Karna ruled the Kingdom of Anga. Once while riding along a street in his kingdom, he came across a little boy crying over the oil he had spilled on the ground. On enquiring, Karna realized that the boy’s father had asked him to get the oil for him in a bowl and now, all of it was on the ground.
Being generous, Karna offered to get the same amount of new oil. But the boy refused the offer and insisted that he got the same oil. Unable to leave the place without helping the child, Karna took the soil mixed with the oil in his hands and squeezed it hard with all his might. The oil droplets fell in the bowl held by the child.
As the boy’s face brightened up, Karna heard the wails of a woman. After the oil was entirely poured, Karna realized that the wails were from the soil in his hands. The Mother Earth (BhoomiDevi) was infuriated for the pain Karna caused to her for a mere bowl of oil.
She thereby cursed Karna that at a crucial moment in his life she would hold his chariot back in the very same way he had held her in his fists. And this crucial moment, was the one during the Great War when all of a sudden, Karna’s chariot gets stuck in the ground. Karna’s charioteer Shalya refuses to help Karna and Karna is unable to pull it out himself.
While this story focuses on the might and generosity of Karna, it shows us how the intent of the deed was immaterial. The intent was good; it was to help a young boy. Yet, Karna suffered.
At another instance, when Bheeshma asked for water to drink, Arjuna shot an arrow into the ground (Bhoomidevi) and water gushed out to quench Bheeshma's thirst. It is said that Ganga changed her course to quench the thirst of her son.
But here, the earth found no fault. It was fine if Arjuna did it, but when Karna does it, it becomes a point to curse.
Along came curses that did come true
Along came friendship that indeed was true
Along came name, fame and glory
But also came with it an unforgettable rivalry
For opponents he was always the wall
Between defeat and victory
Little did he knew that he will forever become immortal
In the pages of History