Monday, February 23

The Life of Karna

There’s some stuff which I feel compelled to share with you. Remember I said, Bheeshma and Karna led dreadful lives? Though I elaborated upon Bheeshma, I didn’t talk about the latter. Bear with me; he more than deserves this space...

Karna’s is sucha cursed life! He’s the offspring of Surya and Kunti so to say, but he lived like a sutaputra (son of a charioteer) all his life,
unaware of his true identity. At each stage of his life, he met a hundred setbacks and affronts. When he attempted and succeeded at overcoming one challenge, there were always ten more looming ahead...

When he was young and eager to learn, no guru was ready to coach him coz he was not a kshatriya. In desperation he sought Parashurama, and lied to him so that he would be accepted as a disciple. He was an excellent student, with all the bearings of a grand warrior. Good news, eh? The story’s not over yet...

One afternoon, while his guru slept in his lap, Karna was bitten by an insect. The sting drew blood, but Radheya (=Karna, son of his foster-mother Radha) did not move else his teacher would be disturbed. When the blood touched Parasurama, he awoke and realized that only a kshatriya could have withstood such pain unflinchingly. Scornfully, he cursed Karna that he would forget his teachings when he needed it the most... Whatta reward for such valiant dedication!

The trauma didn’t end there. In his forlorn state, Karna happened to kill a cow that he thought was a wild animal. This act made him the despondent recipient of yet another curse – the owner exclaimed that he, too, would die defenseless, just like his cow had.

Words once said cannot be taken back, and the past cannot be changed. Karna decided to put these incidents behind him, and travel to Hastinapur to display his excellence at the weapons and astras in the Kuru court. There he was snubbed and denied a chance, again coz he was a sootputra. This was just one of the many occasions when he was slighted by the Pandavas and the Kuru elders. He had only one ally – Duryodhana.

The Kaurava prince came as a blessing in the life of the unfortunate Karna. He declared Radheya king of Anga, and always supported and trusted him. Even when Karna held Dury’s wife’s hand while playing a game, Dury did not for a moment suspect him or his intentions... That’s friendship! The same amity was displayed by Karna when he battled and won kingdoms for Duryodhana, and when he fought on his side in the Mahabharata.

Despite knowing that Duryodhana was supporting evil and the war was a lost cause; inspite of the fact that he now knew he was related to the Pandavas; Karna fought on the side of the Kauravas as he could not abandon his only and truest friend at this crucial hour, when he needed him the most. All his life, noone but Dury had believed and loved Karna. How could Radheya forget that? How could Karna ignore his generosity and favors?

So much misery and injustice all around - Karna attended Draupadi’s swayamvara. He possibly would have completed the task and won Dro for his wife, had she not surprised him with her gross dishonor of his pedigree. Krishna, too, was no saint – He informed Karna the truth about his birth and identity, but he did not inform the same to the Pandavas.
(Else the war would have never happened! The Pandavas would have happily included Karna, their eldest brother in their fold, and handed him the reigns of Bharatvarsha with pleasure and joy.)

Karna, who had more piety and veracity than Dharamaputra Yudhishtira. Karna, who was a hundred times better than Indra’s son Arjuna at archery and warfare. Karna, the epitome of benevolence and merit. A marvel reduced to nothingness by the games of fate...

Karna vowed to fulfil every command/request asked of him at noon. Kunti and Indra exploited this superbly. Kunti was promised that 5 Pandavas would always remain (meaning either he or Arjuna would stay alive along with the other 4, not both together). And to Indra, Karna gave his golden kavacha-kundala, bestowed on him by his father.

However, as warned by his Sun dad, Karna asked Indra for his Shakti in return. He wished to kill Arjuna with it (even after he knew their true relation), but Fate had never befriended him and Luck always sided with his rivals. Krishna sacrificed Ghatotkacha to the Shakti as Karna had to destroy the remarkable rakshasa in any which way. And now, none could change what kismet had ordained – the murder of Karna at the very hands of his own brother Arjuna...

I am not saying Karna is flawless. He ridiculed the Pandavas and Droupadi during the game of dice. He participated in the disgraceful slaying of Abhimanyu. However, is there anyone who is spotless? Even the symbol of truth Yudi lied once to kill Drona. Krishna played a million tricks to achieve his ends. Bhishma watched quietly as the Pandavas lost everything... Everyone erred, but none was punished as brutally by destiny as Karna...

Apart from the fights, hardly ever has Karna been mentioned in a good light in
Menon’s Mahbharata. So, I was thrilled when I saw an entire page dedicated to him! One full page where Krishna praises Karna for his strengths. Kaleje wich tthandak pey gayi...

There are so many more stories about this warrior that are worth sharing. You can check out more details on google and
wiki (which I have used in some places for reference while scripting this post.)

Peace be upon him! And may no body on earth ever have to undergo such wretchedness...

- Princess

P.S : It's been a lengthy and intensive post... So, I'm gona give you guys a break tomorrow! Come back the day after for something different and exciting!! Cheerio!


Varunavi said...

Enjoyed reading the post.Came to ur blog through ranu's blog.
U seems to be a passionate writer,i loved ur writing.
I have blog rolled u.

Siladitya said...

Did Steve Harvey copy the book title Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man

and theme from an earlier book?

Book with same title & theme copyrighted and published by Sharon P. Carson in 2003

CHICAGO, IL – Sharon P. Carson the author of the original title: Act Like A Lady –Think

Like A Man, watched the February 27th episode of the Ophra show on which Steve Harvey was

promoting his book of the same title. She was hoping that Steve would reveal to Oprah

where he got the title and the theme for the book. It just seemed odd to her that his book

had the same title and theme as her book that was copy written in 2003.

Upon subsequently purchasing the book, she found some interesting parallels and realized

that it is not unusual for a high profiled person to take a great title and theme, rewrite

a book and use their celebrity status to sell it. This she says happens too often to the

unsung poets, authors and entrepreneurs of the world.

Steve wrote in his book that his hope was to “empower you with a wide-open look into the

minds of men”. Sharon P. Carson wrote in her book in 2003 that her hope was for women to

gain some insight into how men think in terms of relationships. Sharon also noted that in

chapter 8 of Steve Harvey’s book titled “Why Men Cheat” he came to the same conclusion that

she did in chapter 37 of her book, titled “Why would a man cheat”, and the answer was,

“because they can”.

Sharon actively promoted her book before the release in January 2009 of Steve Harvey’s

book, and would not like to see her promotion efforts hindered. She feels that her book has

much to offer from a woman’s perspective and seeks to empower women to practice self love

and tough love in relationships.

Before the publication of Steve Harvey’s book of the same title, Sharon bought the domain

name: from which she has been selling her book. She has

also held seminars with women at a Chicago University in promotion of her book, and can be

viewed on the following youtube clip as she was being interviewed on a cable television

program about her book in 2007

Mindful of all the self - published poets and authors who have a hard time finding

publishers for their works, Sharon is currently consulting with attorneys regarding her

options, and hopes that her book with the first and original title of Act Like A Lady Think

Like A Man will finally receive the recognition it deserves for the wisdom, encouragement,

and empowerment that it provides to women.

Lonely Princess said...

Ahem... Thanks Siladitya for this very interesting pc of info...

Jus a quick Q - how does it relate to the Life of Karna? Or am I missin a point sumwhere...