Karna’s Curse by Mother Earth

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


More by :  Shilpa Ravindran

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Views: 4266      Comments: 6

Comment Karna in his earlier Birth was "Sahasra-kavacha(1000 kavachas)" an asura
who tormented all of the living being , later on Nar-Narayan together destroyed his 999 kavachas .Fearing death the asura fled and hid in the shelter of Sun God.In the next Birth the asura was born as Karna and Nar - Narayan as Arjuna - Krisha .Karna had to bear all the sufferings because of the sins committed by Him in his earlier birth and he had to be killed by Arjuna .Arjuna had defeated Karna in the Battle of Virat and also at the time of Padmavyuha .More over Bhima and Satyaki also defeated Karna .Karna was also not able to stand abhimanyu

Sandeep Ravindanath
17-Jan-2014 05:55 AM

Comment Karna was indeed a great warrior. But if we see the overall performence of Arjuna and Karna in their career, Karna was not better than Arjuna. All these stories of curses and kavach-kundal of Karna seem to be interpolations in Mahabharata to glorify Karna.

Anand Shankar
24-Nov-2012 15:02 PM

Comment heyy guys my fav character in mahabharata ,,Karna the great ..see yes he was better den arujun..even lord krishna said dat ..every one knoes dat ..the diff is he was with a bad guy and hence his death was certain he also knows that he ll b gonna killed ..but he was nt afraid and he sticked to his NISHTHA ...so may b he ws killed but is nw more famous from anybdy else ..(except lord krishna) ..and after all pandavs were also nt happy after mahabharat lots of curses ..,sons killed any many other things happnd ..karna felt sorry for wt he said to draupati ...but first draupati insulted him every one knoes dat story ..karna ws truely great he dint killed yudhishter ,bheem ,nakul n sehdav as he promised ..he was killed coz he himself chooses death and arjun defenatly cant beat him ..lord krishna also said that and if the ques is "who ws better " its karna"

20-Feb-2012 01:50 AM

Comment Sorry to say but you got it wrong.
Whatever you think or do that becomes karma and has an effect now or later. In case of Karna it was his attachment to the karma and against Dharma that he had to be put in such condition.
In case of Arjuna it is on request of Bhisma pitamaha that Arjuna gets water from the ground without any attachment involved and since the act was dharmic way there is no karma attached to it. Assuming if still Arjuna was attached to this karma, he would have either had an effect of it or would have been saved from it because of his sharanagathi to Paramatma which are obviously things that need no serious discussion leaving the essentials out.

21-Dec-2011 09:59 AM

Comment Hi,
I think this story is an interpolated one (strictly my personal opinion). Perhaps some people found it difficult to digest the fact that Karna was killed unfairly in the battle by Arjuna, especially when the wheel of his charriot was deeply stuck in the earth. Somehow they wanted to justify this and interplolated a story saying it was the curse of the mother earth and therefore Karna could not do anythng about it !!
I still admire Karna and Arjuna both. Karna was full of pride/hatred and in an act of vengeance insults Draupadi and calls her all kinds of names during the dice game. Arjuna was arrogant and jealous (remember Ekalavya's episode?? also the the episode when Karna makes an special entry into the arena when Pandavas and Kauravas were displaying their skills to the general public). So it is difficult to assume that Karna was all good and Arjuna was all bad or the vice versa. Both had their share of faults/vices. Arjuna was however more adventurous and the better of the two in archery. He never uses (or never misuses) his mastery of archery for a wrong cause. The same cannot be said of Karna.
It was Karna's association with Duryodhana and Shakuni that spoils him. Arjuna's association with Krishna saves the Pandavas. Perhaps that was the real difference !!
Krishna too makes an attempt to woo Karna to the side of the Pandavas , just before the great battle but all his effort goes in vain. Karna does not display the qualities of the highest Dharmic man. His dharma is of a lowe type. Blind loyalty to his friend Duryodhana. He is far gone in his hatred of the pandavas.
Karna stands as an example of a self made man . Also he stands as an example for a self made victim !!

19-Oct-2011 01:45 AM

Comment Naaice Story.. :) May be that's the reason that despite loosing in the battle of Mahabharata, Karna is still regarded as one of the greatest warrior of all time. Karna was a man who fought against his misfortunes throughout his life without a single pause. He never got his due, but never gave up his efforts, his courageous spirit led him to brave impossible odds in his life and he died with unique courage, valour and honor. Well pardon me. He didn't die. Mrutyunjay that he was and as your poem correctly says he became immortal in pages of history. He is the source of inspiration for the world of humanity not to loose heart but to keep fighting and choosing your own destiny. :)

Ashish Pandav
17-Oct-2011 02:57 AM

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