The Battle Between Karna and Arjuna: Was it a Battle Between Good and Evil ?

M G SinghStarred Page By M G Singh, 20th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/187zh443/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Philosophy>Eastern

The battle between Arjuna and karna is considered a classic battle between good and eveil, but there are no demarcating lines.

Two Famous Brothers

I would like to introduce to my American friends to two characters from the Mahabharta, who were both brothers. They are Karna and Arjuna. Both became adverseries and that by itself is another tale. One aspect of their life is the most celebrated battle between them in the Mahabharata. This was a fantastic duel between the brothers.

Karna was the elder brother, but as he was born out of wedlock, his mother Kunti set him adrift in a boat in the river. He was recused by a Charioteer and brought up as his son. Arjuna was the third son of Kunte and was much respected as a warrior and great archer.

The Oath of Karna

The Mahabharta relates that Karna was humiliated time and again especially during the swayamvara of Draupadi and driven away as he was supposed to be of menial caste. He was given shelter by Duryodhana the evil genius and enemy of the Pandavas( Arjuna and his brothers).

Karna was thus beholden to Duryodhana and he promised Duryodhana he would kill the Pandavas. When Kunti the mother came to know of the oath of Karna she went at night to Karna and told him he was her son and he should join his brothers. Karna politely refused but promised her that he would only kill Arjuna and spare the other Pandavas brothers. He thus said that either he or Arjuna would die and yet 5 Pandavas would remain

the Sparing of Bheema

It is recorded that the mighty Bheema the third brother of the Pandavas was defeated in battle by Karna, but as per his promise to Kunte he spared Bhīma. it is mentioned that Bheema brought in his elder brother Hanuman to help him but to no avail as the great warrior Karna decimated Bhima ( Also spelled Bheema), but spared his life.

Killing of Karna

Karna became the commander of the army of Duryodhana and the Pandavas were scared as Karna was a mighty warrior. He and Arjuna met in single combat. Arjuna‘s chariot was driven by none else than the lord himself Krishna. In repeated battles Arjuna was defeated and Krishna was worried. Then a miracle happened the Chariot of Karna sank in the mud and Karna was incapacitated. He requested Arjuna to wait a few moments till he pulled the chariot out of the wet mud.

Good vs evil ? There is no answer

The Lord has his own ways, he exhorted Arjuna to kill Karna when he was pulling the chariot out of the mud and was defenseless. Arjuna hesitated but the lord told him it was essentially a fight between good and evil and killing Karna was essential to defeat Duryodhana. Arjuna then killed a defenseless Karna.

This episode makes me think. Karna was greatly wronged in life and he was killed when he was defenseless, yet his killing was essential to defeat Duryodhana. Such is life!
All photos from wiki free licence. Can be also read on my blog wwwemge.blogspot.com

Tags

Good And Evil, Karna And Arjuna, The Lord Krishna, The Pandavas

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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Comments

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
20th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks for sharing an excellent article. I loved the pictures.

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author avatar M G Singh
21st Sep 2014 (#)

thank you Nancy for commenting

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th Sep 2014 (#)

wonderful telling of this Madan and the photos are superb...

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author avatar M G Singh
21st Sep 2014 (#)

Thank you Carolina

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author avatar Ptrikha
20th Sep 2014 (#)

It is like a good person siding with evil in a battle, and whose death becomes essential to let the good side (in this case Pandavas) win.

So, Arjun was bound by his "Karma" to kill Karna, though arguably Karna was a better warrior.

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author avatar M G Singh
21st Sep 2014 (#)

Nice comment PTrikha

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
20th Sep 2014 (#)

Your story should interest the westerners in our epic Mahabharata. Well written.

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author avatar M G Singh
21st Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks GV, nic eto have you on board

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author avatar Bhalchandra Matere
22nd Sep 2014 (#)

Good article for western culture's knowledge base.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
28th Sep 2014 (#)

Very interesting post and one of a kind writing too, cheers!

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
26th Oct 2014 (#)

good post very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

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