Mahabharata is the epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War which was written by Sage Vyasa. It is the longest poem ever written with over 1.8 million words in total.
Lord Krishna is the central figure in the Mahabharata and he provides the necessary guidance and support to the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.
Arjuna the third son among the Pandavas is pitched against Karna. Karna is born to Kunti before her marriage to Pandu and is a close friend of Duryodana. He fights the War on behalf of the Kauravas.
Karna is known for his generosity and the following is an interesting story from Mahabharat to depict the greatness of Karna.
Once Krishna and Arjuna were walking towards a village. Arjuna was pestering Krishna, asking him why Karna should be considered an unparalleled Donor and not him.
Arjuna went into the village and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain. The villagers sang his praises and Arjuna walked towards the mountains with a huffed up chest.
For two days and two nights Arjuna shoveled gold from the mountain and donated to each villager. The mountains did not diminish in the slightest. Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes. Now Arjuna was exhausted, but not ready to let go of his Ego, told Krishna he couldn't go on any longer without rest.
Then Krishna called Karna and told him to donate every bit of the two gold mountains. Karna called the villagers, and said “Those two Gold mountains are yours”, and walked away.
Arjuna sat dumbfounded and thought “Why this thought has not occurred to me”.
Krishna smiled mischievously and told him, “Arjuna subconsciously, you were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount. Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination.
Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn't expect people to sing his praises, he doesn't even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back.
That is the sign of a man already on the path of enlightenment. Giving with an Expectation of a Return in the form of a Compliment or Thanks is not a Gift, then it becomes a Trade. Give without expecting anything in Return. Givers Gain.
2nd March 2015