Pandavas after having setup a base at Upaplavya,sent forth their messengers to different kings requesting their assistance against Kauravas.
Lord Krishna,was chosen by Arjuna to be his charioteer since Krishna had taken an oath not to take up arms in the battle.While Duryodhana chose the large army of Krishna in return.(Krishna was related to both the Kauravas and Pandavas)
Many attempts were made by both sides for a peaceful resolution.But the main criterion was return of their kingdom,Indraprastha, to the Pandavas.But Duryodhana’s obstinacy always proved to be the roadblock.
Krishna ,as an emissary,tried his level best to make the Kauravas return the kingdom,which they had seized from the Pandavas through deceit.But even the great Lord was helpless to change the adverse fate which was in store for the Kauravas.
Earlier,it was ,mentioned that Karna was the illegitimate child of Kunti,the mother of the Pandavas.As the prospects of battle increased,Kunti Devi revealed to Karna that she was his real mother and asked him to refrain from fighting his own brothers.But,Karna,who was the best friend of Duryodhana,told her that he would spare all her children except Arjuna.When Indra,the King of Gods & the father of Arjuna,heard that Karna had taken a vow to kill Arjuna,he visited Karna in the disguise of a beggar.Since the name of Karna was synonymous with charity,Indra asked Karna for his impenetrable armour and earrings.[Karna was supposed to be immortal as long as he wore the armour and earrings given to him by the Sun God,Surya, who was his father. Karna who was most generous ,at once took of his armour and earrings ,and gave it to the beggar(Indra).]
Indra was very much pleased with Karna’s gesture and gave him the weapon Shakti which was to be used only once.
[Though Mahabharata is a story of many great personalities.The character of Karna embodies pathos.Wheras Arjuna’s character embodies heroism and valour.Karna is very similar to the Hector of Troy ,as Arjuna is similar to Achilles.]