Karna‘s Generosity

 
Contributed by : Shina Utavani   
Karna‘s Generosity

This is a story of Arjun, Karna, Krishna and Yudhistra.

Moral(s) of the story: generosity, kindness and sacrifice.

Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic about the brothers, Pandavas and kauravas. It describes the battle between them in the Kurukshetra war for the throne of Hastinapura. It is an epic tale that combines war, religion, philosophy and Hindu history. Following is a story from “The Mahabharata” about Karna and his generous nature.

There was a boy named Karna who was very kind and generous. He Duryodhan’s (eldest Kaurava) best friend. Karna used to help people in need. He never denied helping anyone. Karna had a routine of going for a bath to the riverbank every morning and offer his prayers to Sun-God. While returning, if he met a needy person, he would always give something to that person.

Lord Krishna was aware of the generous nature of Karna. Once Arjun and Lord Krishna were having a conversation about Karna. Lord Krishna was impressed by Karna’s kindness and he was praising his generosity. Lord Krishna even said that he had never seen anyone as generous and kind as Karna. Arjun was amazed to hear that. Arjun argued saying that his brother Yudhishthir was also very generous. Lord Krishna said, “Yes he is but not as generous as Karna. Let me prove it to you that Karna is the most generous.” Arjun agreed.

They both went to Yudhisthir the next morning. It was a rainy season. Yudhisthir saw Lord Krishna and Arjun and welcomed them both. He said, “I am pleased to see you. What brought you here early in the morning?” Lord Krishna replied, “Actually, some important construction work has to be undertaken immediately and we do not have enough wood. We need some wooden logs for that.” Yudhisthir called his servants and told them to bring the best quality wood for construction. After a long time, one servant came back and said that due to monsoon, the wood had become wet and they cannot use that for construction. Yudhisthir was helpless and expressed his helplessness to Lord Krishna and Arjun. After that Arjun and Lord Krishna went to Karna.

Karna welcomed Lord Krishna and Arjun with great respect and love. He also inquired about their well-being. Then, Arjun expressed their urgent need of wooden logs for the construction. Karna immediately asked his servant to fetch some wood for construction. The servant took a lot of time to return. Karna was waiting for his servant. After some time, the servant returned saying that due to rain, the wood had become wet. After hearing this, Karna went inside his room and did not return for a long time. Lord Krishna and Arjun decided to go inside as he did not return for a long time. When they entered Karna's room, they saw him cutting the legs of his bed. He had already cut many pieces of his furniture. Looking at him cutting his furniture, Arjun asked, “Karna, why did you cut off your artistic sandalwood furniture?” He replied, “There is no other greater gief for me than to send away a person in need, empty-handed. This furniture can be made again but it was important to fulfil your urgent need.”

Arjun was surprised to see the generosity of Karna. He said to Lord Krishna, “Karna is really very generous, I have never seen someone as kind as him”. This is one of the examples of Karna’s sacrifice and generosity. 


Moral:

Friends, you just read about the generosity of Karna. Karna gave away his armour and earrings, which he had received as a blessing at birth. However, we are never willing to give even the smallest of our possessions to others. From this, we must learn that we too should be ready to sacrifice our things for the sake of the ones in need.




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