(Last Updated on : 11/02/2014)
Meeting of Kunti and Karna before the great battle at Kurukshetra followed the day after Krishna returned from Hastinapur with his message of peace being rejected by the Kauravas. Living in the household of Dhritarashtra, and hearing constantly of preparations for war against her own sons Kunti thought that if she could induce the ally of Duryodhana to fight on the side of her sons, instead of against them, she would greatly increase for them the chances of victory. Thus, one morning, by the river-side, as Karna ended his devotions after bathing, and turned, he was surprised to find the aged Kunti, mother of the Pandavas, waiting behind him.
was standing with arms uplifted, facing the east, when Kunti
crept up behind him and waited trembling in his shadow till, when from very weariness she looked like a fading lotus, he at last turned round. Karna was startled at the encounter, but controlling himself he bowed gravely and introduced himself to her as the son of Adiratha, the charioteer, and asked the mother of the Pandavas if he could do anything for her. The little aged woman, in spite of her royal dignity, quivered at his words and told to Karna that he was not the son of a charioteer, but her eldest son. Then she told him to make him known to his five brothers that he was the eldest of them and urged him not to fight against the Pandavas since they were his younger brothers. While Kunti was speaking to Karna, a voice came from the sun itself which instructed Karna to listen to the words of his mother. But the heart of Karna was devoted to righteousness, and even the gods could not draw him away from it. He did not waver then, though entreated by his mother and father at once.
Replying to what Kunti told to him, Karna asked her the reason to demand his obedience at that time while he was left to death by her when he was newly born and for the charioteer and his wife he was saved and grew up into what he was then. Then he told that he could not abandon his friend Duryodhana
even for the sake of his mother, to whom he owed everything he possessed. However, he promised to Kunti that he would only fight against Arjuna and also assured her that her total number of sons would remain five. Either he would kill Arjuna
or Arjuna would kill him, in both the cases the sons of Kunti would remain five. Saying this he took leave from Kunti and while leaving, Kunti reconfirmed the promise of Karna that he would not fight against any of his brothers apart from Arjuna in the battle at Kurukshetra