, Karna meets Kunti for the first time in his adult life. He greets her he now already knows her to be his biological mother. Kunti then confesses that he is her firstborn. Surya also appears and confirms Kunti's story, and suggests that he follow her.
He reiterates that he loves the parents who raised him, they love him, and he will remain loyal to his lifelong relationships. No one should abandon those who give respect and affection, says Karna in these Mahabharata verses. The war momentum shall continue and he aims to kill Arjuna. Karna promised to Kunti that he will not kill any of his other four half-brothers, but either "Arjuna or I" shall die and she can still say she has five sons just as she did all her life.
In parallel, Arjuna's brothers and Indra — the father of Arjuna and a major Vedic deity — plan ways to make Karna mortal. Karna disregards this warning and says that if the king of gods Indra comes to beg before him, and if he charitably gives to Indra, it will bring him "renown and fame", then argues that "fame is more important to him than anything else".
The leader of gods in return praises him and gives him a missile that can only be used once and will kill any mortal or immortal. By the thirteenth day of the Mahabharata war, numerous soldiers, kings, brothers and sons of Kauravas Karna's side and Pandavas Arjuna's side had been killed, many by foul means.
On the fourteenth day, Arjuna took revenge of his own son's death, while Bhima and his son Ghatotkacha wreaked havoc on numerous Kaurava battalions. The war that previously started after sunrise and stopped at sunset, did not stop on the fourteenth day's sunset as both armies continued a ferocious war to kill each other. Karna hurls the "Indra missile" to kill Ghatotkacha.
Karna thus saves his reputation among his soldiers, launches the missile and kills Ghatotkacha. Duryodhana and Kaurava army rejoice with the death of Bhima's son Ghatotkacha, but now Karna had exhausted the weapon that gave him an advantage over Arjuna. Above is the scene at the 12th-century Hoysaleswara TempleKarnataka. The South Indian king considers it below his dignity to be a mere charioteer and starts insulting Karna, who retaliates with words.
Duryodhana intervenes, praises both, presses Shalya to guide the chariot for the critical battle. Since all previous commanders of Duryodhana had been killed, he anoints Karna as the senapati commander of all his forces for the first time.
Karna and Shalya head into the battlefield together, though they keep insulting each other's abilities and intent, lack mutual devotion and teamwork. They battle that day, each showing his martial skills of attack as well as his ability to neutralize all weapons that reach their chariot.
Karna steps out of his chariot and is distracted while trying to unstick it. Arjuna — whose own son was killed by the Kauravas a day ago while he was trying to unstick his chariot's wheel — takes this moment to launch the fatal attack. According to McGrath, the Vedic mythology is loaded with the legendary and symbolism-filled conflict between Surya sun and Indra clouds, thunder, rain.
Krishna offers a choice of himself, completely unarmed, or the entire Vrishini army. Duryodhana proclaims that because he arrived first, he should get first-pick.
However, Krishna says that because he saw Arjuna first and because Arjuna is younger, that Arjuna gets first choice. Duryodhana becomes worried but is overjoyed when Arjuna elects to reject Krishna's army in favor of Krishna alone.
Joyously, Duryodhana returns to Hastinapura with the Vrishini army in-hand, only to be rebuked by Shakuni, who comments that Krishna is worth many armies by himself.Unknown Secrets about Duryodhana Wife Bhanumathi & Karna Relation -- Secret Samosa
Duryodhana also manages to win the army of Shalyathe maternal uncle of the Pandavas. Duryodhana intercepts Shalya's army as it comes to Kurukshetra and offers hospitality; Shalya accepts thinking Yudhishthira had made the offer. After Shalya has enjoyed Duryodhana's comforts, Duryodhana reveals the duplicity and indicates that Shalya is now indebted to him.
He uses this indebtedness to extract Shalya's army and support. Duryodhana wanted Shalya mainly so that Karna would have an equivalent charioteer to Arjuna's Krishna.
During the War[ edit ] In the war, Duryodhana repeatedly eggs on the invincible Bhishma and Drona to forward his cause, even though his main hope is Karna. He desires to appoint Karna as his commander-in-chief ; however, Karna and Shakuni point out that his already reluctant allies would much rather fight under Bhishma, an older, experienced, god-bornkshatriya than fight under a suta-putra. Reluctantly, Duryodhana appoints Bhishma as the commander in chief.
When Bhishma falls to Arjuna, Duryodhana appoints Drona as commander-in-chief and orders him to capture Yudhishthira to win the war. On the thirteenth day of battle, his heir Lakshmana is killed by Arjuna's son, Abhimanyuwho proceeds to try and arrest Duryodhana.
Duryodhana orders his soldiers to brutally kill of Abhimanyu, even if thought it takes unethical means to finish him off. Duryodhana is repeatedly frustrated, as the Pandavas succeed in downing Drona, and is emotionally distraught when, on the 14th dayArjunaenraged by Abhimanyu's death, tears through the Kaurava army and slays Duryodhana's brother-in-law Jayadratha.
Throughout the war, Bhima is steadily slaying his brothers, increasing his misery and bringing him closer to a defeat. Duryodhana's hopes are finally shattered when Karna is felled by the strategy of Lord Krishna and Arjuna.
It is said that Duryodhana never shed a single tear for any of his real brothers except Dushasana who were killed in the battlefield, but when his beloved friend Karna was slain, he was inconsolable. Duryodhana appoints Shalya as the next commander-in-chief. On the final day of war, Duryodhana takes out his anger by smashing open Chekitana's head. As Shalya is killed by Yudhishthira, Duryodhana's paltry army-once eleven akshauhinis strong-breaks, and the army is essentially routed.
Having lost his horseDuryodhana leaves the battlefield. He cools his body by entering a lake, all hope of winning lost. Yet, he prepares for his final battle; for a death befitting a warrior on the battlefield and hoping to reunite with his friends and relations in the afterlife.
He re-emerges from the lake after Ashwatthama and Kripa counsel him to face his destiny with courage. In some versions of the story, after Karna's death, Duryodhana doesn't even join his army and instead heads immediately to the lake. When the Pandavas and Krishna eventually find him, Duryodhana tells them that he wants to gift the kingdom to them, and retire to the forest.
Yudhishthira balks at the offer, telling him that Hastinapur is not Duryodhana's to gift. Instead, he offers that Duryodhana may pick any of the Pandava brothers to fight against one-to-one with a weapon of his choice, with the winner of the conflict the victor of the war.
Despite his proposed advantage over Yudhishthira, ArjunaNakulaor Sahadeva with the gadaDuryodhana picks his nemesis Bhima. Despite Bhima's physical advantage, Duryodhana had the better technique due to his devotion to his craft. After a long and brutal battle between the two disciples of Balarama, Duryodhana begins to exhaust Bhima, and nearly makes Bhima faint.
At this point, Krishna, observing the fight, calls out to Bhima and signals him by repeatedly clapping his own thigh with his hand. As intended, Bhima was reminded of an oath he had taken after the game of dice to crush Duryodhana's thighs.
Bhima victoriously attacks Duryodhana with his mace and strikes his thigh, mortally wounding Duryodhana. After having his face insultingly kicked by Bhima, Duryodhana bemoans that he was slain by unfair means, given that it was illegal to attack below the waist in a mace fight. Infuriated at the violation, Balaramathe brother of Lord Krishna, raises his weapon to attack.
Lord Krishna consoles Balarama, by reminding him of Duryodhana's evil deeds, and reprimands him for trying to influence a war he refused to participate in. Relenting but fuming, Balarama curses Bhima to be known in the world as a crooked warrior and blesses Duryodhana with glory, naming Duryodhana his greatest pupil.
He again eviscerates the Pandavas for all their chicanery during the war and decries their legacy. Venerating his own character, Duryodhana proclaims he will die happily.
Duryodhana then turns to Krishna and specifically accuses him of engineering his defeat. Upon the conclusion of these words of Duryodhana, signs from the heavens flowers and music validate the merits of Duryodhana's words. Death[ edit ] When the coast is clear, AshwatthamaKripacharyaand Kritvarmahaving witnessed the fight and not wanting to interrupt so as to rob Duryodhana of his honorcome to Duryodhana's broken body. Duryodhana commands them to take revenge on the Pandavas, and to specifically kill all the Pandava brothers and Panchalas.
Using the blood from his body, Duryodhana appoints Ashwatthama as the army's supreme commander. Already angry at the deceitful killing of his father DronaAshwatthama ambushes the Pandava camp at night. The three warriors lay waste to the sleeping, drunkand unaware army. Other than those who had been staying in the Kaurava campfew escape the slaughter. The trio rushes to tell Duryodhana of the news.
After destroying the entire Pandava camp, Ashwatthama proceeds towards Duryodhana. At this point, there are many different versions of the interaction between Ashwatthama and Duryodhana.
In some, Ashwatthama believes he has killed the Pandavas and tells this to Duryodhana, who is elated at the news. In others, Ashwatthama knows he has only killed the Upapandavasbut lies to his friend to make him happy in his final moments. In yet others versions, Ashwatthama tells Duryodhana that he killed the Pandavas' children, and Duryodhana is either happy that the Pandava lineage would die out, or distraught that the entire Kuru clan's future has ended.
There is also a version of the story where Ashwatthama arrives to find Duryodhana already dead. This symbolizes the conclusion to the war. According to the Mahabharata, after entering the svarga with a human body on Indra's invitation, Yudhishthira witnessed that Duryodhana "was seated on a beautiful throne and he shone with the splendour of the sun and around him stood in attendance the goddess of heroism and other entitys of righteousness".
Yudhishthira found this insufferable and reminded the dwellers of svarga about his sinful deeds. Following that, Narada smiled at Yudhishthira and explained that Duryodhana had suffered for his sins, and that ultimately, Duryodhana was a warrior who had defended his dharma and fought bravely and valiently.
He kept his three fingers in a raised position and is unable to speak. All the efforts made by his men to understand the meaning proved to be futile. Seeing his plight Krishna approached him and said "I know what issues occupied your mind.
I will address them". Krishna identified the issues as: Not building a fort around HastinapuraNot persuading Vidura to fight the battle, and Not making Ashwatthama the commander-in-chief after the death of Drona. On hearing this Duryodhana closed all the fingers and rested. Duryodhana concluded that these 3 factors should have surely brought him victory. Had he built a fort around Hastinapura, he could have totally avoided the war in the first place.
If Vidura had fought on his side, he would have had the best strategist, even better than Krishna. At last, Duryodhana came to the conclusion that Krishna was, in fact, the avatar of Lord Vishnu. If Duryodhana had named Ashwatthama the commander of the army after the death of Dronavictory would have surely have been his as Ashwatthama was born from "Ansha" of Lord Shiva.
The remorse about under-utilizing Ashwatthama prompted Duryodhana to rethink and make Ashwatthama the commander of his army after his defeat. After the night raid of Ashwatthama on the Pandava camp, Duryodhana felt like he had won the war, as the Pandavas lost everything and everyone they cared about. He is visited by his mother, the righteous Gandhari. As he always had been doing, Duryodhana asks his mother to bless him with victory; Gandhari maintains that she cannot do that.
Duryodhana begs for some aid, and Gandhari, already having lost 99 sons, reluctantly gives in.
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She orders him to take a bath and then come to her as he was born. Puzzled by the request, Duryodhana goes to follow him. After finishing his bath, he is walking back from the lake when he encounters Krishna. Krishna's teases Duryodhana, who bashfully explains the situation to Krishna. Laughing, Krishna chides Duryodhana for appearing before his mother so indecently, planting a seed of doubt in Duryodhana's mind.
Tricked by Krishna, Duryodhana covers his groin area and visits his mother. There, she removes her blindfold, and upon looking at him, her stored merit turns all that she sees into thunderbolt ; Duryodhana becomes indestructible save for area he had covered. Gandhari berates him for failing to listen to his mother, and though Duryodhana is repentant and wants his mother to try again, she informs him that she can no longer do so.
Ultimately, Duryodhana is satisfied with the outcome, as he knows he will face Bhima in mace warfare where hitting below-the-belt is not permitted. As the fight begins, Duryodhana is able to absorb all of Bhima's hits, giving him the upper hand.
However, attempting to fulfill his oath, and prodded by Krishna, Bhima smashes Duryodhana's thigh.
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Thus, it was Krishna's intervention that once against saved the Pandavas and doomed Duryodhana. Evaluation[ edit ] Duryodhana is a popular choice of analysis. His merits, flaws, symbolism, and relevance are widely discussed.
Urubhangam is a Sanskrit play written by Bhasa in the 2nd or 3rd century AD with Duryodhana as its primary protagonist. Written as a tragedy, the drama focuses on his point of view of the events of Mahabharata.