Wednesday 24 October 2012

Karna and his sons

If Karna can be called the tragic hero of the Mahabharata, Duryodhana is the tragic villain. Both of them had adequate opportunities to get their act together but refused to do so. They become victims of their own destinies. Unfortunately, they both end up losing their kith and kin too.
Let me first take the case of Karna who had nine sons- Vrasasena, Sudama, Shatrunjaya, Dvipata, Susena, Satyaseam Chitrasena, Susarma(Banasena) and Vrishakethu. Of them eight perished and only one survived. Ironically this son became an ally of Arjuna, the sworn enemy of Karna.  
The Mahabharata says Sudama died during the events that followed the Swayamvara of Draupadi. Bheema killed Susena, while Arjuna accounted for Dvipata and Shatrunjaya and Vrasena. Tragically, Karna was the commander of the Kaurava forced when Vrasena was killed.  
Satyasena, Chitrasena and Susarma were killed by Nakula.  
Vrishasena was the eldest son of Karna. He had successfully staved off a challenge from Nakula during the Kurukshetra war and even unseated him from his chariot. Nakula then mounted the chariot of Bheema. When he saw Arjuna nearby, he called out to him and urged him to kill Vrishasena. Arjuna then requests Krishna who is his charioteer to go towards Vrishasena. “I will slay him under his father’s gaze”, he says.    
Vrishasena is undeterred by Arjuna’s reputation as the foremost archer of the time. He showers Arjuna with so many arrows that tem of them pierce his arms. When ten arrows pierce Krishna on his arms too, Arjuna is enraged.
Arjuna calls out to the Kauravas, including Karna, that he will kill Vrishasena. He then turns to Karna and exclaims in anger, “You killed my son Abhimanyu in an unfair combat. Today, I will kill your son”.
Arjuna then proceeds to show why he is regarded as the greatest archer of all times. He shoots ten arrows at Vrishasena weakening him even as his father Karna watched on helplessly. Arjuna fires four razor headed arrows, cutting off Vrishasena’s bow, his tow arms and then his head.
Karna weeps aloud when he sees the head of his son severed from the body. He curses Arjuna and challenged him to a battle.
The only son to survive the Kurukshetra war and also Karna was Vrishakethu. The Pandavas then took him under their wing. Vrishaketu accompanied Arjuna in is military campaigns against Sudhava and Babruvahana. He also participated in the Ashwamedha Yagna conducted by the Pandavas.
Arjuna had great affection to Vrishakethu. Krishna too was affectionate. Vrishaketu is believed to be the last mortal on earth to understand and know the use of  Brahmastra, Varunastra, Agni and Vayuastra. This knowledge died with him as Krishna ordered him not to reveal it to any person. Vrishaketu was killed by Babruvahana.
Karna had two wives. His first wife,Vrushali, was the daughter of a sarathi (chariot driver). He also married a friend of Duryodhana’s wife Bhanumati.
Duryodhan and Bhanumathi had one son called Lakshman and a daughter Lakshmana. The daughter was kidnapped by Samba, one of Krishna’s sons.


  1. And yet Arjuns lineage is Tomar, sitting in Chambal.

    karan son Lohsen had Prince Dhillon father of

    Sangha, Malhi, Dhindsa, Dhillon and Dosanjh Jatt clans.

    Need I Say more?

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾ।ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ।

  2. Karna was a great warrior. Far better than most of the greats, but inferior to many, especially Arjuna.

    Why Arjuna was the greatest:

    1. He had overcome sleep with great austerities
    2. He could fight day and night without any visual cues, food and water
    3. He could fight with both hands equally skillfully(ambidextrous)
    4. He knew how to use the Sudarshan Chakra of Krishna(that's why he was call dwiti-krishna)
    5. He was highly disciplined means he had patience, courage and determination
    6. All Devatas considered him the greatest so they gave him all Divyastras
    7. The great warriors of that time rated him the highest (Bhisma, Drona, Kripacharya, Aswathama, Salya, Krishna, Satyaki, Drupada and many others)
    8. He was obedient and well behaved and had the blessings of all elders.
    9. He was driven by duty not inferiority complex
    10 Krishna chose him to deliver the Gita gyan for his potential.....
    11. His Guru Parshurama cursed him for karna's own fault. Those who think bad things were done to him, they should remember this.
    12. He was cursed by another Brahmin for his recklessness. This speaks about his arrogance.

    There are many such reasons why he was the greatest. He has never been defeated by anybody. He has defeated Karna many times but Karna never defeated him. Karna was protected from Arjuna by his Divya-kavacha and kundala, when he was no more protected by those, Arjuna finally killed him.

    People always have pity for him because he was victim of the circumstances. For that reason people always find reasons to make him look greater than Arjuna. But the facts present that when it came to decisive fight Arjuna always endured till the last.