Sunday, 27 July 2014

Karna: What are less known stories about Karna?

Karna: What are less known stories about 


Karna?



This incident took place on the seventeenth day of the war of Kurukshetra.

Arjuna had killed Karna's son Vrishasena in order to make Karna experience the pain that he himself had suffered when Abhimanyu was brutally executed. But Karna refused to grieve his son's death and continued to fight Arjuna to keep his word and fulfill Duryodhana's destiny.

Finally when Karna and Arjuna came face to face, a serpent called Naga Ashwasena secretly entered Karna's quiver. This serpent was the one whose mother was relentlessly burnt when Arjuna had set Khandava-prastha ablaze. Ashwasena was able to save himself because he was in his mother's womb at that time. Destined to avenge his mother's death by killing Arjuna, he transformed himself into an arrow and waited his turn. Karna unknowingly released Naga Ashwasena at Arjuna. Realizing that this was no ordinary arrow, Lord Krishna, Arjuna's charioteer, sunk the wheel of the chariot in the ground by pressing his feet against its floor in order to save Arjuna's life. This made the Naga, who was speedily advancing like a thunderbolt, miss his target and hit Arjuna's crown instead, causing it to fall on the ground. Disheartened, Naga Ashwasena returned to Karna and asked him to fire him towards Arjuna once again, this time making a promise that he would definitely not miss his target. After hearing Ashwasena's words, this is what the mighty AngaRaj said to him:

"It is beneath my stature as a warrior to shoot the same arrow twice. Find some other way to avenge your family's death."

Saddened by Karna's words, Ashwasena tried to kill Arjuna on his own but failed miserably. Arjuna was able to finish him off in a single stroke.

Who knows what would have happened had Karna released Ashwasena for the second time. He even might have killed Arjuna or at least would have injured him. But he upheld his principles and did not use the presented opportunity. Such was the character of AngaRaj. He was the man of his words and the epitome of morality. He was the ultimate warrior.


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