Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 15: Part 3

  • 41) Bhima was naturally knowledgeable in all the vidyas. He ensured Drona develops special affection for his brother Partha. In order to ensure Arjuna learnt all the astra vidyas, he did not perform Guru seva with the same intensity.
  • 42) “With the strength of my shoulders, and with the grace of Paramatma, I will destroy all enemies. What is this (training) needed for?” – thinking thus Bhima would not stare at the target with greater effort. Even in performing seva, he would prod Arjuna ahead of him.
  • 43) Then, all the princes rushed there in order to learn all astras from Drona. He taught all of them the divine astras, which no one else knew, and which he had learnt from Parashurama himself.
  • 44) These princes obtained a variety of divine astras, which the earlier Kings could not even imagine possessing, and became much more capable than anyone earlier.
  • 45) In the knowledge of astras, in strength and in knowledge of all vidyas, almost no earlier King was equal to them. Only great kings of yore such as Bharata, the son of Dushyanta, Mandhatru and Marutta were equal to them (the princes).
  • 46) Then, Karna and Ekalavya came to Drona in order to learn divine astras from him. The student of Parashurama (Drona) did not teach them the astras as they were Suta and Nishada respectively.
  • 47) When his desire was not fulfilled, Karna, who was driven by ego, thought thus – “I will take refuge in Purushottama Sri Hari, who is born in the Bhrigu clan, and from whom this Brahmin (Drona) has obtained all his astras”. Thinking thus, he left for the ashrama of Parashurama.
  • 48) Due to his desire of astras and due to fear, Karna declared thus to the all-knowing Prabhu Sri Parshurama – “I am a Brahmana”. Parashurama taught him divine weapons even though he knew (the truth about Karna being a Suta).
  • 49) Sri Parashurama knowingly taught him the astras so that Duryodhana would gather courage from Karna’s knowledge of weapons and would engage him to try and kill Arjuna, the greatest proponent of astras.
  • 50) Karna, over a period of four years, learnt from Parashurama great many subjects related to the almighty. He also learnt many other subjects and obtained a bow called Vijaya and an excellent chariot. He could not leave Parshurama and stayed back with him.
  • 51) Once Sri Parashurama, whose very nature is knowledge and one who is the best amongst the devatas, kept his head on his (Karna’s) lap and appeared to be sleeping, although he is one without sleep. The main reason for this was to inflict appropriate punishment for having gotten Vali killed (Karna was Sugreeva in the Ramayana).
  • 52) A Rakshasa by name Heti had been cursed to be born as an insect for not having served Mahendra on time. In order to help his son (Arjuna), Indra entered the insect so he could get Karna a curse.
  • 53) Due to the presence of Heti and Indra, the thigh of Karna, starting from the lower end up till the skin at the top, was cut just as if an arrow had pierced. It led to profuse bleeding. Parashurama, who appeared like he was sleeping, got up and asked him.
  • 54) “Why did you not wake me up even though the flow of blood had rendered impurity here?”. Karna replied to him – “I ignored the insect since I did not want your sleep to be disturbed”.
  • 55) “Although I am a Suta by birth, I had told you that I was a Vipra from the Bhrugu clan, since I consider myself your son. O Lord! There is none other than you who is the world’s mother, father and great teacher! Therefore what I said earlier is also true”
  • 56) As soon as he said thus, the insect fell on to the gaze of Sri Parashurama. Due to the grace of the one with infinite auspicious attributes (Parashurama), the insect obtained its original form and climbed a divine vehicle and obtained Swarga.
  • 57) Sri Parashurama then said thus – “Having spoken the untruth, you no longer qualify to stay with me. Even then, your devotion will not go a waste. You will win over all your enemies”
  • 58) “When you are not competing against anyone, you will become invincible. But you will suffer defeat when you engage with competition in mind. There need not be any doubt about this. You will also suffer due to forgetfulness when engaged in warfare of astras”.
  • 59) “Leave forthwith” – having been instructed thus by him (Parashurama), Karna respectfully bowed to him and left. Similarly, Ekalavya, who had been rejected by Drona, made an idol of him in the forest and started worshiping (the same).
  • 60) Thereafter, the Pandavas, along with the Kauravas once went to the forest for hunting. The dog of Yudhisthira, seeking a prey, started barking.

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