Once upon a time lived a Yadava dynasty king named Surasena. He was blessed with a very beautiful young daughter named Pritha (later Kunti). As tradition had it, a rishi – Vedic scholar and seer – named Durvasa visited the king for a lengthy stay, who housed him as his palace guest.
The king Surasena asked Pritha to personally ensure that the sage Durvasa's stay was comfortable. Princess Pritha, who was excited about serving such an important scholar did her best, and Durvasa was delighted with his stay and her diligent services.
Before leaving, Durvasa thanked Pritha and gave her the "Siddha mantra" telling her that if she ever wants, she can use that mantra to call any god she desires as her lover.
Teenage Pritha after her first menstruation became curious, wondered if the mantra would really work, and so one beautiful morning, as the golden sun rose, to explore, she called the Sun God Surya. He came with a golden glow, dressed up in jewelry and breastplate. She at first was reluctant about having sex, felt confused yet interested, while Surya knew her deeper desires.
They talked for hours and before "agreeing to make love to Surya, Pritha makes Surya promise that the son born of the union would be a Legendary Warrior with Divine earrings and breast-plate of the Sun God himself". She then falls on the bed in confusion, while Surya enters her and makes love to the Princess, impregnating her in the process.
"Karna",named by the Deity Surya himself, is thus the love child of the passion between the princess and the Surya. After their consummation, the god Surya grants her the wish that after Karna's birth she will regain her virginity.
Pritha at first was ecstatic, remembering the fond memory of Surya making love to her but when she gets pregnant with Karna, she starts to become afraid and unsure, fearing that it would make her father ashamed of her.
Thus Pritha hides her pregnancy by restricting her Manor for everyone. Karna is then born to her with characteristics of both parents, such as the "Divine ear-rings and breastplate armor" along with the glow of his father and the feet that looked like his mother.
"The earrings and breastplate will make him immortal like the gods, invincible before any god, human or demon." reverberated the words of Surya in Pritha's ears.
Feeling confused and ashamed, worried what everyone will think and how she will embarrass her family, she puts the newborn baby in a padded basket, waterproofs and seals it with beeswax, and set it adrift in the small river Ashvanadi by the palace.
The Sun God, having seen what her lover did with their Son was left speechless and enraged and seeing the fate threads of his infant, took a decision which would later shake the very core of "Brahman", The Ultimate Reality.