Danveer Karna – indian mythology – Mahabharata

Stories related to Danveer Karna  from Mahabharata

Karna is known for his helping nature and he never turned anyone back when someone asked for anything from him. Following are the incidents which reflect upon this virtue of him and fittingly, he is also known as Danveer Karna.

Kavach and Kundal

He was born with Kavach and Kundal and thus was impregnable. There was no way he could be parted with these things. Before the war of Mahabharata, Indra thought of a way to do that. Indra was the father of Arjuna. He knew that eventually, there would be a battle between Arjuna and Karna. He could not be defeated with Kavach and Kundal on. So Indra disguised himself as a Brahmin and asked for Kavach and Kundal as alms. Though he was forwarned by Surya. Still, he happily gave away the things which was asked of him. In return, Indra gave him the “ekaghni”, which has the power to kill anyone.

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal
Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

He eventually had to use this weapon on Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkahca, the son of Bhima, was proving too much for Kauravas. Shri Krishna summoned him to fight the Mahabharata war. Thus, we can see that Arjuna’s safety was ensured by Indra and Shri Krishna while the eldest son of Kunti was fighting this all alone. In way, this virtue of Danveer proved to be his undoing.

Karna with Kavach and Kundal - Mahabharat story
Karna with Kavach and Kundal – Mahabharat story


 Teeth of gold

While he was dying, Lord Indra and Lord Surya had a fight that whether he was the real Danveer at all. They went to him and asked for alms. Karna said that I am dying and do not have anything to give this to you. Indra and Surya have mentioned that he has teeth of gold. Hearing this, he promptly took out the gold and given to the Brahmins.

Gift of Sons

Perhaps this will not be realized in first hand, but Kunti was given four sons as a Dan by Danveer Karna. Karna promised Kunti that she will have five sons, as after the mahabharat war, either him or Arjuna will be alive. This promise was observed by him as he had a chance to kill four pandavas but he let them go.  He was indeed a real Danveer!!!


  1. It seems that stories relating Karna’s Kavach-Kundal and curses are latter day interpolations in Mahabharata to glorify Karna. No doubt that Karna was a great warrior, but not the best warrior of Mahabharata. Arjuna, Bhishma an Abhimanyu were better than him.

    If Karna was invincible with his so called ‘natural Kavach and Kundal, why then he lost against Drupada, Gandharva Chitrasena and Arjuna before kurukshetra war, when he had his ‘kavach’ and ‘kundal’ ?

    Bhima repeatedly defeated him on 14th day of battle and even on 17th day, before his final encounter with Arjuna. Arjuna had also defeated Karna many times before that encounter. Karna could not save Jayadratha from Arjuna. Suddenly at time of his last battle with Arjuna, he became invincible. It is given in Mahabharata that even Krishna with his ‘sudarshan chakra’ was unable to kill Karna with his natural ‘kavach and kundal’. It sounds absurd.

    1. Well said. Point well noted. Though there are numerous incidents in Mahabharat itself which sound inconsistent, but they make up for interesting reading for sure.
      For example, Arjuna beat everybody including Bhishma, Drona, Duryodhana alone before the Mahabharat war, but at the grand stage, all of Pandava’s struggled against Bhishma, Drona, Karna and resorted to some tricks to overpower them.

    2. I really disagree with u all that he was not agreat warrior, in various occasion he let go 4 other pandvas beside arjun. He was suryaputra he was invincible. Draupadi was afraid of his in swambar because he is able to win the competition. Thas why he insulted him infront of all. He always cheated by gods. Firstly indra and then krishna. He was trained by parushuram who was the guru of drona and he was the guru of pandava. He have his chances but always walks in the path of truth. And lastly he was the youngest brother of kunti putra and has the all abilities of that all pandvas have.

  2. I agree with you Ritu. There are many contradictions in Mahabhara. Mahabharata originaly was ‘Jaya Samhita’. It was rewritten many times. The last time this story was told by Ugrashrava arround 400 BC. So the core Mahabharata is a real story. It is not a fiction but the History of ancient India. A fiction can not give so much detail of the History and Geography. But there are few interpolations in Mahabharata. I think these interpolations mostly took place in Gupta period to glorify some charectors of Mahabharata.

    Arjuna defeated kauravas in a surprise attack. Kaurava warriors were perhapes not ready for this battle. They were not expecting Arjuna there. I think kauravas were with a small army at that time. But the situation in Mahabharata was different.

  3. Karna had the everlasting fame, which none of other characters could demand – including Bhishma. One could argue that Bhishma was a selfish person who did not see beyond his vows, which hurt India tremendously, on the other hand, Karna gave everything he had or could have.

  4. Karna was the best warrior in Mahabharata.Because Arjun was Prince of Hastinapur,Guru Dronacharya only teaches to Prince of Hastinapur,also Guru Pershuram only teaches to Bramhins,nobody teach him.At the time of death,ARJUN and Krishna cheated and kill karne.He gives KAVACH AND KUNDAL to Lord Infra.If he had his KAVACH AND KUNDAL then Kauravas win the war.Draupdi insulted Karna also Bheem and Guru Dron insulted karna.Karna was not only best in DHANURVIDYA but also he was good WRESTLER.INFACT HE WAS BEST WARRIOR IN WORLD AND MAHABHARATA.