The temptation of Karna Marks 5
Q. Name the foster parents of Karna. How does he show gratitude towards them?
Ans. Adhiratha is the foster father and his wife Radha is the foster mother of Karna. They had discovered him as an abandoned infant. Through the aura of the infant they instantly had known that he might belong to some higher caste; still they adopted him and loved him so much that Karna had never doubted them as foster parents. Now when he comes to about his real identity as the son of Kunti and the Sun God, he cannot but acknowledge the same, but he discards the idea of shifting to Kunti’s palace and join the Pandavas. Instead he prefers to bear all the responsibilities of a son to his foster parents only.
Q. Does Karna know the real identity of Duryodhana?
Ans. Karna has been patronised by Duryodhana while rest of the society has insulted and banned him for his lower birth. He has been made the king of Anga by Duryodhana. Hence when Srikrishna teaches him the lessons of Dharma and exposes the evil plans of Duryodhana, Karna realises the true self of the conspiracy that he had unknowingly become a part of. But he does not have any way to undo the facilities that he has enjoyed so far from Duryodhana. Hence it now hardly matters to him whether Duryodhana had evil intensions behind making friendship with Karna or not. He is duty-bound to serve him and oblige to the laws of friendship and gratitude.
Q. What idea does Karna possess about the righteousness of Yudhishthira?
Ans. The righteousness of Yudhishthira is known to all. He is so modest and lawful no any character is deprived in his kingdom. Though Karna belongs to the enemy camp, he possesses same idea about Yudhishthira. When he comes to know his true identity as the eldest brother of the Pandavas and is offered the crown in the Pandavas kingdom, he immediately apprehends that Yudhishthira must not know this. Otherwise he himself would forgo the seat of king and ask Karna to take over. In that case Karna also would be compelled to present the same seat to Duryodhana out of his sense of gratitude for Duryodhana. This would mean that Duryodhana would undeservingly win the war even without fighting it.
Q. What does Kunti ask from Karna as a consolation of not joining the Pandavas?
Ans. Srikrishna’s endeavour in tempting Karna to switch sides from the Kauravas to the Pandavas goes in vain. Karna’s sense of commitment and gratitude makes him unmoved even at the unveiling of such a great truth of his birth. Then finally his real mother Kunti meets him with the same appeal. Needless to say that Kunti too fails. But so great is the sense of respect in Karna that he consoles departing Kunti whom he meets for the first time as his mother. He promises to Kunti that he would not cause any harm to the four Pandavas except Arjuna, who is his prime rival and hence he has to fight against him till any one is dead. But either way Kunti would be having her five sons.
Q. What are the offerings that Srikrishna make to Karna in order to temp him to join the Pandavas?
Ans. Having judged the inevitability of war Srikrishna approaches Karna to make a final attempt to save the world from war. Srikrishna had known this well that if Karna can switch sides the Kauravas would invariably become the weaker side and thus the war might have been avoided. So he employs his persuasive skill and attempts to make a diplomatic deal with Karna. He lets Karna know his true identity that he is the eldest son of Kunti and that the sun God is his father. It was only due to immature fear of degradation that Kunti had at an early age abandoned Karna. He adds that all the kings and barons and other dignitaries of the Pandava side would offer tributes and honour to Karna. He would be consecrated the king and Yudhishthira would mount the chariot only after Karna; the mighty Bhima would hold the grand white umbrella over his head; Arjuna would drive Karna’s chariot drawn by white horses. Abhimanyu, Nakula, Sahdeva and the five sons of Pandavas would willingly be at Karna’s service. This mighty alliance of brothers would shatter all enemy sides.
Q. What was the plan of Duryodhana behind making Karna the king of Anga?
Ans. Duryodhana always possessed hatred against the Pandavas; he always used to look out for ways and means to destroy them. He had discovered that Karna possessed all the qualities that a royal family son ought to, even in some higher degree. Just because his true identity was hidden from the world he had to suffer rejection from all important spheres in his life. It was only Duryodhana who had extended him the courtesy of his friendship and gave him a separate province to take care. Duryodhana involved Karna into more serious activities related to administration. But behind everything Duryodhana had a pre-planned strategy to capitalise Karna’s valour later on against the Pandavas. However, it does not enable Karna to deny Duryodhana’s services to him at this point after duly taking benefit of all those services.
Q. What is the real identity of Karna?
Ans. Srikrishna lets Karna know his true identity that he is the eldest son of Kunti and that the sun God is his father. It was only due to immature fear of degradation that Kunti had at an early age abandoned Karna. But that does not defy the power of truth from getting unfolded. By virtue of his education Karna must know that a son born to a woman before marriage is “counted the son of her wedded husband as the son she bears in marriage”. However, it should also be noted that the first three of Pandavas were all born to Kunti through some or the other Gods and not through Pandu. Hence Karna deserves to be treated as the eldest of the Pandavas and receive all due respect and recognition.
Q. Whom does Karna consider to be his ultimate adversary?
Ans. For Karna, his chief adversary is Arjuna, the great archer. Since his childhood he had possessed qualities which are perfectly equal if not greater than Arjuna, but in many junctures in his life he has been insulted and not given any chance to compete against Arjuna only because of his low birth. It is only by virtue of Duryodhana that he has attained a position where he would get chance to prove his greatness over the latter
Moreover even if he wants or not he has to fight against the latter because in the Kaurava squad nobody else is prepared to face the great archer.