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Karna And Duryodhana - The Underrated Friendship

Karna And Duryodhana – The Underrated Friendship

The friendship of Karna and Duryodhana is one of the most startling tales in the saga of Mahabharata. Those who know even a little about Mahabharata, know that it is much more than just a war between the clans of Shantanu and the conspiracies to win the kingdom.

A competition was held in Hastinapur for everyone to come forward and show their skills and might. Bhima and Duryodhana showed their mace and fighting skills. Yudhisthira, Nakula, and Sahadeva showed their sword-fighting and javelin-throwing skills. These performances sent the crowd to cloud nine. The Kauravas were no less in their skills and showed their power through various skills. The crowd was roaring with cheer and now wanted to see their favorite and most awaited performance – the archery of Arjuna. Arjuna came and aimed an arrow at the sky. He shot it and as a result, a shower of arrows followed from the sky. The crowd went berserk and there was no limit to the cheer that Arjuna received. Dignitaries like Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Bhishma, Kunti, and Gandhari were extremely pleased with his show of skills. The audience wanted more of it.

However, in this roar of cheer and excitement, a feeling of competency awoke in Karna. He thought he could easily match and even up the skills of Arjuna if given a chance. He challenged Arjuna. An astonished crowd wanted to see how powerful the person could match the brilliant Arjuna and that too in Archery. The challenge was received well by Arjuna but Dronacharya was skeptical. Drona thought that if Karna managed to show his skills and overpower Arjuna, he would lose his credibility and reputation. Drona then asked Karna who he is and which kingdom does he belong to. Karna was silenced as he knew that if he told the truth, he would not be given a chance to participate.

Duryodhana saw all this and was very keen to see who is so powerful that he can claim to defeat Arjuna. Realizing the cause of Karna’s silence, Duryodhana came forward and announced him as the King of Anga, a small province that was under the rule and care of Duryodhana. He also claimed that Karna was no ordinary person and his best friend which is why he should be allowed to participate in the competition. Dronacharya refused that he cannot allow Karna to participate as he is from a low caste.

Although Karna did not get the chance to show his skills, he was touched by the nobleness of Duryodhana who gave him a province without knowing anything about him. He asked Duryodhana what he wanted in return to which Duryodhana replied that he just wanted Karna to be his loyal and faithful friend.

Thus began a friendship that defied all odds and gave Karna a much-deserved chance to fight a war that showed his worth and skills in the war of Kurukshetra. Give it a thought and you would realize how Duryodhana did what no one else did in Mahabharata- gave Karna the position and the respect he deserved.

Click here to read the story of Karna’s birth.

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