After Krishna has left for Uplavya Vidura was discussing all the events, which had taken place in the court with Kunti. He criticised the stubbornness and foolishness of Duryodhana. He said that due to the rigid attitude adopted by Duryodhana, the war has become inevitable. It cannot be avoided now. He said that he could not get sleep thinking about the impounding dance of death and destruction. Kunti heard him without speaking.
Kunti had confidence in his brave sons but she too was worried when she heard that Bhishma was to be the commander of the Kauravas. Second source of her worry was Karna. She was aware of the enmity between Karna and Arjuna.
Kunti decided to tell Karna about his birth. Kunti thought that once Karna knew that the Pandavas were his brothers, Karna would go to the side of Yudhisthira. She decided to ask for a boon from Karna. Karna is a great soul, he would not refuse to grant a boon to his mother, She reasoned thus. Heaving decided upon this cause of action, Kunti started towards the banks of Ganga where it was Karna custom to worship Surya during the noon.
When Karna rose from his worship he saw Kunti, who had been standing him. She appeared to be very sad. Karna saluted her and politely asked, "Who are you? You do not look like any ordinary woman. I am Karna, son of Atiratha, the charioteer. Who ever comes to me at this our to ask for any gift I grant it. Kindly let me know what can I do for you."
Kunti kept looking at the face of Karna for long. She was looking at him for the first time since she had abandoned him into the waves of Ganga in a basket. She could not check her tears which flowed in streams. Karna too was looking at her amazed. Kunti said, I do not know whether you know me or not, but I have come to ask for a boon from you."
Karna looked at Kunti closely. He said, "I cannot recognize you but it seems I know you. I have seen your tears and heard your voice in my dreams so many times. You are the woman who come in my dreams." Kunti asked what did he mean by the Ďdreamsí. Karna said, "You may be aware pehaps that the identity of my mother and father is not known. Atiratha found me floating in a basket in Ganga. Atiratha and his wife Radha brought me up as their own son. Now they are my mother and my father.
But often a dream repeatedly came to me. A woman dressed like a princess used to come in my dreams. She used to stand over me and used to shed hot tears. She used to say that she had committed great injustice to me. She used to say that she had lost me forever. Whenever I wanted to see her face she turned away her face. Earlier she used to come in my dreams very often but gradually the dream became less frequent. I guess that the woman who haunts me in my dreams is my mother. Later on she might have had other sons so she remembered me less and less frequently. Your voice and tears are like the woman who comes in my dream."
Kunti kept looking at Karna for some more time. Then she said, your guess is right. I am the woman who comes in your dream. I am your mother. I gave you birth. I am Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas. But you are my first born." Karnaís eyes were filled with tears and he put his head on his mother feet. Kunti embraced him. Karna said, I was so eager to see you far so long. I know who am I, know that Lord Surya is my father. As I was born before your marriage you consigned me to Ganga." Kunti was amazed. She asked him that how could he come to know all these things? And why did not he come to her? Karna said, Krishna told me about all these things, only yesterday. But I am extremely happy to see my mother.
Karna sat for a while putting his head in his mother lap. Then he opened his eyes and sat up. He said, " I am pleased to see you. Kindly tell me what do you want. If it is my power to do I will certainly obey you." Kunti kept quiet for sometimes then said, You leave the company of Duryodhana and join the Pandavas. You are their eldest brother.
They will obey your commands and you shall become the ruler of the entire earth with they at your service. Karna said, mother you are the second person to offer me the kingdom of the earth in two days. First Krishna offered me this now you do. Then a divine voice was heard saying, "Karna obey your motherís words. I am Surya your father. Karna said, Mother, I has been very angry with you since, my birth, because of your heartlessness. I had to suffer the ignominy of being called Sutaputra. But, today after seeing you all my anger has vanished. I am feeling absolutely delighted. But, mother, it is not possible for me to abandon Duryodhana now. I cannot allow the blame of thanklessness to stick to my name. I cannot allow my fair name to be tarnished. I am unable to grant you this boon. But I shall not let you go empty handed either. I promise that, I shall not kill any of the Pandavas except Arjuna in the war, Arjuna has Krishnaís protection. If he kills me, I shall win everlasting fame by dying in the battlefield. If, I kill Arjuna, you shall still have five sons. Saying these words Karna caught his motherís feet. His tears were flowing . Kuntiís eyes were also full of tears. Eventually, She returned back leaving Karna there to his meditations.