Thursday, 10 May 2012

Karna's final meeting with Bheeshma. Mahabharata 143

The fall of Bheeshma affects Karna. He feels afraid, runs to meet the god-like great man, lying on his death bed, with his eyes closed! Overcome with emotion the teary eyed Karna speaks, 'Kurushreshta! It is Radheya! The man you hated, for no fault of mine, as soon as you set your eyes on me'. 

Bheeshma hears him, opens his eyes with difficulty and looks at Karna. He then sends his attendants away, hugs Karna, like a father would hug his son, with his arm around him. 'Come my dear opponent, if you had not come to visit me now, it would not have been praiseworthy. You are not a Radheya, you are a Kaunteya. I have no hatred for you child, I spoke to you harshly to bring down your ego and pride. I feel that you hate pandavas without reason. It is the reason why I  spoke to you harshly. I am aware of your great courage and your limitless generosity. You are like a god. There are not many like you. You are equal to Arjuna and Krishna in your ability. There is no anger in me now. Man cannot go against the will of gods. Pandavas are your brothers.  If you want to make me happy, go and join your brothers. Let the enmity die with me, let all the kings live happily.

Karna replies, 'Grandfather, I know that I am a kaunteya. But when Kunti did not want me and let go of me, a suta brought me up! Duryodhana made me a rich man. I cannot turn these facts into lies. I have pledged my body, my wealth, my reputation and everything else to Duryodhana. Under his shelter, I have provoked pandavas. What is required to be done cannot be changed by anyone. Who has the ability to change god's will? It is the time for destruction of the world. You have seen signs of this, and also spoke about it in the sabha.'

'I know that pandavas and Vasudeva are invincible. The reason why I am enthused to fight them. If you consent with love and affection, I believe I can fight them. If I have spoken ill of you out of anger or misbehaved, please forgive me.'

Bheeshma replies, 'Karna! If you are unable to control your intense enmity, I consent! Fight expecting to go to the heaven of the brave. Give up your anger and sorrow and perform the duties of a khsatriya well and achieve a happy state of mind. Try your best to be virtuous, your wishes will come true. Depend on your strength and bravery, forsake arrogance. There is no better dharma for a khsatriya than to fight in a war. I tried my best for peace, but could not succeed. The victory will be for those who have dharma with them.'  Karna salutes Bheeshma and goes to meet Duryodhana.

Finally the two ill-starred men, grandfather and grandson,  meet and manage a closure.


Srihari said...

Closure in life is obviously important.
It is why I am told we perform rituals after a death in the family.

Raghunath said...

Interesting subjects to write about separately