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Karna And Krishna - An Unlikely Parallel

Karna And Krishna – An Unlikely Parallel

We all know the characters of Karna and Krishna and how they are extremes of the same fate. However, their life has been very similar and they have had the share of their own miseries and misfortune. Let us look at how these two different characters shared so much similarity in their lives.

Birth and Parents

Lord Krishna was born to Devki and Vasudeva and brought up by Nanda and Yashoda. He had two sets of parents- one that gave him birth and one that bought him up.

Karna was born to Kunti and Surya Dev as a result of the boon that Kunti received. He was then sent on a river for someone to adopt and Adiratha and Radha bought him up.

Names of Karna And Krishna

Karna was named Vasusena at birth and is often referred to by that name. Krishna is also called Vasudeva. It is interesting how the two characters share such a similar name that it can be easily confused.

Additionally, Radha-Krishna is a common name that is taken together to address the Krishna. Interestingly, Karna is referred to as Radheya, the son of Radha.

Rejecting the crown

Krishna was offered the kingdom by Yadavas which he refused and handed over to Ugrasena. Karna was offered the kingdom of Hastinapur by Krishna and he refused or insisted on handing it over to Duryodhana if he had to receive it.

Both had all the skills an ideal king should have but both refused it keeping the Dharma and their ultimate fate in mind.

Protection of Pandavas

Krishna and Karna had promised Kunti that both will keep 5 Pandavas safe. Karna made a claim that either he or Arjuna would survive and he would never harm any of the other Pandavas.

Krishna had also promised Draupadi that all her husbands would be safe in the war and nothing would happen to them.

Role Reversal of Karna And Krishna

Karna was the son of Adiratha who was a charioteer and by fate, Karna was bound to be a charioteer in the war. Karna was Duryodhana’s best warrior in the war.

Krishna was born a Kshatriya and a warrior who would fight battles. However, he chose not to participate in war as a warrior but as a charioteer and guide to Arjuna.

Fighting one’s own brothers

Krishna was cursed by Gandhari to fight his own brothers and sons. This happened in the mighty war of Yadavas in which they kill each other.

Karna had to fight his own brothers; the Pandavas in the war of Kurukshetra.

Death due to curse

Karna’ death occurred as a result of curses by Mother Earth and a Brahmin in the war.

Krishna died due to a hunter’s mistake which made the arrow pierce his heel while he was sleeping. This happened due to the unethical attack that Rama did on Bali from the back. Jara, the hunter, was reborn from Bali while Krishna is the 8th avatar of Vishnu.

Thus, the two characters – Karna and Krishna, seem like a needle of a compass that is connected but has different directions to the same path.

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