21st Century Parenting

Parenting Lessons From Mahabharat

Published On: August 23, 2023 , Updated on : February 22, 2024

Mahabharat, the war that took place approximately five Thousand years, in Dwapara Yuga. This war was not an ordinary war because Bhagwan Vishnu himself incarnated as Shree Krishna and was involved in it. During this war, the Gita, which is the essence of the Vedas, was preached by Shree Krishna. There was so much in this war whose mystery could not be solved even today.

Mahabharat was not just a war fought between brothers for property or kingdom, but it was a fight between Dharma and Adharma. On one side were the Kauravas, the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra, while on the other side were the Pandavas, five sons of Pandu.

Mahabharat is an epic tale that contains a wealth of wisdom and lessons on various aspects of life. It has a treasure of lessons to be learned and every character of it denotes what to do and what not to do by giving real-life examples of each character.

Here is a case study of Arjun, Duryodhan and Karna based on their experiences and actions in the Mahabharat. now we will see What these three characters want to say by their real-life examples:



Arjun was the third son of King Pandu and he was the main reason behind the Bhagavad Gita, an immortal scripture of Hinduism. He was known for his archery skills and his deep sense of duty and honour. Arjun was initially hesitant to fight against his own family members in the war but was convinced by Krishna to do what was right and fulfil his duty as a warrior. 

Arjun is known for his skill as an archer, but also for his devotion to Shree Krishna, humanity, wisdom and his duty.

Once Dronacharya, the Guru of the Pandavas and Kauravas, called his disciples to test them. He placed a wooden bird on top of the tree and asked them all one by one what they were able to see. They all answered what they saw. They all said that they saw the tree, themself, the sky, leaves, fruits and the bird. Drona asked them to step aside. All Pandavas and Kauravas replied in a similar manner. When Arjun was invited, he said “I neither see sky nor the tree, I see only the eye of the bird”.  Dronacharya commanded “Shoot!”. and Arjun shot bird’s eye in the very first shot. Arjun’s attentional control is an executive function that helps him choose what he pays attention to. He was just focused on his goal while others were just looking around. 

Do you know who was the charioteer of Arjun and who was the charioteer of Karna in the Mahabharat war???

many of you will know Arjun’s, it was Shree Krishna himself and for Karna, it was Shalya king of Madra region. One of the meanings of Shalya in Sanskrit is doubts and Karna means ears, it means Arjun was driven by god himself and Karna was driven by doubts, the one whose ears are driven by doubts has a very rare chance of winning. and that Shalya too became the reason for Karna’s death. In the last time of Karna when the wheel of the chariot got stuck in the mud, Shalya refused to get down to take the wheel out. so, Karna had no option other than to take it out by himself. while he was struggling for it Arjun shot an arrow and Karna died. It is not just coincidence but it is a clear sign that to get desired results our chariot should be followed by God, not by doubts.

Lesson to be Learned

Arjun’s life story emphasizes the importance of a parent’s role in helping their children develop a strong moral character. Arjun’s character tells us to stick to our goal. If we go to see things other than our goal, we will lose our way. so, be focused on our target.

And another lesson is that trust is important but, on whom is more important. Arjun put his life in the hands of Shri Krishna, but Karna could not do it. so, we can teach our children by this example what is the impact and importance of a true guide and how much it is important to surrender yourself to a true Guru and god.



Karna’s story in Mahabharat offers several insights, both positive and negative. Karna was born to Kunti before her marriage to Pandu. Due to societal norms and Kunti’s fear of rejection, Karna was abandoned by her in a basket and was later found and raised by a charioteer named Adhirath. Karna grew up with a strong sense of identity and determination to succeed in life, but he always felt like an outsider due to his low social status. He was skilled in archery and earned the respect of Duryodhan, who made him the king of Anga.

Despite being raised by a charioteer, Karna grew up to be a skilled warrior and a man of great character, known for his generosity, courage, and loyalty.

Karna used to think that he would take revenge for the atrocities done to him by supporting the unrighteousness of Duryodhan and time would call him a hero……!!

It could have been true but unfortunately, it didn’t happen because the side which Karna chose to be was wrong.

After knowing the fact that he is the eldest brother of Pandavas, If Karna had given his support to Pandavas then definitely his fame would have been different today because due to the eldest of Pandavas and he would have been leading the war and all credit of winning the war will go to him which Arjun had.

Lesson to be learned

Karna was undoubtedly a hero and an unmatched warrior of that era but the bravery Karna got used for the enmity of Duryodhan with the Pandavas. From an example of Karna’s life, we can teach our children that we definitely should fight for our rights, but must not be tempted by those who don’t have ethics and we should never support unrighteousness.

Remember one thing from the example of Karna’s life that gives challenges to everyone, but in times of challenges taking the help of bad people like Duryodhan, will be the reason for lifetime slavery and defeat.



Duryodhan was the eldest son of King Dhritarashtra and the leader of the Kauravas. He was known for his cunning nature and ambition, as well as his jealousy and arrogance, which ultimately led to his downfall.

 He was jealous of his cousins, the Pandavas, due to their popularity and talents, and felt like they were a threat to his claim to the royal crown. Duryodhan’s life story highlights the lack of values such as integrity, humility, and empathy. Duryodhan was an example of an uncultured and unethical upbringing, as he was raised in a culture that valued power and ambition above all else. He was not taught the importance of honesty, fairness, and compassion, which led him to his downfall.

 He manipulated and exploited his relationships with various people to get what he wanted, such as his friendship with Karna and his use of the game of dice to rob the Pandavas of their kingdom. 

from a young age, Duryodhan was jealous of his cousins. He was envious of Yudhishthir’s popularity and the love he received from his father and the people of the kingdom. Duryodhan’s jealousy turned to hatred when Yudhishthir was appointed as the heir to the throne over him.

Duryodhan became determined to destroy the Pandavas and claim the throne for himself. He used every means possible to undermine and humiliate the Pandavas.

Despite the warnings of Shree Krishna Duryodhan remained blinded by his ambition and desire for power. He refused to negotiate with the Pandavas or compromise in any way, even when it was clear that his actions were leading to a disastrous war, his ego was preventing him from doing so.

The war between the Kauravas (led by Duryodhan) and the Pandavas (led by Yudhishthir) was brutal and costly, resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers and heroes on both sides. In the end, Duryodhan’s arrogance and foolishness led to his defeat. 

Lesson to be learned

King Dhritarashtra’s favouritism towards his eldest son Duryodhan caused a lot of problems. Duryodhan became arrogant and full of ego because of his father. As a parent, it is essential to teach children the value of every relationship and their feelings, rather than focusing solely on their own desires and needs. Children must learn to accept failure and disappointment, rather than seeking to win at all costs. 

Furthermore, parents must be mindful of the influence of their own behaviour on their children. Just as Dhritarashtra had a lifelong desire for the throne, similarly Duryodhan also ran after the throne throughout his life. If a parent’s behaviour prioritizes power and success over morality and kindness, then their children are also likely to follow the same. 



Overall, the experiences and actions of Arjun, Karna and Duryodhan teach us valuable lessons about focus, ambition, leadership, loyalty, surrendering and duty. Their stories show us the importance of making the right choices, even in difficult situations, and the consequences of our actions. Mahabharat teaches us that parenting is a crucial responsibility that should not be taken lightly. 

Lastly, we request every parent who is reading this….

Ask yourself what are you doing…???

What are you making of your children…???

Whether you are making them Duryodhan by giving them all the comforts and crown in their hands or are you making them achieve their own crown by fighting with difficulties like Arjun…..????????