Your thoughts on... Karn?

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Posted: 1 months ago

Okay.... I see these contemporary Mahabharata & other serials glorifying Karn to no end & now people have this misconception that Karn was the true hero of Mahabharata but was always looked down upon or cheated out of his due because of his cast. 

I see people even claiming that he was way greater warrior than Arjun but Arjun somehow manipulated people into believing in his skills with Dronacharya & Krishna's backing smiley36


Your thoughts on this? And I am always open to new information. If there really was such case that Karn could defeat Arjun with ease but he didn't because of his mahanta or because Arjun cheated.... I would like to know about it.😅

Posted: 1 months ago

Originally posted by .Lonewalker.


Okay.... I see these contemporary Mahabharata & other serials glorifying Karn to no end & now people have this misconception that Karn was the true hero of Mahabharata but was always looked down upon or cheated out of his due because of his cast. 

I see people even claiming that he was way greater warrior than Arjun but Arjun somehow manipulated people into believing in his skills with Dronacharya & Krishna's backing smiley36


Your thoughts on this? And I am always open to new information. If there really was such case that Karn could defeat Arjun with ease but he didn't because of his mahanta or because Arjun cheated.... I would like to know about it.😅


Not really a fan of either Karna or Arjuna. The point on who is the greatest warrior between them is moot as I feel both were equally talented and could defeat the other on their day. 


The reason why many people think Karna is a greater warrior than Arjuna is because during their final duel, Shri Krishna had to manipulate so many things to make Arjuna win such as: getting Karna to use his ace astra (forget the name) on Ghatotkacha rather than on Arjuna, Indra getting his kavach and kundal, Krishna revealing the truth about his parentage (mind games) weakening his resolve, his curse by Parshuram etc.  This is all balanced by the battle of Virata in which Arjuna alone defeated not just Karna but Bhishma, Duryodhana and others. 


But Mahabharata is less about the skill of a person than about the character. 

Rather than their skills in archery, I like to discuss on their character. 


Karna has been unduly glorified and many things being said about his mahaanta are actually not mentioned in Vyasa's Mahabharata but an imagination of later authors. 


Karna had great qualities such as being daanveer, a great and loyal friend, more or less he was towards Dharma etc. 


Some things I don't like about him is his misogyny, his arrogance (displayed several times) and his need to be validated by the same society he berates. Why did he gate crash the Kuru Rangabhoomi? It was for the princes of kingdom only. He wasn't invited. Why did he feel that society/people should hail him as the best archer? If he was being targetted for being a Sutaputra by the society, then he wasn't the only one. I'm sure his other brothers would also be. 


In fact he got good or better parents in his fate in the form of Adhiratha and Radha Ma (better than Kunti anyways) and yet he laments his fate. Again Karna also is hot tempered: his killing of Abhimanyu was unjust. If he was the best archer, why couldn't he best that boy alone?


One thing I never understood was why did he hate Arjuna so much? What had he done personally to Karna. I don't think they even interacted before bthe Rangabhoomi scene.


The thing I hated most were his comments to Krishna Panchali in Dyut Sabha. Misogynist to the boot.


Overall he's a fascinating character i.e. Vyasa's Karna, not the other "Karna"s being shown on TV or books. 

Posted: 1 months ago

About a week ago, There was a poll on IF about favorite Mahabharata character and I had selected Karna because of the stories I have read about it, so I can say with experience that the narrative around Mahabharata for the audience who haven't read it (Like Myself) is built to favor Karna. 

My whole opinion on him changed after I read about him sl*t shaming Draupadi and egging Duryodhana to disrobe her. 


You see even if Draupadi refrained him from participating in her Swayamvar because he belonged to lower caste, doesn't justify what he did to her. I don't see the difference between people who throw acid in women's face on rejection and Karna, he encouraged assault on Draupadi because she rejected him. A great warrior would never do that, he would fight in a battle rather than resort to treachery. 


Now, Who is better between Arjun and Karna as a warrior - 

1 Arjun defeated Drupad - Karna failed (Arjun 1 - Karna 0)

2 Karna couldn't string the bow and Arjun won that competition (Arjun 2 - Karna 0)


3 I think there was one more war where Duryodhana asked him for help and Karna flew, Arjun had used some special weapon in it and he won (3-0)


I don't know much about what happened in the great war, but Karna had traded his Kavach, he didn't donate it. Karna being defeated by Drupad and other people says that his kavach wasn't really doing anything for him, so he got a pretty good deal from He used it on Bheema's son, it was his choice, Karna did trick and kill Abhimanyu. 


There's a campaign to promote Karna and put down Arjuna - Krushna 🙃🙃 I am example of people who made their mind hearing these stories and I disliked Arjun - Krushna for cheating on Karna 🙆‍♀️🙆‍♀️🙆‍♀️

Posted: 1 months ago

According to the KMG and Kaliprasanna versions, Karna was a student of Drona (along with many children of Hastinapura Kshatriyas).

Here's a clarification, Suta was still a Kshatriya sub-caste, just lower than the princes (so Ekalavya was not at all a Kshatriya, and hence was rejected).

Only when Karna saw Arjun and Ashwatthama begin to get the divya-astras, he asked Drona for it. Drona refused by saying ke Ashwi was his kid, and Arjun had served him better than any blood relative of his, that's why he gave those shastras to them. He also said ke Karna would have to earn it (whixh he did by serving Parashurama later).

From a very young age, he was friends with the Dury gang and participated in all the bullying of the Pandavas.

Since both Arjun and his passion was in archery, there was obviously a latent bitterness, and Arjun's preferential treatment by Drona only aggravated Karna's jealousy. This manifested clearly in the ranga-bhoomi incident, and from there this bachpan ka bitterness flourished into full-fledged enmity.

Edited by proteeti - 1 months ago
Posted: 1 months ago

Overrated, overhyped and not worth the love he gets. The reason for this is the no of misconceptions spread about him via TV shows, popular literature and fiction. But these aren't true, if you read the actual epic, there isn't much to like about him, IMO. 

Posted: 1 months ago

Originally posted by Eloquent



Not really a fan of either Karna or Arjuna. The point on who is the greatest warrior between them is moot as I feel both were equally talented and could defeat the other on their day. 


The reason why many people think Karna is a greater warrior than Arjuna is because during their final duel, Shri Krishna had to manipulate so many things to make Arjuna win such as: getting Karna to use his ace astra (forget the name) on Ghatotkacha rather than on Arjuna, Indra getting his kavach and kundal, Krishna revealing the truth about his parentage (mind games) weakening his resolve, his curse by Parshuram etc.  This is all balanced by the battle of Virata in which Arjuna alone defeated not just Karna but Bhishma, Duryodhana and others. 


But Mahabharata is less about the skill of a person than about the character. 

Rather than their skills in archery, I like to discuss on their character. 


Karna has been unduly glorified and many things being said about his mahaanta are actually not mentioned in Vyasa's Mahabharata but an imagination of later authors. 


Karna had great qualities such as being daanveer, a great and loyal friend, more or less he was towards Dharma etc. 


Some things I don't like about him is his misogyny, his arrogance (displayed several times) and his need to be validated by the same society he berates. Why did he gate crash the Kuru Rangabhoomi? It was for the princes of kingdom only. He wasn't invited. Why did he feel that society/people should hail him as the best archer? If he was being targetted for being a Sutaputra by the society, then he wasn't the only one. I'm sure his other brothers would also be. 


In fact he got good or better parents in his fate in the form of Adhiratha and Radha Ma (better than Kunti anyways) and yet he laments his fate. Again Karna also is hot tempered: his killing of Abhimanyu was unjust. If he was the best archer, why couldn't he best that boy alone?


One thing I never understood was why did he hate Arjuna so much? What had he done personally to Karna. I don't think they even interacted before bthe Rangabhoomi scene.


The thing I hated most were his comments to Krishna Panchali in Dyut Sabha. Misogynist to the boot.


Overall he's a fascinating character i.e. Vyasa's Karna, not the other "Karna"s being shown on TV or books. 


The debate on whether Arjun was the greater warrior or Karn is continuing mainly due these misrepresentation of his character in tv serials.

If I remember correctly, Drona did not refuse to teach Karn because of his cast like it's shown in tv serials these days. Karna was Drona's student & he learned quite a lot there along with the Kuru princes & few other students. Karn's animosity towards Arjun came into place seeing Drona always touted Arjun as his best student & this made Karn jealous. And if it is really so, Karn was egoistic to no end smiley12 A guru can definitely decide on who is his best disciple & that's not favouritism. When the time came to teach the advanced weapons or divya-astras, Drona decided on teaching these only to Arjun among his students. When Karn wanted to know the reason of this blatant favouritism, Drona replied that he is teaching the one who has the "yogyata" to learn them. Here by "yogyata" Drona meant capability, since in his opinion Arjun was the best student & Karn misunderstood it as a taunt to his cast. He thought that Drona considers Arjun yogya because Arjun was Ksatriya where as Karn was a Suta. At this point he went to Parsuram to learn the Divya - Astras and lied that he was a Brahmin.


It is quite clear from this incident only who was the better warrior among them. A guru can not judge his shishyas wrong. If Drona believed Arjun was the best, he very probably was the best among the all Drona had come across. If Karn couldn't digest it & felt animosity towards Arjun because of it, it only proves how egoistic & envious he was. And after that he relentlessly tried to prove he was better than Arjun & his portrayal in tv serials now have even started to make people believe in it.


As for the final battle & manipulation by Krishna, I think Krishna just wanted to lessen any chance which might pave a path for Kaurav's win. Even if the one in front of you is weaker than you, by sheer chance or luck, there's always a possibility that he will best you on a given day. Krishna wanted to remove any such chance & confirm that Arjun has the upper hand. Otherwise how great an warrior Karn is, is quite evident from the way he killed Abhimanyu smiley11 I mean seriously.... carrying on a joint slaying attack on one single, un-armed Yoddha after breaking his weapons by trickery? That's how much a Yoddha Karn is. smiley11 And people now consider this guy a greater hero thanks to all these tv serials. Even Avimanyu was a better warrior than Karn was IMO.

@Bold I don't think he was much of a Dharma follower. If he was, he wouldn't have backed up Duryodhan. He was loyal to his friend, but a not a Dharma follower. 
And that horrendous comment about Draupadi smiley11 Even if she refused to marry him based on cast, how could he s**t shame her & encourage her disrobing? He is a typical villain. A villain who is now being glorified.


I wondered whether there was more to it. Whether there were instances where he really triumphed over Arjun...but looks like there is none. It's all mis-representation by tv serials because audience love to see someone rising from the dust & always sympathise with someone who succeeds on his merit when though society & norm challenges him. 

Posted: 1 months ago

Originally posted by NoraSM


About a week ago, There was a poll on IF about favorite Mahabharata character and I had selected Karna because of the stories I have read about it, so I can say with experience that the narrative around Mahabharata for the audience who haven't read it (Like Myself) is built to favor Karna

My whole opinion on him changed after I read about him sl*t shaming Draupadi and egging Duryodhana to disrobe her. 


You see even if Draupadi refrained him from participating in her Swayamvar because he belonged to lower caste, doesn't justify what he did to her. I don't see the difference between people who throw acid in women's face on rejection and Karna, he encouraged assault on Draupadi because she rejected him. A great warrior would never do that, he would fight in a battle rather than resort to treachery. 


Now, Who is better between Arjun and Karna as a warrior - 

1 Arjun defeated Drupad - Karna failed (Arjun 1 - Karna 0)

2 Karna couldn't string the bow and Arjun won that competition (Arjun 2 - Karna 0)


3 I think there was one more war where Duryodhana asked him for help and Karna flew, Arjun had used some special weapon in it and he won (3-0)


I don't know much about what happened in the great war, but Karna had traded his Kavach, he didn't donate it. Karna being defeated by Drupad and other people says that his kavach wasn't really doing anything for him, so he got a pretty good deal from He used it on Bheema's son, it was his choice, Karna did trick and kill Abhimanyu. 


There's a campaign to promote Karna and put down Arjuna - Krushna 🙃🙃 I am example of people who made their mind hearing these stories and I disliked Arjun - Krushna for cheating on Karna 🙆‍♀️🙆‍♀️🙆‍♀️

@ Underlined: Sadly yes. It seems television shows are all about trps & these days audience love heroes who have been discriminated, looked down upon & still who have risen from the dust through his merit. So Karna's character is being modified to suit this type. Karna was a confused villain at best in my opinion.


@ Bold : Are you talking about the Virat war? Yes, arjun did single handedly defeat the whole Kuru Army, injured Karn severely and also cut the string of his bow which made Karn flee. And he also defeated many mighty warriors from Kuru army including Duryodhan, Dussasan, Vikarna, Dussaha, Aswathama etc & tired out Drona. Also Arjun used mystical astra, Sammohana, which puts everyone in the enemy army except Bhishma , in a trance. I think it's a great fit for any warrior to single handedly vanquish a whole army & bring victory.


And if you are talking about any other war, I would love to know more smiley36


@ Orange : True. Karna was not cheated out of his kavach & kundal. First of all those kavach & kundal were divine weapons, originally from Swarga's weaponry. Surya Dev, Karna's father had taken them from there and gave it to him for his protection. Now during the Kurukshetra war, no one else had such extra protections, so karn having these extra, unbreakable gadgets were not really fair to others. If Karn had won thanks to these, it was hardly his credit.  I think that was the reason Indra took it back from him. But he was not left high & dry. He was given another weapon named Vasava Shakti in its place which was a deadly weapon. 

Edited by .Lonewalker. - 1 months ago
Posted: 1 months ago

Originally posted by proteeti


According to the KMG and Kaliprasanna versions, Karna was a student of Drona (along with many children of Hastinapura Kshatriyas).

Here's a clarification, Suta was still a Kshatriya sub-caste, just lower than the princes (so Ekalavya was not at all a Kshatriya, and hence was rejected).

Only when Karna saw Arjun and Ashwatthama begin to get the divya-astras, he asked Drona for it. Drona refused by saying ke Ashwi was his kid, and Arjun had served him better than any blood relative of his, that's why he gave those shastras to them. He also said ke Karna would have to earn it (whixh he did by serving Parashurama later).

From a very young age, he was friends with the Dury gang and participated in all the bullying of the Pandavas.

Since both Arjun and his passion was in archery, there was obviously a latent bitterness, and Arjun's preferential treatment by Drona only aggravated Karna's jealousy. This manifested clearly in the ranga-bhoomi incident, and from there this bachpan ka bitterness flourished into full-fledged enmity.


Yes! This! I remember reading it in multiple places but all the tv serials including Star Plus Mahabharat shows that Drona refused to teach him because of his cast smiley44Karn was very much Drona's student & learnt along with Arjun. It's only when Drona refused to give him Divya-Astras, Karn decided that Drona was doing favouritism & went off to learn them from Parasuram by lying smiley12


Mahabharat 


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