Did Bhishma know about Karna being Kunti putra?
After Arjuna defeats Bhishma and brings him down, all the warriors both Pandava and Kaurava go to see the Pitamaha and get his blessings. Karna had refused to fight as long as Bhishma lead the army. Hearing of his fall, Karna makes his way to Bhishma.
There they have a very interesting conversation. Karna introduces himself as Radha’s son to the dying Bhishma, who corrects him and says that he is Kunti’s son. Bhishma explains that Devarishi Narada and Vyasa rishi have already told him this. He does not say how long he’s known this.
But the Pitamaha does explain to Karna that it was not out of hate that he spoke harshly to him. He wished to avoid the battle between brothers, which was happening now. He says that Karna’s pride and his association with Duryodhana always made him choose adharma. He requests Karna to cast aside enmity now at least and make peace with the Pandavas.
Karna refuses and admits that he has offended the Pandavas always with Duryodhana and that what will happen is unavoidable. But he still cannot go over to the Pandava side since he cannot stop hating them and also, he has enjoyed the ‘wealth of Duryodhana’.
He seeks permission from Bhishma to fight and Bhishma tells him to put his pride aside and go into battle.
So, Bhishma knew about Karna’s birth from Kunti, but when did Karna know? The common belief is that he knew when Kunti came to him right before war. Is that correct? Let’s see in the next blog post.