Three friends meet for a coffee after a long time. They start chatting about the Kohli-Kumble controversy. From that point onwards, the conversation meanders from one topic to another until one person says, "Hey, you know I read mahābhārata of Rajaji last week. Did you know there were so many interesting battles between various archers during the 18 day war?"

One of them replies, "Yup. Apparently on the first day bhīśma wrecks havoc and it is not arjuna or sātyaki that attacks him but 16 year old abhimanyu!"

The third person in the gang says, "Yeah that battle is shown in B. R. Chopra's mahābhārat. There are lots of other one on one bouts too. bhāgadatta vs dhanañjaya, karṇa vs bhīma, sātyaki vs droṇasanjaya apparently mentions to dhritarāṣṭra that sātyaki, mādhava & arjuna are archers of similar ability and standing but I can't see past pārtha as the GOAT of the lot."

"Whoa! How can you say that when devavrata, the son of gangā, conquerer of his guru, rāma of the axe existed?" bellowed one who clearly showed a predilection for bhīśma.

"Neither of you are right.", said the rādheya backer, "karṇa is the best of the lost. brahmāstra is taught only to the cream of the cream and kuntī's eldest son truly was that."

"karṇa was a liar and cheat. He lied to paraśurāma to learn archery. He actively goaded duḥśāsana into disrobing pāñcāli and was a sissy when he faced abhimanyu." cried the Arjuna-tard.

Karna-tard: "Why bring his character into question? We're discussing his archery skills here. Moreover his mother abandoned him and he was adopted by a lower jāti couple. So, he was dealt a bad hand and he just did his best to game the system. All his brothers (and cousins) were born with a silver spoon so to speak."

Bhishma-tard: "Don't talk like a leftist and fit today's perspectives in the past, alright? Things keep changing. One of sanātana dharma's core beliefs is prārabhda/sancita karma. If rādheya was dealt a bad hand it was his previous birth(s)'s prārabdha karma, which as it turned out in the end, provided his skills in archery, tutelage under the best possible teacher, and a close friendship with the biggest king of bhāratavarṣa. Don't play victim."

Karna-tard: "Hahaha touché. Fine, let's talk deets then. arjuna had govinda's support at nearly every step of the way. karṇa was saving the indra-śakti weapon for him and kṛṣṇa forced him to use it on ghaṭotkaca. The arrow that should have made his brother head-less was made crown-less by mādhusūdana pushing his 4 fingers on the ground. In fact, when puruṣottama returned to vaikuṇṭha, pārtiba was powerless and defeated by a much inferior opponent. I suppose you'll call this as "prārabdha karma"and render the argument moot."

Arjuna-tard: "Hahaha Karna-tard again shows leftist leanings by quasi-mudslinging. What happened in dvaitavana? Where was this valour against gandharvas and who finally defeated and freed his "dearer-to-me-than-life" friend? What happened in virāṭa? He boasted and boasted and boasted and arjuna defeated him with eyes closed. I would've said left-hand but that would be unfair because he is, but of course, savyasāci."

Hearing this, Bhishma-tard starts laughing uncontrollably.

Arjuna-tard: "And why the hell are you guffawing? You're favourite was a weak-era archer. Who was his biggest rival during his youth? ambā's lover? Big deal. All of his opponents were weaklings. He should never be in the discussion."

Karna-tard: "Yeah, he also prevented karṇa from fighting, I'm guessing purely out of jealousy. Otherwise the war could have ended favourably to the kauravas. There is no way the pāṇḍavas could have taken on the trio of devavrata, droṇa & karṇa together. They always had the luxury of fighting only two of them simultaneously."

Bhishma-tard: "Yeah right. Not one mahārathi in the 7 akśauhiṇīs could handle the exceptionally old pitāmaha. The only reason the pāṇḍavas survived was his own steadfast refusal to kill his grandchildren. Your coward needed to stand behind śikhaṇḍī to kill him. Why couldn't he take on him one on one if he's so great? And the guy was 300 plus years old according to some sources. What makes you think phālguna could have even had a 1-in-a-million chance of defeating devavrata in his prime?

And coming to karṇa, if he had had the humility to swallow his massively bloated ego, he could have fought along with them. All he had to do was say sorry and convince pitāmaha but no, he had to brag, brag and brag."

Arjuna-tard: "Why the hell is karṇa still in the discussion? Hasn't he been discarded already? Oh right, abhimanyu. He couldn't defeat a sixteen year old tyro in war and needed the help of SIX more men to kill him. I get angry at kṛṣṇa because he forced kaunteya to kill rādheya when he was trying to lift his sunk chariot but anyway bibhatsu defeated him fair and square in virāṭa, so I suppose s'all good man.

Also, he defeated bhīśma and droṇa and kṛpa and karṇa, single-handedly in that same battle. The only reason he didn't go medieval on them in the war is because, barring karṇa, he showed his dear grandsire and teachers too much love and respect. If he had bhīma's attitude, the war would have ended inside 3 days instead of 18 in my not so humble opinion."

Bhishma-tard: "Bah, bhīśma is the GOAT."

Karna-tard: "Bah, karṇa is the GOAT."

Arjuna-tard: "Bah, arjuna is the GOAT."

Who really is the GOAT?


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