A Summary of the Karna Parva

Note: The 8th parva of the Mahabharata is the Karna Parva. This parva deals with two and a half days of the war when Karna was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava army after Drona’s death.

This parva contains 4964 shlokas divided into 69 sections.

The Karna Parva begins with the appointment of Karna as the commander and Salya (king of Madra) as his charioteer.

Next is narrated the story of how the asura, Tripura was vanquished.

This parva contains the quarrel between Karna and his charioter, Salya, where they insulted each other with words and parables. 

The high-souled son of Drona, Ashwattham, slayed a warrior called Pandya in this parva.

Other warriors who met their end in this parva were Dandasena and Darda.

After that, Yudhishthira and Karna engaged in a one-on-one combat. This move was very risky for Yudhishthira.

Then came the quarrel between Yudhishthira and Arjuna in which Arjuna was pacified by Krishna.

The next incident in this parva was the battle between Bhima and Dussasana. Bhima vanquished Dussasana and ripped open his chest to drink blood from Dussasana’s heart to fulfil his vow to Draupadi.

The Karna Parva ends with the death of Karna at the hands of Arjuna.

Table of Contents

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