Karna’s family – Vrushali and Vrishketu

Karna was the eldest son of Kunti and Lord Surya. There is not much available about his family, but following briefly tells about the family of this great archer, the rashmirathi.

Karna and Kunti
Karna and Kunti

In some texts, Vrushali has been names as the wife of the great warrior Karna, but there is not much material available on her. The son of Karna, Vrishketu is mentioned more frequently and it is also known that Pandavas developed good liking towards him, especially Arjuna.

Karna had two wives- Vrushali- from whom he had seven sons – and Supriya- a friend of Bhanumati. Bhanumati was the wife of Duryodhana. Vrushali committed sati on Karna’s funeral pyre.

Vrishketu and other sons

Vrishketu was Karna’s only son to survive the horror of the Kurukshetra war. He later came under the patronage of the Pandavas.  Vrishketu accompanied both Bhima- to acquire the sacrificial horse and Arjuna, where he famously fought – (and was killed by) Babruvahana.

Shri Krishna’s first response was to  revive  Vrishketu with the magical Nagmani and only then turn his attention to Arjuna. During that campaign, Vrishketu married the daughter of king Yavanaath, probably a King in the west. It is recorded that Arjuna developed a great affection for his nephew Vrishketu and trained him to be one of the best archers in the world.

Mahabharata  mentions the names of Karna’s seven sons – Vrishasen, Sushen, Bhanusen, Satyasen, Prasenjit and Satyasandh, and Vrishketu.

Out of these, four of them were killed by Pandavas. Vrishasen was killed by Arjun, who contrasted the situation with Abhimanyu and told Karna that just as he killed Abhimanyu when Arjun wasn’t there to protect him, Arjun would kill Vrishasena despite Karna’s presence, and went on to do just that.  The next day, Nakula was involved in a battle with Bhanusen, Sushen and Satyasen, and killed them.

In some texts, this is mentioned that one of Karna’s son was killed during the chaos, which was followed after Draupadi’s swayamvar.

Draupadi swayamvara story
Draupadi swayamvara story

This can also be noted that Karna was not allowed to participate in Draupadi Swayamvar.

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