Note : This Article is for those who love Mahabharata and/or are students of The Bhagavad Geeta. This series of articles focuses on War Tactics of Lord Shree Krishna – Just one dimension out of the infinite dimensions of his awe-inspiring personality. It is a small attempt from my side to compile these awesome incidents which are scattered across the pages of Geeta and to bring them at one place.
It is the 17th Day of battle. The much-awaited duel between Karna and Arjuna resumed. Both these warriors matched each other weapon for weapon. This famous duel was witnessed by the gods from the heavens.
Karna cut the string of Arjuna’s bow many times. But at each instant he found Arjuna able to tie back the bowstring in the twinkling of an eye. Karna praised Arjuna for this and remarked to Shalya that now he understood why people called him the greatest archer in the world.
Although the duel was evenly-fought for a long while, Karna was suddenly stricken by the playing-out of the curses that had been thrown at him and which would now put him in grave danger. Hampered as his chariot wheel sank into the ground in loose, wet soil, he found himself unable to remember the incantations for his divine weapons, as his teacher Parashurama had foretold. Descending from his chariot to remove the wheel, he requested Arjuna to wait, as the etiquette of battle allowed; but Krishna told Arjuna that Karna has no right to refer to etiquette at this point, having violated those same rules himself when killing Abhimanyu, participating in the laksha-griha conspiracy, assisting Duryodhan in the game of dice and insulting Draupadi in the Hastinapur court. Lord Krishna told Arjuna that it was not adharma to kill a man who had supported evil all his life, and urged Arjuna to kill Karna while he could.
Arjuna shot many arrows at the helpless Karna, severely wounding him, but was curiously unable to kill him. Lord Krishna told him that the great Dharma of noble charity that Karna had performed during his lifetime was protecting him. Lord Krishna ordered Arjuna to redouble his efforts. Arjuna complied and Karna was killed.