Loyalty and Friendship - Aditya Sreerameneni

posted Jan 16, 2015, 12:14 PM by Balvihar Teachers 6A   [ updated Jan 16, 2015, 12:18 PM by Balvihar Administrator ]
A good example of loyalty and friendship  in the Mahabharata is between Duryodhana and Karna. 
The reason I chose this as my topic is because even after Kunti, Karna’s biological mother told him he was her son and that the  Pandavas were his brothers, he still chose to be on the Kauravas side.
Duryodhana and Karna were very loyal to each other. Duryodhana befriended him after he saw him as an perfect opponent to match the martial skills of the Pandavas. He made sure that Karna got the same coaching and knowledge that was reserved for the princes. He treated him like his own family member and Karna idolized Duryodhana. Many a time Karna was belittled because he was a commoner but Duryodhana stood by him like a rock and supported him.
One such instance of their strong bond of friendship was at a competition that was held to test the warrior skills of both the Kauravas and Pandavas. The Pandavas impressed the Gurus and the crowds with their martial arts more than the Kauravas. At that point Duryodhana brought in Karna as an opponent to Arjuna to display their archery skills. The sage Kripacharya said Karna could not face Arjuna since he was a son of a charioteer, while Arjuna was a prince. Without any hesitation, Duryodhana came to his rescue and announced that Karna would henceforth be known as the ruler of the state of  Anga. This is one of the many examples of loyalty and friendship between the two.I think it is good and bad at the same time. Because Karna chose to stay with his friend who cared for him rather than side with his family. He also stuck with the Kauravas during  the Kurukshetra war though Kunti and the Pandavas pleaded with him not to fight a losing battle against his own family. Karna sacrificed his family and stuck with his friend who stood by him. Karna could have enjoyed the luxury of having a royal family and also being the ruler of Hastinapura, as he was the oldest of the Pandava brothers, but he chose not to sacrifice his friendship and loyalty to Duryodhana. He also proved to be a man of his word to his mother Kunti, by not hurting his brothers during Kurukshetra.

        I admire the qualities of Karna because of his loyalty, honesty and bravery. This makes me reflect on the thought that if you have  determination and discipline in life, you can go to any extent to achieve the goals you set. I learnt the values of friendship, determination and respect after reading about Karna.