The Mahabharata Home
"Karna said, 'I am Karna, son of Radha and Adhiratha. For what, O lady, hast thou come here? Tell me what I am to do for thee?'
"Kunti said, 'Thou art Kunti's son, and not Radha's. Nor is Adhiratha thy father. Thou, O Karna, art not born in the Suta order. Believe what I say. Thou wert brought forth by me while a maiden. I held thee first in my womb. O son, thou wert born in the palace of Kuntiraja. O Karna, that divine Surya who blazeth forth in light and maketh everything visible, O foremost of all wielders of weapons, begat thee upon me. O irresistible one, thou, O son, wert brought forth by me in my father's abode, decked with (natural) ear-rings and accoutred in a (natural) coat of mail, and blazing forth in beauty. That thou, without knowing thy brothers, shouldst, therefore, from ignorance, wait upon Dhritarashtra's son, is not proper. It is improper in thee especially, O son. The gratification of one's father and one's mother, who is the sole displayer of affection (for her child), hath, O son, in the matter of ascertaining the duties of men, been declared to be the highest of all duties. Acquired formerly by Arjuna, the prosperity of Yudhishthira hath, from avarice, been wrested by wicked persons. Snatching it back from Dhritarashtra's sons, do thou enjoy that prosperity. Let the Kurus behold today the union of Karna and Arjuna. Beholding thee and thy brother united together in bonds of brotherly love, let those wicked persons bow down unto ye. Let Karna and Arjuna be named in the same breath as Rama and Janardana. If you two are united together, what cannot be accomplished in the world? O Karna, surrounded by thy brothers, thou wilt, without doubt, blaze forth like Brahma Himself, surrounded by the gods on the platform of a great sacrifice. Endued with every virtue, thou art the first of all my relations. Let not the epithet Suta's son attach to thee. Thou art a Partha, endued with great energy.'"
Next: Section CXLVI