Back to browse | Visualization | Edit | New search | Cite | Add to list | Ask a librarian/feedback | Help


Raden Suryaputra is the son of Dewi Kunti and Betara Surya (the son god), and he is conceived and born under rather unusual circumstances. When Dewi Kunti is still a young maiden she is given a magic spell by a hermit-priest, Begawan Druwasa, with the stipulation that she never pronounce the spell when exposed to the rays of the sun. However, she disregards the prohibition and instantly becomes pregnant. Through the aid and magical power of Begawan Druwasa, the baby issues through her ear [karna = ear] and in his maturity the child is also known as Karna. Also, it is said that he is named Karna because at his birth two earrings were placed on his ears.

Eventually Karna learns of his origins. Although he is a first cousin to the Pandawas, he nevertheless prefers to ally himself with their enemies, the Kurawas. Karna does so because he bears ill feeling toward his mother and grandfather who had abandoned him in his infancy. Up until the Baratayuda Karna continue to see the Pandawas as his sworn enemies. In one of the most famous and heart-rending battles of the Baratayuda, karna duels with Arjuna and is killed–maintaining his unstinting nobility and loyalty to Astina to the very end. Karna’s attitude is interpreted by scholars as the example of a warrior who does not go back on his word.

Just before the Baratayuda breaks out, Karna’s mother, Dewi Kunti, comes to him to remind him that he is her son and the brother of the Pandawas. She says to him: “Son, it is best that you rejoin the pandawas. Remember they are your own brothers.” Karna answers, “Dear mother, I am forced to disobey your advice. Remember, mother, that when I was a child, you cared nothing for me, but abandoned me. All ties of blood are now abolished. Now that I have achieved glory and esteem through my own actions, do not attempt, mother, to coax me to abandon my kingdom, Astina, and collaborate with my hated enemies, the pandawas.”

Suryaputra has jaitan eyes, a pointed nose and an up-turned head. He wears the kadal menek hair knot, a diadem and the sekar kluwih ear ornaments. He wears the ulur-ulur necklace, bracelets, anklets and armbands.

(Sumber: Sejarah Wayang Purwa. Hardjowirogo. Jakarta: Perpustakaan Perguruan Kementerian P.P. dan K., 1955)

Publisher: Lontar Foundation;

Created: 2014

Source Rights: Ki Purbo Asmoro

Manuscript Code: LF-Suryaputra.ks_P5050393.jpg

Other Views of This Image