What Astra did Indra Karna give

Need a quick analysis of Karna. Is it representative of anything in Indian mythology?

KARNA is one of the most fascinating characters in MAHABHARAT, the longest Sanskrit epic written two millennia ago. In addition to being an invincible warrior, he was known for his generosity.

Story behind Karna's birth: -
Karna was the son of Surya (a sun deity) and Kunti. He was born to Kunti before she married Pandu. The story is that when Kunti was very young, he had the opportunity to serve Rishi (sage) Durvasha. She took care of him with great devotion. Durvasha was very pleased. He gave Kunti a mantra (chant) and said that any god she would think of after reciting the mantra would appear before her and bless her with a son endowed with his own divine qualities.

Kunti got scared and wanted the sun god to disappear, but he pleaded for his helplessness against the power of the mantra. However, Surya assured Kunti that even after the blessing with a son she would still remain a virgin and would not have to suffer opprobrium. And so Karna was born with Kavach and Kundal (armor that would make him invincible).

Care of Karna: -
Nevertheless, Kunti was afraid of social stigmatization and therefore left the child. She put Karna in a basket and placed him in the Ganges. The basket was seen by Adhirath, a charioteer who had no problems. He picked up the baby and pulled it up. That is why Karna is sometimes referred to as Sarathiputra.

Karna wanted absolutely the Brahmastra Mantra from the great teacher Parshuram acquire. He knew, however, that Parshuram only gave instructions to the Brahmins (the priestly tribe). So he disguises himself as a brahmin and asks Parshuram to accept him as a Shishya (disciple). Parshuram accepted him as such and gave him instructions. One day, while Parshuram was resting in Karna's lap, a bee stung Karna in the lower part of his thigh. It was very painful and he started bleeding. Fearing that if he moved his legs he would wake Parshuram, he did not move at all and continued to suffer. When Parshuram woke up, he saw Karna bleeding. He asked: Son, tell me honestly who you are. A brahmin cannot have so much physical pain. Only a Kshattriya (the warrior tribe) can endure so much discomfort. Karna was required to reveal his identity. Parshuram was very upset because he was a sworn enemy of Kshattriyas. He therefore cursed Karna for, as he had learned through deception, to forget the vidya (ability) that Parshuram had taught him at the crucial point.

Ultimate Warrior: -
Arjuna killed Karna's son Vrishasena so that Karna could experience the pain he himself suffered when Abhimanyu was brutally executed. But Karna refused to mourn the death of his son and continued to fight Arjuna to keep his word and fulfill Duryodhana's fate.

When Karna and Arjuna finally faced each other, a snake named Naga Ashwasena secretly entered Karna's quiver. This serpent was the one whose mother was relentlessly burned when Arjuna set Khandava-prastha on fire. Ashwasena, who was in the womb at the time, was able to save himself from charring. He was destined to avenge his mother's death by killing Arjuna. It turned into an arrow and waited for his turn. Karna unwittingly released Naga Ashwasena in Arjuna. When Lord Krishna, Arjuna's charioteer, realized that this was no ordinary arrow, he sank the wheel of his chariot into the ground by pressing his feet against the ground to save Arjuna's life. This caused the naga, advancing as fast as lightning, to miss its target and instead hit Arjuna's crown, causing it to fall to the ground. Discouraged, Naga Ashwasena returned to Karna and asked him to fire him again at Arjuna. This time he promised that he would definitely not miss his target. After hearing Ashwasena's words, the mighty AngaRaj said to him:

"It's below my stature as a warrior to shoot the same arrow twice. Find another way to avenge the death of your family."

Ashwasena was saddened by Karna's words and tried to kill Arjuna on her own, but failed miserably. Arjuna could kill him in one fell swoop.

Who knows what would have happened if Karna had released Ashwasena for the second time. He could even have killed Arjuna, or at least injured him. But he stuck to his principles and did not take advantage of the opportunity. Such was the character of AngaRaj. He was the man of his words and the epitome of morality. He was the ultimate warrior.

Greatest DaanVeer of all time: -
Duryodhan actually built it up to counterbalance Arjuna. On the eve of the famous Mahabharata battle, Lord Indra, the rain god and King of Heaven, disguised as an old Brahmin, went to Karna and asked for his Kavach and Kundal in Daan (donation). Indra was concerned that Karna might overwhelm Arjuna because of his phenomenal skills as a warrior. So he asked for this gift to diminish his strength. Karna had been warned by the sun god that Lord Indra would take such a step. But Karna was so generous that he couldn't refuse anyone. Since he knew exactly that Indra was playing a trick on him disguised as a Brahmin, he separated from Kavach and Kundal, who had been part of his body since he was born and made him invincible. Lord Indra was amazed at Karna's ability to give away whatever he had asked for. He said: Karna, what you did today no ordinary mortal could have done. I am very pleased with your generosity. You can ask about any vardaan. Karna said: If you are really satisfied with me, you can kindly give me your Shakti weapon, which has the potential to destroy any enemy. Lord Indra gave Karna Shakti on the understanding that he could only use it once and that afterwards the weapon would return to him (Lord Indra).

Another story about his charity:
When Karna was on his deathbed, Krishna came to test him. He disguises himself as a brahmin saint and asks Karna for a sacrifice in the name of the Dharma. Karna quoted his weakened condition and asked Krishna: "O Lord Brahmin, what can I offer you in this surrendered state?" Krishna teased him, "I thought you were the greatest philanthropist in the world. Aren't you going to offer anything to this old brahmin?"
Karna thought for a while and then reached for a stone from its macabre surroundings. Then he thwarted the stone in his mouth and although his brutally beaten body cursed every movement he made on himself, he did so continuously. In the meantime, Krishna was both surprised and impressed by the courage of this great warrior. After many strong blows, Karna was able to break two golden teeth he had and offered them to Krishna in disguise. Krishna, deeply impressed by the bravery of this great warrior, showed no visible feelings. Instead, he cursed Karna (to retest him) for offering such salivary teeth to such a devout Brahmin. Karna was engraved deeply in that statement and tried to crawl to the bow and arrow. His bow was torn and the thread that supported him was nowhere to be seen. Cursing himself at the defeat he suffered to Arjuna earlier in the day, he crawled on to find a thread to support his bow. Fortunately, he found one a few feet away. Every inch he crawled made his wounds bloody and he slowly passed out.
But he crawled on, as the legend of Karna will have no fitting ending if this saint is not satisfied by him. After reaching the support thread, he pulled the thread into his bow. In the meantime, his hand continued to bleed profusely and his nerves were on the verge of bursting. Finally he launched the final assault on his body and caressed the last arrow of his life into the ground. Then a jet of water burst from the ground. He washed this saliva and blood-stained teeth in this pristine stream of water and offered them to the camouflaged saint. Embarrassed and visibly surprised, Krishna gave up his camouflaged identity and came back in his original form. He bowed to the great warrior and said, "Karna, if you want, I can make you come alive right now and bow the world at your feet. Until you are on earth, I am assured that Adharma will never rule on this planet, "replied Karna. "O Lord Krishna, you are the Creator and omnipresent everywhere. Do not offend me by bowing to me. I have had enough of difficulties and hardships in my life, so much so that even the liveliest of luxuries cannot to lure myself back into this life. Let me die in peace and assure me that the legend of Karna could inspire generations to come. I ask forgiveness for all the wrong I have done unintentionally. Let the world become a righteous place. where the rule of Dharma is to ensure all prosperity, regardless of their non-caste and their not so noble beginnings. ā€¯Krishna nodded in agreement and blessed the warrior prince.

In short, he was a real hero.

Further reading options: -

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