We know that Parashurama was the guru of Bhisma, a kshatriya. Then why did he refuse to teach Karna on the basis of being a kshatriya?

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    Does this answer your question? What was the role of caste in the way Parshurama & Pandavas treated Karna? Commented Feb 17, 2020 at 18:02
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    @sv I know the reason why Karna was excluded from Parashurama's teachings. I wish to know why didn't Parashuram refuse to teach Bhishma as he too was a kshatriya
    – Mihirakula
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 1:59
  • The linked question has an answer which addresses your current query as well..."Parashurama did not refuse Karna because he was a Suta but because a Suta is part Kshatriya...Parashuram's enmity was with the Kshatriyas and therefore he took students only from non-kshatriya Varnas. He cursed Karna because he had lied to him about his real Varna and the entire episode is mentioned in SECTION III of Shanti Parva...The reason for Parashurama's enmity with Kshatriyas is mentioned in Section CXVII of the Vana Parva" Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


After eliminating Kartavirya Arjuna and his sons of Haihaya tribe and all Kshatriya rulers of that period, Parasurama left the enmity with Kshatriyas.

Hence, as he did not have grouse against Kshatriyas, he taught all secrets of using weapons to Devavrata (Bhishma).

However, after his defeat at the hands of Bhishma, in the Amba's episode, he perhaps, thought not to teach the knowledge of weapons to Kshatriyas. That is why he taught all the secrets to Drona alone.

In the case of Karna, he introduced himself to be a brAhmana and got the knowledge of all the weapons from Parasurama.

'I am a Brahmana of Bhrigu's race.' This procured honour for him.

However, it was later found by Parasurama that Karna could endure pain like a Kshatriya, so he got doubt , which was later confirmed that Karna to be a non-brahmin.

It was the lie that Parasurama could not tolerate and thus, he cursed Karna.

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    I too had thought that Parashurama would have given up the teaching of kshatriya after the entire Amba debacle. All I want to know is if there is any scriptural backing to this point
    – Mihirakula
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 4:54

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