“Arjuna once asked Krishna, ” Lord, why do people consider Karna more generous than Yudhishthira ? Neither have ever refused whatever has been asked for nor whoever has asked. So why is Karna considered greater than Yudhishthira?”*
The Lord said with a smile, “Come, I’ll show you why.”
Disguised as brahmins, they first went to Yudhishthira ‘s court and asked for sandalwood sticks to conduct ‘yagna’. The king immediately sent his soldiers to all parts of his Kingdom in search of sandalwood sticks. It was monsoon, the trees were all drenched and the soldiers returned with wet sandalwood pieces. Yagna was not possible with the wet sticks.
Krishna and Arjuna proceeded to Karna’s court next and asked for the same sticks. Karna thought for a while and said ” as it’s raining for several days now, it will be impossible to collect dry sandalwood sticks. But there is a way. Please wait for a while.”
Saying this, Karna proceeded to chop and cut down the doors and windows of the court which were made of sandalwood and after making them into pieces, gifted the dry sandalwood sticks to the brahmins to conduct ‘yagna’.
They accepted the offerings and went back. On their way back, Krishna asked Arjuna “do you realise the difference between the two, Arjuna? Had we asked Yudhishthira to give his doors and windows for us to conduct yagna, he would have given us without a second thought. But he did not think of it himself. We did not ask Karna either. Yudhishthira gave because that was his dharma. Karna gave because he loves to give. This is the difference between the two and that is why Karna is considered greater. Whatever work you do, it becomes nobler when you do it with love.”
We can work with different attitudes.
- Someone asked you to,
- or as a duty
- or as your dharma
- or as Karna did, *out of love for doing the job.
The last said is however, the best; whatever work you do, love it, enjoy the work