Saturday, June 19, 2010

Karna in Kaliyug

This is a true story that happened in Southern part of Gujarat. Junaghad is the name of the city, now. I do not have the book with me at this time so I do not know the date.
Sagalsha was a great merchant. In that area, he was the richest merchant at that time. Sagalsha successfully ran and operated many businesses. Sagalsha was know for his generosity and Baghwan bhakti. He was popular among people and even the king respected him. Sagalsha had built a great Dharmsala ( place where food is given in daan ) where many travelers and poor people came to get food.
Junaghad is near Dwarka and Somnath. There were many great men that traveled on foot to these great cities to pray to Krishna and Shiva. All these people that passed through Junaghad, stopped at the Dharmsala built by Sagalsha to receive food in daan. Sagalsha only took enough money from his businesses to live a very simple life, the rest he gave away in purchasing food and clothing items for travelers and poor. Such was the generosity of Sagalsha.
Who was Sagalsha?
Many Sants ( holy men ) said that Sagalsha is the great Daan Veer Karna coming back in Kaliyug. When Arjun shot Karna in the chest by a powerful arrow, Karna did not die but was wounded. After the battle, Krishna came to visit Karna in disguise of a Brahmin.
Krishna- Karna, I have heard that you are a Daan veer. I need money, can you give me some daan?
Karna - Great one, take whatever you can find in my chariot.
Krishna - There is nothing left in your chariot, except your bow and quiver of arrows. The rest thieves have already stolen it.
Karna - My father Surya Dev once told me that I have diamonds in my teeth.
Karna takes a rock and hits himself in the mouth and breaks his teeth. Karna offers the diamonds that were in those teeth to Krishna.
Krishna - Karna, you have taken that out of your mouth. Would you donate dirty daan to someone?
Karna - Forgive me, please give me water.
Krishna - Karna, would you make a Brahmin work?
Karna - Great one, you are right.

According to the Gujarati version of MB, Karna's curse was not to forget the knowledge but to fall on the battlefield on certain day.
Karna could not get up because of the arrow but started to roll and slide on the ground to reach his chariot. Karna grabbed the wheel and got in the chariot to take the bow and the quiver. After that, Karna came out and slid on the ground again until he came where the Brahmin was standing. Karna took one arrow out and placed Ganga astra mantra on it and shot it aiming for the ground. Water came out of the ground, where Karna had shot the arrow.
Karna washed the diamonds with that water and offered it to the Brahmin. The Brahmin turned into Lord Krishna.
Krishna - Karna, you are a great Daan Veer. Ask for anything you want.
Krishna at the same time showed Karna the great Virat Swaroop that he had shown it to Arjun. Karna bowed to Baghwan.
Karna - Lord, I would like to ask for five things in next life. I do not want any maya.
1. Let me receive a tilak from Brahmin. ( In Kaliyug, people usually place tilak by themselves to show off, but the true tilak is the one placed by a Brahmin for giving daan or seva )
2. Let mother give me bhojan. ( People forget motherly love and enjoy more when girlfriend or wife serve )
3. Please, be inside my heart all the time, Lord. ( Baghwan is also in us, not just in temple)
4. Let my son cremate me. ( Karna asked this so he knows that after his death his son to take care of the rest of the family )
5. Lord, cremate me yourself at the deserted place where no one will be harmed.
After saying this Karna freed his soul from his body. Krishna took Karna's body on his shoulder and near Tapi river cremated Karna's body on his own hand.
Karna's soul went to Vaikunth because he had received moksha from Baghwan. At Vaikunth, Karna was very hungry.
Karna - Lord, I am very hungry, please give me something to eat.
Baghwan Sri Vishnu - Great Daan Veer Karna,  follow me. I will give you back what you have given as Daan, thousand times greater.

Karna followed the Lord to mountains of gold and diamonds.
Karna - Lord, you have brought me to mountains of gold and diamonds. But, I am very hungry and these items, I cannot eat.
Sri Vishnu - Karna, you have donated all these items that I am giving back to you, many times greater.
Karna - Lord, I have seen my mistake. I have donated gold but I forgot to donate anna ( food ) which is greater than gold and diamonds. Let me go back on earth one more time and this time I will donate anna.
This way Karna came back as Sagalsha and donated food and clothes instead of diamonds and gold. Sagalsha gave food to many sants, and they placed tilak on his head. Sagalsha took great care of his parents, and was given bhojan by his mother. Sagalsha prayed while doing work so he was thinking of Lord Krishna all the time. All these were the boons that he had asked from Krishna, when he was Karna. Sagalsha had a wife and a son named Chalio. Both of they also helped him in performing seva to sants and poor.
Sagalsha had made one promise, to give bhojan to a sant traveler before eating any food. Everyday, Sagalsha made sure that a traveling sant had eaten first. One day, Sagalsha could not find any sant from outside. Sagalsha waited for long time and looked at all the people that were having bhojan in the Dharmsala but could not find anyone that was from another place.

Sagalsha after much searching, finally found an Agori who was very nasty looking. The Agori was wounded in many places and blood was coming out. The Agori was very dirty but Sagalsha greeted him properly and offered him invitation for bhojan.
Agori - Sagalsha, you will not be able to give me proper bhojan fit for me so leave me alone.
Sagalsha - Great one, please come with me for bhojan. I will do everything I can to give you a good bhojan.
Agori - I will come but you will disappoint me. I am an Agori.
Sagalsha - If I have to I will give my life but will make sure that you will be satisfied.
Sagalsha brought his buggy and placed Agori in it while he drove the buggy himself. At home, Sagalsha gave proper water to Agori for shower. Sagalsha himself washed the Agori properly, even though the Agori was very ugly. Sagalsha placed an ashan for Agori to sit on while he himself served the bhojan.
Agori - Sagalsha, what type of bhojan is this? Did I not tell you that I am an Agori. I do not eat this type of bhojan. I am a meat eater so bring me meat.
Sagalsha - Great one. How can I do that? How can I bring meat that has never been brought in this Dharmsala?
Agori - Did I not tell you that you will not be able to give me proper bhojan. Now, let me go.
Sagalsha grabbed Agori's feet and begged him to stay. Sagalsha went out immediately to the corner of the city where butchers were cutting alive animals. Even though Sagalsha could not stand the sight of it, he bought meat from the butchers. Sagalsha brought the meat home and his wife couldn't stand the sight of it cooked it properly. The meat dish was served to the Agori.
Agori - Sagalsha, what type of meat is this?
Sagalsha - It is goat meat, great one. Please, have bhojan.
Agori - How can I have bhojan? I am an Agori and I do not eat goat meat but human meat.
Sagalsha - I will cut my body parts and serve you.
Agori - No, I do not want you or your wife. Both of you are the ones that invited me but find someone else.
Sagalsha thought that who can we ask that?

Sagalsha thought that I cannot ask anyone, who will volunteer to be bhojan for the Agori? I am ready but he will not accept me, who can I find? All of a sudden, he remembered that his son Chalio ( 10 years old ) was in school. Will he do this deed for them? Sagalsha sent a servant to school to bring Chalio home. The servant asked the Guru to send Chalio home with him.
Servant - Chalio, do not go home but run away. If you need shelter, you can stay at my home. Your father will use you for bhojan to feed an Agori.
Chalio - No, thank you for your offer but I will go home. My father needs my help and If I run away it is not proper. ( Baghwan Krishna had given Karna a great son, just like his father )
Chailo came home and stood infront of both of his parents.
Sagalsha - Son, today I am asking something from you that will be impossible to give.
Chalio - Father, I am ready to give my life for this Agori. Please, take me to him.
Chalio bows to his parents and Agori. Chalio takes the knife and kills himself. All of a sudden, the Agori turns into the great Lord Baghwan Sri Vishnu. Baghwan makes Chalio alive again and blesses all of them.
Sri Vishnu - All of you are great Daan Veers. Ask me anything you want.
Sagalsha and his Wife - Great Lord, please do not ever test anyone else this way. Give us your bhakti and nothing else.
Baghwan Sri Vishnu blessed them all and disappeared.
Today, guides explain this story in this city. They show the house where, Sagalsha lived and the place where the Lord as Agori sat for bhojan. Guides also explain how the little Chalio had sacrificed himself to help his father.


  1. that is a nice story, we have a similiar story here in tamil nadu, where karna being born as a nayanmar to give food dhan , also one more story is that when karna goes to heaven he did all types of dhan but he didn't do food dhan and so he gets hungry on the way to heaven but he couldn't find food and no one is willing to offer him too, after starving for a while karna asked someone on where the food is available and that person pointed out his finger to a place where karna goes and gets food ,this is because when karna was alive a beggar came and asked where is free food given and karna pointed the way to him. so karna get's it returned

  2. Thank you Gandherva,
    Can you please tell me the story about Nayanmar? I have heard about the story that you mentioned about Karna placing a finger in his mouth for hunger.

  3. This story appears in the great Tantric Trilogy "Aghora: At the left hand of God" by Robert E. Svoboda, which was a series of reminiscences of his Aghori Guru Sri Vimalananda, who was a descendant of the blessed Sagalsha.
    I was wondering all along where this place had been.
    Now I realise it happened in Junagadh.

  4. good story sanjay......
    nice interpretation......
    Karna was a really great daanveer...