In India, for people who are conversant with the Mahabharata, there is a whole culture where Karna is a kind of anti-hero. He is a sweet mango gone bad. He was a wonderful human being gone totally bad because he invested in bitterness. His bitterness took him into a disastrous life story. He was a man with a phenomenal sense of integrity and generosity but all this was lost. He died in the battle in a bad way.
Was Karna Good or Bad?
Karna meets his end with Arjuna’s arrow. Existence is not making a judgment about who is good or bad. It is only social situations that try to judge people as good and bad. It is only individual human beings who try to judge you as good and bad. Existence never judges because it is not written anywhere that one thing is good and some other thing is bad. It is just that if you do the right things, the right results happen to you. If you don’t do the right things, the right things do not happen to you. I think that’s perfectly fair. All the Karna fans think it is unfair that he should have been put through so much. I think it’s perfectly fair. Society may not be fair, but existence is perfectly fair – unless you do the right things, the right things will not happen to you. If existence was not like this, there would be no value in doing the right things or for human intelligence. Nothing that we value in our life would be valuable if we could do wrong things and still, the right things happened to us. Life doesn’t work like that.