Karna deceives his guru Parshurama

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Speaker: Gopal Jiu Publications
Source: Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu

karnaandparshuramaOne day, when Sri Parshurama experienced some fatigue due to fasting, he thought of taking rest. Out of affection, he took rest in Karna’s lap. At that time, a deadly stinging carnivorous insect, who would feed on the blood and flesh of others climbed onto the lap of Karna and pierced the leg of Karna with his stinger. Due to the wound caused by the sting, Karna’s leg started slowly bleeding. Karna did not move even a bit, although he was in much pain, for he did not want to wake up his guru. When the blood dripped on Sri Parshurama’s body, he woke up and said to Karna, ‘Hey! You’ve become impure. What happened? Please tell me without fear. Karna told of the insect’s sting. As soon as Sri Parshurama saw the insect, he killed it with his mere glance. A surprising event then occurred. A fearsome demon became visible in the sky. The demon folded his hands in front of Sri Parshurama, and said, ‘O greatest amongst sages! Thank you for relieving me of the hellish situation of life that I was suffering in. Now I will return back to the place that I had come from’. Parshurama then angrily asked Karna, ‘O fool! The pain of the sting of that kind of insect is something that a brāhmaṇa can never tolerate. Your tolerance of pain is like that of a kṣatriya. Tell me actually who you are. ‘Afraid of the consequences, Karna fell on the ground and revealed his identity by saying, ‘O Lord! I am born in a caste named sūta, which is distinct from a brāhmaṇa and a śūdra. People address me as Radheya, the son of Radha. Being greedy to learn the science of the brahmāstra, I lied to you. Since the guru who guides us is as good as our father, I had uttered the name of your lineage when you asked me mine’. Saying this, Karna trembled and fell on the ground while folding his hands. Sri Parshurama laughed sarcastically, and said, ‘O fool! By speaking lies to me you have cheated me. Therefore, when your death will be near and you’ll most desperately need this brahmāstra, you’ll forget all about invoking it. However, in all other times of war you will remain unmatched.’ Saying this, Sri Parshurama left.