Karna

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Karna was the first son of the virgin Kunti, wife of Pandu, by the sun god Surya, and was born wearing armor and earrings. To escape the shame of his birth his mother abandoned him in a basket on a river. He was rescued and adopted by the charioteer Adhiratha, while his birth mother went on to have five more sons, collectively known as the Kuntis, including the famous warrior Arjuna, who was trained in the use of the doomsday Brahmasiras weapon. Karna was taught archery by the immortal Parashurama. The Kuntis competed against each other and Karna won, thus becoming the champion-hero of the Kauravas. He is considered the epitome of courage and generosity.

His story forms part of the sacred Indian epic, the Mahabharata.

References

Encyclopedia of Religion. 16 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1987)
Beck, Sanderson. "Literature of India." Available at: http://www.san.beck.org/EC12-Literature.html
"Shadow Stories of Indonesia." Available at: http://www.pacificnet.net/gamelan/story.html
"Mahabharata." Available at: http://www.joglosemar.co.id/mahabharata.html
"Parashurama." Available at: http://freeindia.org/biographies/parasuram/

Indexes

Mythological, Traditional and Divine Figures
Indian
India
Military and Defense
Hindu
Birth or Infancy
Mother Married, but Not to Father
Others ("Strangers")
Very Poor (Financially) Adoptive or Foster Families
Customary or Traditional Adoption, Informal and Extra-Legal Care
Adoptees/Fosterees from Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Birth Families
Mother Married but Not to Birth Father
Birth Sibling(s) Remained With or Returned to Birth Family
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