One of the most important teachings of the Mahabharata is loyalty. The life of Karna is full of sadness. It has the pain of being deprived of the rights. It may be natural to be loyal towards Duryodhan due to this pain, but it wasn’t be judicious. Another example of loyalty is Bhishma, who himself was brave and expert of religion, yet, like Karna, he too was loyal towards the throne only.
Loyalty usually asks us to remain silent when society needs our voice. This is the reason why rebellious and learned people rarely succeed in politics, because politics expect the kind of loyalty, which people like Bhishma, Dronacharya and Karna can fulfill. Here, mention of Vidur is essential as he, while doing his job for Dhritrashtra, was still with the truth.
One of the questions we have faced during lockdown is, should a good friend be like Karna?
We can learn a lot from Karna, but it is essential to distinguish between friendship and loyalty. He could have opted to live a normal life, if he had more inclination towards truth than the state. His behaviour during Draupadi’s undressing tells that he was blind towards the injustice. We cannot convert personal disagreement into injustice. Passive support of that act blemished the image of Karna.
We need to understand that paying the debts of someone doesn’t mean losing humanity. Freedom of any kind makes life blissful. So, keep yourself away from the borrowed thoughts as much as possible.
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