We all have grown up with either short or the entire knowledge of the most epic drama of Hindu civilization – The Mahabharata. It is the tale which revolves around various characters and every character of the story holds equal importance irrespective of its tenure in the saga. One of its characters is The Karana which is the most understated character of the entire story. If one goes through the entire Mahabharata the only character which remains understated is of Karana, the character which did not got what he deserved.
Kunti was blessed with a superpower which was gifted to her by Rishi (sage) Durvasa in return of her diligent and selfless service. The occasion of serving Rishi Durvasa with great dedication helped her in gaining the superpower which empowered Kunti to call any deity and get blessed with a son endowed with godly qualities. One day Kunti thought of checking the authenticity of the superpower so called superpower, she called for Lord Sun and in result she got gifted with a Son. The apprehension of social stigma led Kunti to abandon the child as she was not married and getting a child without marriage could bring lot of unfavorable consequences for her. She abandoned the child which was later being adopted by a charioteer couple and this led Karana to live a lesser ranked caste.
The Karana was very much keen to learn archery and he approached Guru Dronacharya for the same but Guru Dronacharya refused to train him as he was not from the caste to which the archery should be taught. He later approached Guru Parshuram covering his caste and he told Guru Parshuram that he belongs to a Brahmin caste. The Suryaputra Karana was pre gifted but still few skill set was to be learned so he quickly learned the mastery of archery.
One day after training Guru Parsuram got tired and was willing to sleep, Karana offered his lap so that his Guru could easily rest his head and enjoy his sleep. Suddenly Karana realized that a bee stung in his thigh but Karana did not move a single inch despite of unbearable pain. He was not intending to disturb the sleep of Guru Parshuram by any means. The blood was all over the place and when Guru Parshuram woke up he was surprised to see his disciple in such a condition and he easily made out that no Brahmin could bear a pain of such intensity. Karana revealed his true caste which made Guru Parsuram very furious and he cursed Karana for stealing the knowledge and the curse was that Karana would forget all his knowledge when he would need the most.
The curse of Guru Parsuram was one of the reasons for the death of Karana in Mahabharata when he forgot the way to invoke the Brahm Astra while fighting with Arjun.
The Karana is also considered as the great donor (Daanveer), this story revolves around his armor (Kavach, Kundal) which was a part of Karana’s body and it was being gifted to him by Lord Sun. The armor worked as a mortality shield for him as no one would be able to kill Karana in that armor making him invincible. The Karana followed his sayings so religiously that when Indra came disguised as a Brahmin and asked Karana for his armor, Karana without hesitation ripped that armor apart from his body and gave it to Indra. He knew it very well that it was Indra who came in the form of Brahmin but Karana followed his words of “Not saying no to anyone for anything after the bath and worship of Lord Sun”.
While fighting for Kauravas against Pandavas Karana met his end. It was the result of Guru Parshurama’s curse of forgetting the knowledge when most needed and he forgot the Brahmastra Matra while fighting with Arjuna. The cheap trick of Lord Indra also played well in Karana meeting his end result as Karana was considered as invincible with that armor. Lord Krishna also played equal role in creating the end of Karana when Lord Krishna ordered Arjuna to hit Karana when Karana was in a helpless state and trying to get his chariot out of mud.
The greatness of Karana reached its optimum level when he took a stone and broke his gold tooth for giving it to so called beggars who were originally Lord Indra and Lord Sun. Both had the dispute regarding the generosity of Karana so to check the generosity both Lord Sun and Lord Indra disguised in the form of beggar and appeared in front of Karana who was on his death bed. When Karana excused himself by saying that he is left with nothing which he could give to them then the so called beggars asked Karana for his gold tooth. Karana happily offered them his gold tooth and dissolved into the oblivion to become the forbidden warrior of the saga.