Many people believe Karna is a great person. They believe that he just made the single mistake of supporting Duryodhana.
Sage Veda Vyasa left no room for any suspicion to understand the real character of Karna.
Karna’s Daana (Charity):
- Karna did not give any great charities in his life. He had a vow that he would give anybody what they asked for right after praying for Surya until he killed Arjuna.
- Kavacha and Kundala (Armour and earrings) – He was forewarned that Indra would come. Hence, he was prepared to give them. He asked for the weapon ‘Shakti’. This made it more of a deal than charity. The charity must be given expecting nothing in return.
Karna’s Viratva (Valour):
- Karna was unable to withstand the force with which the Gandharva army attacked him in the forest where Pandavas lived in exile. He ran away during the fight leaving everyone.
- Arjuna defeated Karna during the Virata war.
- At one time, Karna boasted that both the Acharyas and grandsire Bhishma were too scared to take on Arjuna, whereas he would go and kill Arjuna. However, he was defeated even when fighting together with the entire Kaurava army against the single-handed Arjuna.
- If Karna was so great to take on Arjuna, why was he unable to kill even Arjuna’s son single-handedly?
Karna’s self-pride, malicious intents and wily behaviour
- Draupadi’s Humiliation in dice game – Karna is the person called Draupadi a prostitute or whore, as she lives with five husbands. He then signals to Duryodhana’s thighs, saying that a woman who already has five husbands need not hesitate in accepting the sixth one. Finally, he tells Dushasana to unclothe her, saying that a prostitute has no honour whatsoever.
- He always boasts about himself – Throughout, Karna is continuously boasting about his prowess like ‘I will kill Arjuna single-handedly’, ‘I will defeat the entire Pandava army single-handedly but failed when he got the chance.
- Against Dharma – Karna killed Abhimanyu by teaming upon him with the entire army against the code of battle.
Overall, many people believe that Karna is a great giver (daana), warrior (Veera), and bold and good person (Sura). But, when Krishna asked Karna a series of questions about his dharma, Karna bowed down his head in admittance that he made many mistakes in his life.
– Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma.