Episode # 159 – The first Karna vs. Arjuna fight – Venue: “Ranga-Bhoomi” of Hastinapura!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the importance of “focus” and “concentration” in whatever task we do. This was illustrated by Guru Dhronaachaarya to the children by using the assessment technique of hitting a bird on top of a tree trunk. While everyone failed in the assessment, there was again only one person who succeeded, and that person was none other than Arjuna himself! He was the only one who was able to aim at the bird’s eye accurately and hit it exactly how he should do it. With this, Guru Dhronaachaarya was mighty impressed with Arjuna and explained to the others that if there is one person who was an epitome of concentration, it is Arjuna. By benchmarking Arjuna thus, Guru Dhronaachaarya taught the children as to how they should also develop this attitude of complete focus while performing a given task. This is a great lesson not only for the kids out there, but also for all of us too in both our professional and personal spaces. 

Moving on thus, as the days closed in, it was time for that one final test that all of them have to give. Now that the lessons from Guru Dhronaachaarya are over, the children have to showcase their ability and learning in front of the king and the other important dignitaries of the Hastinapura kingdom. Guru Dhronaachaarya meticulously prepared all the kids for the so-called “D-day” and all of them were ready to go for the kill! As the day arrived, a “Ranga-Bhoomi” was prepared amidst a huge open space. Normally, a “Ranga-Bhoomi” is a place wherein the newly-educated children would be able to showcase their talents in front of the king. There was a huge gathering there, including Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya, Sage Kripachaarya, etc. adorning the place. King Dhirdiraashtra also made his way and sat amidst the elite gathering. 

Now the “Ranga-Bhoomi” event commences. Each one of them comes forward and exhibits their talent and learning. Duryodhana came forward and exhibited his strength and valor. Subsequently Bheemasena came forward to exhibit his strength and expertise. Eventually as everyone come by, Arjuna also comes and exhibits his talent. At one stage, the entire gathering started coming to a conclusion that there was none in the group who was as good as Arjuna! He was a clear outlier than the rest of the crowd. At a time when the entire gathering was about to declare Arjuna as the best amongst the lot, there was one person who stormed inside the “Ranga-Bhoomi”! As this person came in, the entire place was shining bright as if a thousand suns had risen up the horizon! This person was none other than Karna! 

As we all know, Karna was the son of Soorya Bhagawan, who was actually born to Kunthi Devi before her marriage, but she had left him to be brought up by a charioteer family somewhere outside the city of Hastinapura. This same Karna had grown up and was also part of the Gurukula of Guru Dhronaachaarya. Now he too wanted to be part of the Ranga-Bhoomi activities, and requested permission! As Bhishmachaarya and the others gave him the same, Karna got into a direct fight with Arjuna with the bow and arrow. To everyone’s utter amazement, Karna was slowly emerging powerful! The fight was extremely intense between the two, and people were wondering who this Karna was and where was he from! Nobody knew that Karna was Kunthi Devi’s first son, and all they knew was he was a charioteer’s son (Raadheya). As time went by, Arjuna was slowly losing ground and Karna emerged powerful! This made everybody stand up in awe and appreciate the little boy for his exceptional talent with the bow and arrow. As Karna was the first person in the world to challenge Arjuna’s prowess with the bow and arrow, he wanted to get into a “Dvandha-Yuddha” with Arjuna. Normally “Dvandha-Yuddha” means physical fighting with each other. As Karna requested permission, this time, he was denied! 

As Guru Dhronaachaarya denies permission to Karna, he stands up and explains the rationale behind his decision thus, “Oh Karna! This place is only for princes and not for charioteer sons like you! Whatever talents you’ve shown till now are great! But I wouldn’t allow you to proceed further, as you do not belong to the people here!” As Karna hears thus, he is extremely pained at heart. He replies back angrily thus, “Oh Guru Dhronaachaarya! Till today, I’ve given you all the respect that you deserve! But today, you’ve proved your true colors of “differentiating” your students based on their background and creed. Is this what this Hastinapura kingdom is all about? What kind of a rule is going on here? This “Ranga-Bhoomi” is a testing place for everyone who has learnt lessons from you! Where has it been said that this place is only for princes and not for anybody else? Show me the proof!” 

With this, the argument between Karna and Guru Dhronaachaarya escalated to a different level, however, there was one person who was watching this Karna vs. Arjuna fight very closely! Who was this person and how did he intervene to solve this argument? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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