Karn was the son of
Kuntee an Soorya Dev. Since he was born to Kuntee
when she was maiden, she flowed him in Yamunaa River. He was born with Kavach
(armor) and Kundal (earrings). He was brought up by Adhirath (also called
Vikartan, the chariot driver of Dhritraashtra)
and his wife Raadhaa. They adopted him as their son and named him Vasusen.
Since his mother's name was Raadhaa, one of his names was Raadheya, and because
his father's one name was Vikartan his another name was Vaikartan too. Vaikartan
also means "who has peeled off his skin of natural armor". He was
called as "Vrish" also. MBH mentions his seven sons' names - Vrishsen,
Sushen, Satyasandh, Satyasen, Bhaanusen, Prasenjit, and Chitrasen.
Karn and Parashuraam
When Karn grew a little, Adhirath wanted to teach him to drive chariot, but
he refused to learn it and told him to learn archery. There was no other
better teacher than Drone to learn archery, so he took him to Drone and
requested him to teach archery to his son. As he saw Karn he asked his name.
He told his name as Raadheya. Drone immediately said - "This name does
not suit you, your name should be Karn." But Drone refused to teach him
on the basis of that he taught only Kshatriya and princes. At the same time
Karn saw Ashwatthaamaa in the Gurukul. He asked Drone - "Who is he and
what he is doing here?" Drone said - "He is my son and is my disciple."
he curtly said - "According to your conditions he is neither Kshatriya,
nor prince." And he came back.
He wandered around in
search of a Guru for quite some time then landed at
Parashuraam's place. When he finished his education, he asked Parashuraam
to ask for Guru Dakshinaa. Parashuraam was so happy to have Karn as his disciple
that he told that he was very proud of having him as his disciple and he would
take it at leisure.
But once Parshuraam
Jee was sleeping keeping his head in Karn's lap, that a scorpion climbed up
the thigh of Karn on which Parashuraam's head was kept, and started stinging
in it. The blood came out, but Karn sat quietly. A little after Parashuraam
Jee woke up and saw his bleeding thigh. He asked - "Why didn't you move
it?" He replied - "You were sleeping, if I moved it, your sleep
would have disturbed." Parashuraam Jee said - "This type of patience
is not found in Braahman. No Braahman can bear so much pain, so tell me who
are you?" Karn confessed that he was a Soot-Putra. Parashuraam Jee filled
with rage, and gave him Shaap - "Whatever you have learned from me, you
will not be able to use it when you will need it most. You will forget
everything." And he went away. Karn pleaded for his forgiveness. Then he
said - "My words cannot go lie, but you will get abundant fame. You will
be known as the best archer, and you will be famous for your generosity."
Karn and A Braahman
While Karn was practicing his archery one day, he shot an arrow and it hit a
cow. Te owner of that cow cursed him that "since he has killed a cow when
she was trying to come out from a ditch, he would also die when his chariot's
wheel will stuck in a ditch and he would be trying to take it out from it."
Karn and Duryodhan
When Karn asked Drone to participate in the demonstration of Kaurav and
Paandav to see what Arjun could do he could also do, Drone denied it on
the bases that he was not a Kshatriya, and he was not a king. Hearing this
Duryodhan got up and said - "A warrior
does not prove to be a Kshatriya, secondly he appointed him the king of
Ang Desh. Thus he saved him from insult. but unfortunately the time for
demonstration was over and the matter was also over.
Karn and Indra
Because of his Kavach and Kundal he was invincible in the whole Tri-Lok.
Even Vishnu's Chakra could not harm him. To save his own son Arjun, Indra
had to come to beg his Kavach and Kundal assuming a Braahman's form.
Although Karn's father, Soorya, had already warned him about this and asked
him not to part with them, but he did not agree for that. He said - "You
know that after taking bath and worshipping you I donate to anybody whoever
comes at that time. I cannot say no to him even if he asks my life."
Then Soorya Dev suggested to ask Indra's Power in exchange of them. The same
thing happened. Indra Dev came in the disguise of a Braahman to ask for his
Kavach and Kundal, he certainly gave them to him and asked his Power. Indra
also gave his Power to him saying that "you will not be able to use it
twice, and after the use of first time, it will come back to me." Karn
had to use that Power on Ghatotkach (Bheem's son) on the request of Duryodhan.
Although he had saved it to kill Arjun but he could not displease
Karn and Arjun
Karn's only wish was to have fight with Arjun. Karn was killed by Arjun in
MBH war on the 17th day. His enmity with Arjun began the day Drone declared
Arjun as the best archer - the demonstration day for Kaurav and Paandav's
skills in weapons in front of Bheeshm, Dhritraashtra, and city people etc.
There was no other way to kill him except to take his Kavach and Kundal off
his body. That is why Indra had to beg for his Kavach and Kundal. He gave
his Kavach and Kindal but on the advice of his father he asked him to give
his Power named "Naikartan" to him to kill Arjun. Although he
knew that that Power will not work on Arjun, still he wanted to use it on
him; but eventually he had to use it to kill Ghatotkach,
According to Braahman's Shaap Arjun killed him when
the wheel of his chariot got deep in the soil and in spite of his best efforts
his Saarathee could not move the chariot. Then he himself came down to take it
out but the Shaap wouldn't allow it to come out. Krishn said to Arjun to kill
Karn at the same time. Karn requested him to wait until he is able to take out
his wheel but Krishn instigated Arjun and Arjun killed him at the same time.
Besides, according to
Parashuraam's Shaap he could not remember the Mantra to invoke Brahm Astra
to kill Arjun when he wanted to do so
x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~x
Karn's whole life is
very sad. When he was born, his mother threw him and he could not get the
affection of mother. He searched for his lineage for his whole life. When he
grew up, he could not find a Guru to teach him because of being a Soot Putra;
when he found a Guru, he gave him Shaap which destroyed his all education.
He again bagged a Shaap of a Braahman. When he became young, he could not
marry Draupadee. Besides he always strived for a fight with Arjun; and when
he got an opportunity to fight with Arjun, Arjun's father Indra begged for
his Kavach and Kundal. And he died in a very pathetic situation.