Death of best friend | A heartbreaking extract from Mahabharata

Mahabharata is not just a great epic about the Kurukshetra war. It is also an encyclopedia of all human values, struggles and relationships. One of the most unforgettable moments in Mahabharata is the death of the mighty warrior Karna. Death of Karna evokes some heartbreaking situations and one of them is Duryodhana, the king of Hastinapur and best friend of Karna, knowing Karna’s death.

Death of best friend — Art

death of karna and crying duryodhana
Inconsolable Duryodhana

Duryodhana was a greedy and jealous king of Hastinapur. He abhorred his cousins. His cousin brother Yudhishthira, who is the rightful owner of the throne, tried his best to avoid the war. Duryodhana was adamant in his decision to refuse even the basic facilities like food and shelter for his cousins. Krishna, the supreme God, pleaded to Duryodhana to avoid a war. Duryodhana’s pride knew no bounds and he was in no mood to end this injustice.

“I am not afraid of a war. I am not going to give an inch of land to Yudhishthira and his brothers,” declared Duryodhana.

Karna knew that it was an injustice by Duryodhana but he didn’t argue and decided to join Duryodhana’s side in Kurukshetra war.

The war began and Pandavas(Yudhishthira’s side) and Kauravas(Duryodhana’s side) fought fiercely. Despite the behemoth size of the Kaurava army, Pandavas were inching towards victory. Duryodhana saw his blood brothers dying in the war but he didn’t cry. Duryodhana was confident of victory because of his best friend — the mighty Karna.

One night, Lord Krishna met Karna and warned him about the certain failure of Kauravas. Krishna invited him to join Pandava side and offered him the crown.

Karna replied,”I know what my best friend Duryodhana is doing is wrong. I know that Dharma(righteousness) always wins and I also know that you are the supreme lord of all worlds, who is joining this war to guarantee Dharma. But I am not scared of death. Nothing in this world can change my mind and I will never ever leave my best friend.”

Lord Krishna felt immensely proud of Karna and left the scene. 

On the 17th day of Kurushethra war, Karna was killed by Arjuna. This heartbreaking news reached Duryodhana. For the first time in his life, Duryodhana grieved and was inconsolable. Nobody had ever seen Duryodhana crying like this, not even on his brothers’ death. For the first time, Duryodhana lost his ego, hope and courage. Worldly possessions became worthless and all he wished for was the end of his own life. Duryodhana blamed himself and his endless greed for the death of Karna. 

Next day, the 18th/Last Day of war, Duryodhana went to the battle without any strength. His mind was totally lost and he was killed by Bhima.

The End of this blog post and Kurukshetra war 

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