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

ladybird By ladybird, 23rd Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Philosophy>Eastern

Karna was killed by a ruse in the battle of Kurukshetra as related in the Mahabharta. The killing evokes strong emotions and one wonders what was the motive of Lord Krishna

A battle to think about

One of the most celebrated battles in the Mahabharata is the duel between Karna and Arjuna. 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.
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.
It is recorded that the mighty Bhīma the third brother of the Pandavas was defeated in battle, but as per his promise to Kunte he spared Bhīma.

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.

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!

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Arjuna, Karna, Lord Krishna, Mahabharta

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I am a lawyer who is fond of riding and active sports

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