During the time of war also, they did not let Karna do war. They always insulted every given chance against Karna. Is it just because Karna is a Sut Putru? Or they just hate him that Karna was a strong warrior and supporter to Duryodhana. Or they believed caste system a lot? Or why?

Is Karna a lesson for every person in Kaliyug to just give and not expect anything? When a great warrior and donor like Karna was not able to get anything for him what he deserved. Even his body was also not cremated on Earth in deed, human in Kaliyug can nowhere match to his sacifices. So is this a lesson to be learnt from his life?

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    This site has a strict 'cite sources' rule, so please don't accept answers that don't cite any references. It sets a bad precedent. Commented May 1, 2020 at 2:17
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    @sv nobody responded to my question, hence accepted Commented May 1, 2020 at 7:20
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    @Hansiemithun The question maybe different, but see if this answer is helpful - hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/36087/20129
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 6:44
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    Nearly everyone hated Karṇa. There are too many instances to mention, as telling them all with basically be describing nearly every relationship Karṇa has. Even people who can generally get along with everyone such as Arjuna and Yudhiṣṭhira hated him. Even people on his own side like Śalya hated him with a passion. Karṇa was just generally a very unlikeable person. Droṇa does not need a reason, as it is the default position to hate Karṇa. Source: Mahābhārata Commented Oct 31, 2020 at 9:05
  • Bheesma didnt hate karna.. but had given word to kunti that he will not kill any of 5 sons.. but she ask Karna also to be saved.. so bheesma gave kunti that till he is alive Karna will not be killed.. so he deviced easy plan to infuriate karna and he himself decide against participating in war
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


Bhishma actually spoke harsh words because he knew Karna was Kunti's son and did not want him to fight the war and also according to him, he spoke ill of the pandavas for no reason.


Thou art Kunti's son, not Radha's! Nor is Adhiratha thy father! O thou of mighty arms, I heard all this about thee from Narada as also from Krishna-Dwaipayana! Without doubt, all this is true! I tell thee truly, O son, that I bear thee no malice! It was only for abating thy energy that I used to say such harsh words to thee! O thou of excellent vows without any reason thou speakest ill of all the Pandavas!

Through pride, and owning also to thy companionship with the low, thy heart hateth even persons of merit! It is for this that I spoke such harsh words about thee in the Kuru camp! I know thy prowess in battle, which can with difficulty be borne on earth by foes! I know also thy regard for Brahmanas. thy courage, and thy great attachment to alms-giving! O thou that resemblest a very god, amongst men there is none like thee! For fear of intestine dissensions I always spoke harsh words about thee.

Bhishma even embraced Karna after causing the guards to be removed.

Hearing these words, the aged chief of the Kurus,the son of Ganga, whose eyes were covered with film slowly raising his eyelids, and causing the guards to be removed, and seeing the place deserted by all, embraced Karna with one arm, like a sire embracing his son, and said these words with great affection:--Come, come!

According to Drona, Karna boasts on every eve of battle but Karna retreats which is why he labelled Karna half a rathi.

Hearing this, Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, said, 'It is even so as thou hast said. That is not untrue! He boasteth on the eve of every battle, but yet he is seen to retreat from every engagement. Kind (out of season) and blundering, it is for this that Karna, in my judgment, is only half a Ratha!'


Karna also told Drona in his tutelage that he wanted Brahmastra so he could fight Arjuna.

Beholding that Dhananjaya was superior to every one in the science of weapons, Karna. one day approached Drona in private and said these words unto him, 'I desire to be acquainted with the Brahma weapon, with all its mantras and the power of withdrawing it, for I desire to fight Arjuna. Without doubt, the affection thou bearest to every one of thy pupils is equal to what thou bearest to thy own son. I pray that all the masters of the science of weapons may, through thy grace, regard me as one accomplished in weapons!' Thus addressed by him, Drona, from partiality for Phalguna, as also from his knowledge of the wickedness of Karna, said, 'None but a Brahmana, who has duly observed all vows, should be acquainted with the Brahma weapon, or a Kshatriya that has practised austere penances, and no other.'


Is this actually the case? For example, in book seven after Bhisma's death we have:

O Lord, brave Bhisma's fall drive all other thoughts from the mind of your sons and the sons of Pandu ... it was at that very moment like the sudden return of a stranger the Kurus recalled the only one who bore compare to Bhisma: Karna, best of all swordsman that have ever lived ... Karna, Karna, the chieftains cried ...


Karna is reckoned a bull in the herd of men worth twice any of his peers ... Passion had driven his words to Bhishma, "whilst you live, O son of Kuru, I will not fight. Either you wipe out the Pandavas in this great war and I take my leave of Duryodhana and depart for the forest or the Pandavas will kill you Bhisma and you will ascend to heaven. Then I will mount my chariot and by my own hand destroy every and any warrior you can name." So it was for ten days that Karna refused to fight.

This sounds that 'hatred' is the wrong word to apply and more like a deeply passionate quarrel on both sides.

Moreover, we know that Karna is the elder half brother of Yudhi.shthira and so in a sense, the war is two dharmas contesting each other; though, were Karna's parentage known the rules of dharma - ultimate or human - would determine the succession to the throne and avoid the war - but then we would not have the Mahabharata, and the affairs of men and gods are not so easily settled.

  • Quote chapter and verse number
    – The Destroyer
    Commented May 15, 2021 at 14:44

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