Rashmirathi

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Rashmirathi (रश्मिरथी), meaning 'the Sun's charioteer', is one of the most popular epic poems of the great Hindi poet, Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. It is one of the most appreciated works of Dinkar other than "Kurukshetra".

About the poem

Karna was first born son of Kunti whom she had abandoned at birth as he was an illegitimate son. Karna grew up in a lowly family, yet became one of the best warriors of his time. In the Great Mahabharata war, Karna was obliged to fight from the side of Duryodhana as Duryodhana recognizing his merits had made him a king and adopted him as a close friend. Karna fighting from Kaurava's side was a great worry of Pandavas as he was reputed to be unconquerable in war. The way Dinkar has presented the story of Karna with all hues of human emotions trapped in moral dilemmas, is simply marvelous. The rhythm and meter is lilting. Choice of words and purity of language is exhilarating. The work has a timeless relevance and is a must read.

On the eve of Mahabharata War, Kunti went to Karna and requested him to diffuse the war by leaving Duryodhana and coming over to Pandava's side as he was her first born and it was only appropriate for him to fight from the side of Pandavas. A part of Karna's reply in words of Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' is given below. Karna says that even as he foresees a defeat for Kauravas, he must fight from the side of Duryodhana. He says that the war is quite pointless yet it is a destiny that has to be...
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