The Secret behind the Enmity between Arjuna and Karna
Posted On May 18, 2020
Everything in this materialistic world is predestined. Only Almighty knows what will happen next. He is the only foreseer of one’s future. A destined term of life is also mentioned in Atharva Veda (Chapter 5.30). We know that Arjuna and Karna in the Mahabharata were enemies of each other despite being siblings. What was the secret behind this relationship? Was this enmity predestined? Many of us do not know it. So I would like to unfold the secret today.
In the Mahabharata, Arjuna and Karna were two great bow warriors. But they were enemies of each other. They were always looking for opportunities to defeat each other. Their hostile relationship was not new. It was pre-born. To be aware of this enmity and rivalry we first need to know the incident of Padmapurana in which there was a discussion between Lord Vishnu and Brahma to maintain the balance of the universe in Devaloka (the abode of gods and goddesses). Addressing Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu said, “I am very happy to be the Lord of creation that I am doing a great deed. If you do not preserve the creation, it will be destroyed. ” But Brahma misunderstood Lord Vishnu. He said, “My job is more important than preserving of the creation. I give birth to all living beings. I create eveyone of them living in the universe.” This discussion turned into a quarrel at one time. At last Lord Vishnu called Lord Shiva to resolve the dispute. Mahadeva responded to Vishnu’s call and appeared there. He asked Brahma about the reason for his arrogance. Lord Brahma said, “It’s not my arrogance at all. What I am saying is true. First of all I am. I was the first to be born in this universe. Then I created everyone else.” As soon as Mahadeva heard the words of Brahma, he became very angry and took the form of Rudra. He said to Brahma, “You have fulfilled your duty with pride. You must be punished for this crime. Immediately after saying this, Mahadeva cut off the fifth head of Brambhadeva and separated it from his body. Then he left. Brahma saw his severed head and became very angry. He dropped the sweat of his head down and said, “Let a demon be created from the sweat of my wrath.” Immediately from Brahma’s sweat a terrible demon was born which was named ‘Shwetaj’. That demon had a thousand armor on his body. That is why he was also called the ‘thousand’ armor. Brahma ordered Shwetaj, “Go to Mount Kailash (the abode of Lord Shiva) now and avenge my disgrace to Mahadeva.” On the orders of Brahma, Shwetaj went to Mount Kailash. Mahadeva Shiva knew very well that it would be very difficult to kill an asura (demon) born from the sweat of Brahma. He immediately went to Vishnu and said to him, “Only you can save me from that asura.” Shwetaj appeared before Mahadeva and Vishnu before making any decision on the matter. Lord Vishnu called Shwetaj for war and after a while he realized that it was impossible to defeat Shwetaj. He (Lord Vishnu) said to Mahadev, “I am giving you my right hand.” After thinking for a while, Mahadev inserted his trident in the right hand of Lord Vishnu. Then Mahadev with his third eye saw the blood flowing from the wounded hand for a while and immediately lightning struck that blood and a giant creature arose from it with a thousand hands called ‘Raktaj’. Mahadev Shiva ordered Raktaj to fight with Shwetaj to defeat him. The fierce battle between Shwetaj and Raktaj began. They tried hard to defeat each other but failed. Their war continued for a long time. In the end, Shwetaj cut off 996 hands of Raktajaj and Raktaj broke 999 armors of Shwetaj. As a result, 2 arms of Raktaj and 1 armor of Shwetaj remained. As soon as Shwetaj was about to kill Raktaj in the last phase of the battle, Lord Vishnu said, “O Brahmadeva, everything is on the verge of destruction as a result of the battle of two warriors. This war should end now. Otherwise, all creation will be destroyed. ” He then said to please Brahmadeva, “It is certain that Shwetaj can kill Raktaj at any time.” Lord Brahma was very pleased to hear the words of Vishnu. He (Lord Brahma) said, “The outcome of the war will be in the next birth of Shwetaj and Raktaj”. Vishnu was waiting for this opportunity because what was happening for so long was the plan of Vishnu Deva. He immediately said to Brahma, “You are absolutely right, Brahma, and let the consequences of their war be left for the next birth.” Then the Trinity or Trideva, Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwar suddenly declared the end of the war. They said to Shwetaj and Raktaj, “You will fight this battle in the next life and then we will declare the winner of the battle.”
Then the resposibility of the next birth of Shwetaj was given to Suryadeva and the responsibility of the next birth of Raktaj was given to Indradeva. But Indradeva refused to take responsibility for the birth of Raktaj. He said to Lord Vishnu, “You killed my son Vali in the incarnation of Rama before. But this time if Raktaj dies, I will not take the responsibility for his birth. ” On hearing Indra’s words, Lord Vishnu promised him that this time his son, Raktaj would kill Shwetaj.
In the Dwapara Yuga, Shwetaj, the son of Suryadeva was born as Karna and Raktaj, the son of Indradeva was born as Arjuna. The battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata ended with the battle destined in their pre-birth where Arjuna (Raktaj) killed Karna (Shwetaj) on the battlefield.
The story narrated above was the secret of the enmity and rivalry between two great warriors, Arjuna and Karna. From the story, we can learn that the life of a living being in this world is predestined and life is also an infinite chain of results of actions (Karma) in the past. According to Vedanta, the supreme being (The Divine) plays a major role as the dispenser of those actions (Karma).