Defining Indian Identity – Prince Karna my favorite Hero

Defining Indian Identity – Prince Karna my favorite Hero.

Dana, Veera, Soora  Karna (Generous, Brave and Courageous) is a man ‘True to his Salt’. But for his unflinching loyalty to his benefactor, the Story of Mahabharata would have been different. The Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 13, reads, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” A man without character should be rejected.

Defining Indian Identity – Prince Karna my favorite Hero. The New Testament Book, the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 5 is popularly known as ‘The Beatitudes’. Verse 13, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But, if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”


Dr. Martin Luther King wished for the day when his sons would not be judged by the color of the skin but by the content of their character. Character is defined as the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group or thing from another. Character is a description of a person’s attributes, traits or abilities. 


In the Indian epic of Mahabharata, Prince Karna is allied with the enemies of the Pandavas. Karna is the first son of Queen Kunti and is the half brother to the Pandavas and is the eldest of them. However, Queen Kunti abandoned him after his birth and he is known as “ Radheya” and as ‘Suta Putra” as he grew up in the house of a charioteer. Karna sought a position at the court in Hastinapura. His identity as a low-caste person came in the way of his quest for knowledge and mastering the art of archery. Dronacharya the teacher of Kuru princes refused to teach him. Later, Dronacharya held an archery contest in Hastinapura and Karna was publicly humiliated as he was made ineligible to participate in the competition for he had no princely status. Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kaurava brothers came to the rescue of Karna to spare him from public humiliation. He immediately appoints Karna as the King of ‘Anga’ province and made him eligible to participate in the archery contest. Thus Karna became a true friend and a loyal ally of Prince Duryodhana. Karna fought for the Kauravas in the great battle at Kurukshetra. Because of the fear of the impending battle, Queen Kunti approached Karna and for the first time revealed her identity as his mother and addressed him as “Kunteya.” The true character of Karna comes out when he told his mother that he must fight the Pandavas but promised not to kill any of them other than Prince Arjuna. On the 15 th day of the battle, Karna was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Kaurava forces. Karna braved impossible odds in his whole life and died with great courage, valor and honor. It was Karna’s fate to be sacrificed in a climatic battle with Arjuna. It is a death that is a reminder of the necessity of sacrificial destruction for redemption.

The dignity with which Karna conducted his life makes him my favorite hero and I claim Loyalty, Dependability and Trustworthiness as the bench marks of Indian Character and Indian Identity. 


Defining Indian Identity – Prince Karna my favorite Hero. Salt enjoys a special status among all food substances that man consumes. The intimate connection of salt with the idea of a “COVENANT” or binding contract or binding relationship, as a mark of Loyalty and Faithfulness, between man and God and between man and man is recognized in all human cultures.

The essence of salt exists in its flavor and if salt loses its taste and flavor, its existence has no purpose and it would be discarded. A man has to define as to who he is, his true nature and his existence would be valued as long as he retains the flavor of his essence. The reality of existence is a prerequisite for having essence and a man of character and integrity would only exist to display his true nature. 

Defining Indian Identity – Prince Karna is my favorite Hero. The Indian Army values Naam (Reputation, Dignity, Honor), Namak (Fidelity, Loyalty), and Nissan (the Symbols of National and Regimental Identity).

To many of us who have the privilege to serve in Uniform, nothing is really more important than being true to the Covenant of Salt or Namak which stands for our true nature or character. Many had cheerfully accepted the test of Loyalty and willingly sacrificed their precious lives in the discharge of their military duty and I am proud to describe this as our national character and as our true Identity. 

Defining Indian Identity – Prince Karna my favorite Hero. Statue of Karna in Karan Tal Park, Karnal, Haryana.

Published by WholeDude

Whole Man - Whole Theory: I intentionally combined the words Whole and Dude to describe the Unity of Body, Mind, and Soul to establish the singularity called Man.

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  1. SURYA,the sun god is the very basis of life on this planet; as we extol in ‘Aditya Hrudayam’ the sun gives rain,seasons,energy, life to all living things; Surya only gives and as the son of sun,Karna became Dana veer soora karna; he became immrotal by his dana karmas and even excelled his father; there are two stories that Praise this virtue of karna,may be apocrypal,but yet endearing which i will relate here.
    Once a brahmin approached him with a request to provide him with dry fuel to perform the last rights of his father,as due to rains all wood in the forest has become wet;karna ordered that his house be dismantelled to provide wood to the brahmin.
    In another episode he was taking an oil bath when lord krishna came to meet him;seeing an exquisite diamond-studed vessel containing the oil krishna expresses a desire to have the vessel;karna immidiately hands it over to krishna with his left hand as he had oil in the right hand;krishna expresses his surprise for giving danam with the left hand ; karna tells him that danam should be done with the least delay and who knows if he will live to make it if he goes to wash his hand!!!i think krishna did this to highlight the gratness of karna,and to state the proverb’he gives twice who gives quickly;i am an admirer of karna for his quality of dana;his association with wrong doers like kauravas may be due to his past life.


  2. I also greatly admire the qualities of Karna and his spirit of generosity and the story about giving ‘DANA’ with his left hand is really good.His unflinching loyalty to his benefactor is an attribute which I would describe as ‘national character’.Jesus described this in His Sermon on the Mount(Book of Matthew,chapter5,verse 13.”You are the salt of the earth.But if the salt loses its saltiness,how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Indians,Hindus,Muslims and Christians are afraid of the phrase “NAMAK HARAAM”.A person who is not true to his “SALT”(his provider)should be rejected.It is claimed that the only noble act of Duryodhana in his life time is that of awarding the kingdom of ANGA to Karna and an evil person like Duryodhana deserve to be served with utmost loyalty as that sense of loyalty is a character issue.


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