It was a peaceful night but the great warrior Arjun was nothing but peaceful at this moment as he was standing in the balcony of his chamber lost his thought remembering the moments of Karn's death. The hurtful words of his mother still rang in his ears. He was hurt that he had killed his own elder brother. He realised that his brother had faced injustice in his whole life. It was not his mistake being adopted by a suta as his own mother abandoned him in a river when he was a child. He was tagged Sut-putra then and all his talents and capabilities were ignored.
Just then the door of his chamber opened brining Arjun out of his thoughts. He turned and looked at his sons, the Upapandavas entering his room and he walked towards him.
"It's so late, sons. You are still awake?"
"We see you tensed, kakashri." said Prativindhya. "He had killed our brother, he deserved to die. Why are you so upset then?"
Arjun realised that his sons needed to know Karn better than just as the killer of Abhimanyu.
The lads did as directed.
"I had the same thoughts about him, before we got to know that he is our eldest brother and Vaasudev told me a lot about him then." Arjun started.
"Eldest brother?" asked Shrutakarma.
"Yes. You know, Maharathi Karn was an invinvible warrior. He didn't die because he was weaker than me, it was because of the curse." Arjun stated.
"Curse?" all them them said in unison.
"Yes, the curse by the great, Parshurama. He taught archery and war related skills to only Brahmins, and Bhrata Karn being a Sut-putra had to lie to get his training. One afternoon when Shri Parshurama was having a nap on Karna’s lap a Scorpio bit him. But Bhrata, not wanting to wake his guru didn’t react and endured the pain. Shri Parshurama was eventually woken when he felt the blood flowing from Bhrata Karn's wound. He concluded that he couldn’t possibly be a Brahmin, since it was impossible for a Brahmin to endure such a pain and not react. Enraged that his lessons had been acquired through deceit, he cursed that Jyesth Bhrata Karn would forget how to use the Brahmastra when he most needed it."
"He was also curse by the Earth Goddess." Arjun said after a pause. "He once happened to meet a child who had spilled her pot of ghee. He tried consoling the little girl and even offered her new ghee, but the child refused to take it, insisting that she wanted the same ghee. Feeling pity for the kid, he had picked the soil on which the ghee was spilled, and squeezed it so hard. The child got her ghee but the force that Bhrata used was so enormous that it hurt Goddess Earth. In an act of vengeance she cursed him, saying that thr wheel of his chariot would get stuck in soil during a very critical part of the war."
"It was all his fault that caused him the curses." said Shrutsena.
Arjun shook his head. Finally, he decided to tell them about his generosity.
"My brother was the most generous person in this universe. Everyone knows, he had born with the Kavach Kundal which had made him virtually immortal. Knowing that he would eventually encounter me in the war, Vaasudev asked Indradev to disguised himself as a beggar and ask for the Kavach and Kundal. Charity was my Bhrata Karn's very nature. So despite the warning of Surya Dev, and knowing fully well that giving them up would lead to his death, he willingly gave them up when Indra Dev came to ask for them." Arjun said all what Shri Krishna had told him in the morning.
"He had not killed Bhrata Bheem, Nakul and Sahadev when he had chances, because he had promised our mother that his 5 sons would be alive at the end of this fight. In the final battle against me, all these factors came together. His chariot got stuck in the mud. He tried to use the Brahmastra, but due to Guru Parashurama’s curse, he forgot how to use it. As he got down to fix the wheel he had also requested me to stop the battle in lieu of general war etiquette. However Vaasudev Krishna coaxed me to continue stating that he had broken the war etiquettes during the attack against Abhimanyu. I was already enraged because of his insult on Panchali and I attacked him."
The young boys looked at Arjun as he talked about Karn in guilt, regret and pride. They realised, Maharathi Karn was a great warrior.
As they smiled at each other, Arjun felt relieved to have change their views on Karn. He knew just like him, the universe would be proud of his generous brother.