One day, Parashurama, resting his head
on the lap of Karna, was sleeping.
Indra, the king of the Devas, had a special affection towards Arjuna, one of the five
Pandavas brothers, because the latter had been born to Pandavas' mother Kunti
by his (Indra's) own blessings.
Indra knew that Pandavas had to wage war against their cousins, the Kauravas led
by Prince Duryodhana, and that Karna would be the right hand man of the prince. He decide
that Karna had to be vanquished so a to ward off danger to Arjuna.
Indra pondered over how to realize this objective. Karna had completed his training
from Parashurama success fully; who can match him now? Indra had to think of some incident
wherein the Guru's wrath would descend upon his disciple. He assumed the form of a
diamond-sharp insect and began bite into the flesh of Karna's lap. Can anybody withstand
such severe torture for long? But Karna was worried that even the slightest dislodging of
his lap would disturb the Guru' sleep. He suffered all the severe pain of the insect's
biting with tenacity His lap began to bleed, and as the floor got wet with blood,
Parashurarna suddenly woke up. And what did he see? His disciple is sifting quiet, while
his lap was bleeding He was suffering such great pain silently
A doubt confronted Parashurama.This boy is certainly not a Brahmin, for only a
Kshatriya could suffer this pain in silence. The boy must be a Kshatriya; he had deceived
him and learnt archery.
Parashurama was red with anger. He cursed: "Let the training you have had from me
be of no avail to you at the time of your difficulties Later, during the great Mahabharata
war, a fierce battle ensued between Karna and Arjuna. The 'Sarpaastra' (the
serpent-arrow) let off by Karna failed to kill Arjuna and Karna also could not remember
another great 'astra taught by Parashurama. He succumbed to Arjuna's arrows.