"O god of riches, o father, I have come," proclaimed Karna as he rose from the desecrated land to which he had been banished. It was as if the blood of the demons had spilled into the god's own, for even he could not comprehend the impurity which now defiled him. A great number of Surya's devotees sought to hold back the fire which now rose towards him, but the god realized it was already far too late. The splendor of gold had been drowned in corruption, and the world was born anew.
Karna is an Indian masculine name, derived from Sanskrit कर्ण (karna) meaning "ear". Karna, originally known as Vasusena, is one of the central characters in the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, from ancient India. He is the son of the Hindu sun god Surya and Kunti, who gave birth to him through her ear, before her marriage with king Pandu, earthly father of the Pandavas and ruler of Hastinapur. Afraid of being an unwed mother, Kunti placed the baby in a basket and set him afloat on a river; the child was found by Adhiratha, he and his wife Radha raised the boy as their own son. He was a great warrior who joined the Duryodhana, the eldest of Kauravas, to fight against his half-brothers the Pandavas, eventually becoming the king of Anga (present day Bhagalpur and Munger).
Artwork by Yongjae Choi.