Saturday, 7 April 2012

Kunti waits for Karna in the mid day sun! Mahabharata 126

My last blog had links to a few versions of the story of Kunti that exists in the world wide web and there are quite a few on the net. Some do have special insights! One dwells on the relationship that could have existed between sisters-in-law, Gandhari and Kunti. Especially when Kunti goes back to Hastinapura as a widow. Another deals with Kunti and Madri and their life with Pandu in the forest. Some go back deeper into our mythology, tell us why sage Durvasa gave such a strange boon to an young unmarried girl. He foresaw the future! Some are totally absurd! There is one wherein Krishna and Tiger Woods are compared. Both are dark skinned and....! Time to get back to Vachana Bharata!
Samhita's imagination! The blazing Sun as a witness!

After Krishna's departure, Kunti realising that the war is inevitable worries about her children. 'What is the meaning of a victory when relatives kill each other? I am scared of just three, Bhishma, Drona and Karna. Bhishma is fond of the pandavas, Drona likes them as they are his disciples, I feel they would not attack pandavas. It is only Karna, who follows Duryodhana blindly and hates pandavas is creating anguish in my heart'. She then decides to meet Karna, try and convince  him to switch his allegiance and join pandavas.

She reaches river Ganga and sees Karna performing his noon prayers. Unable to bear the direct sun, she covers her head and waits for him. Karna turns round after his prayer and sees Kunti and introduces himself, 'Karna, son of Radha and Athiratha salutes you! Why are you here ತಾಯೀ! What can I do for you?' (Elderly women are addressed as mother!)

Kunti who has been waiting for long begins without a preamble, 'Karna! You are Kaunteya, not Radheya. Atiratha is not your father, you are my कानीन son, child of my youthful days. Lord Surya is your father. You are unknowingly serving kauravs instead of being with your brothers. Join them and enjoy the kingdom which Arjuna had won and is now with the kauravas! Let kauravas see the friendship between you and Arjuna. If you two are together there is nothing impossible for you in this world. It is the duty of children to please the parents!'

Karna is equally direct, 'Amma! You are a khsatirya lady, hence I cannot disbelieve you. It may be dharma to accept your proposals. But you abandoned me and my status is low. Even though born a khsatriya, I could not enjoy the benefits of being  brought up as one. Who else but an enemy would behave in this unjust manner? You did not show compassion when it was required. You did not act like a mother then, but now out of selfishness you are here to tell me that you are my mother. If I join pandavas now, people will say that I joined them out of fear. Having never mentioned the existence of any brothers, what will khsatriyas say if I speak about them when a war is imminent? Kauravas have fulfilled many of my desires, shown respect, shared their wealth and have taken care of me all this while. Should all this become useless? Shall I disappoint them while they are really hoping that I would defeat their enemies even at the cost of my life? It is the time for the subjects of Duryodhana to pledge their life without a second thought. If I betray my patron now, who has cared for me, during his time of need, it is a great sin! Because of all this, I will fight your sons with all my might.'

'But your visit should not go waste. While your children deserve to be killed, I will not kill Yudhisthira, Bheema, Nakula and Sahadeva. There is bound to be a fight between me and Arjuna. If I kill him, my purpose is served. If he kills me I will have fame and you will have not lost your five children!.'

Kunti is saddened by Karna's curt words, stern and hard hearted, she then embraces him,' Karna, so be it. It seems gods have willed the annihilation of kauravas. Do not forget the assurances you have given me about your four brothers. I wish you well!'  Karna touches her feet and they go their separate ways!

Kunti meets Karna for the first time!


1 comment:

Raghunath said...

What about her asking for the kavacha and kundala.