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Who was Karna in Mahabharata?

 Karna, one of the greatest heroes of Mahabharat, known for his loyalty and philanthropy, is one of the central characters of the struggle. Originally son of the Sun and Kunti, eldest of the Pandavas, was born when Kunti tries a magic spell given to her by Sage Dhurvasa. His origins were lost since his mother, then unmarried, abandoned him from birth and he was taken in by a charioteer and his wife instead. During a tournament he had a bitter clash with Arjuna, his brother unknown to him, to ascertain that he was the ace archer and not Arjuna and became sworn enemies; Karna, then known as a charioteer's son, was not allowed to challenge Arjuna which was when the eldest Kaurava Prince Duryodhan makes Karna King by conferring a part of his kingdom. It is as a tribute to this friendship with Duryodhan that he ends up fighting for the Kauravas. Before the great battle, his birth was revealed to him, yet he forfeited his right for the throne choosing instead to fight for his friend Duryodhan and end his feud with Arjuna. Originally nearly invincible, he was first tricked into giving up the divine armour he was born with, then using up his divine lance which never fails to kill, and foreswearing from using another lethal weapon, the Nagastra, more than once, and finally forgets the secret phrase for evoking Brahmastra, the ultimate weapon as he was cursed the day he got it from the sage, Parashurama. His defeat and death more or less ended the war as he was fated to do so. When the Pandavas see Kunti crying over Karna's corpse they understand who he is. Yudhishtira, upset with Kunti having kept his birth a secret all along, curses womanhood that no woman will ever be able to keep a secret again in her life.
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