How powerful was Vidura in the Mahabharata

Chapter 144 - Vidura's visit to Kunti and her great decision

Vaisampayana continued:
After Krishna's unsuccessful attempt (to finally create peace) and his departure to the Pandavas, Vidura went to Pritha and said slowly and worriedly:

“Oh mother of living children, you know that I am always inclined to peace. But even though I speak hoarsely, Duryodhana does not accept my words. King Yudhishthira has the Chedis, Panchalas, Kekayas, Bhima, Arjuna, Krishna, Yuyudhana and the twins as allies, is now in Upaplavya, and only looks up to justice out of affection for his relatives, like a weak person, although he is supreme is powerful. And King Dhritarashtra, despite his age, does not make peace, and intoxicated with pride in his sons, he treads a sinful path. Because of the wickedness of Jayadratha, Karna, Dushasana and the son of Suvala (Shakuni) internal disagreement will break out. Whoever behaves unjustly against the righteous, verily, their sins will soon have their effects. Who would not be worried seeing how the Kurus keep justice? If even Kesava returns without being able to secure the peace, then the Pandavas will certainly turn to battle. Then the sin of the Kurus will lead to the downfall of many heroes. Considering this, I can no longer sleep, neither by day nor by night. "

When Kunti heard these words from Vidura, who always wanted the fulfillment of all her sons' goals, she began to sigh heavily and, tormented by grief, thought to herself:

“Shame on the wealth that threatens this great battle among relatives. Verily, in this war friends will destroy one another. What could be more misery than when the Pandavas, Chedis, Panchalas and Yadavas fight together against the Bharatas? Verily, I only see unwholesome things in a war. But if we don't fight, then we would have to live in poverty and humiliation. And death would be preferable to such a life. But on the other hand, it is not a victory to exterminate your loved ones. Oh my heart sinks in grief when I think about it! Grandfather Bhishma, this son of Shantanu, the teacher Drona, this first of all warriors, and Karna, who supports the side of Duryodhana, increase my fears. I think the teacher Drona will never willingly fight his students. And grandfather too, why shouldn't he show affection for the Pandavas? It is only this sinful Karna who really hates the Pandavas and, out of ignorance, constantly follows the deluded guidance of the malevolent Duryodhanas. He stubbornly tries everything to hurt the Pandavas. And Karna is extremely strong at that. This is what I'm currently burning on!

To reassure him, I want to tell him the truth today and try to bend his heart to the Pandavas. While I was living in the inner chambers of my father Kuntibhoja's palace, St. Durvasa was very pleased with me and gave me a blessing in the form of mantras to be conjured up. For a long time, with a restless heart, I pondered the strength or weakness of these mantras, as well as the power of the word of a brahmin. And because of my disposition as a woman and my nature as an immature girl, these thoughts spun in my mind while I was protected by a confidential nanny and surrounded by maids. And I also considered how I could escape reproach, how I could save my father's honor, and how I could achieve my own happiness without being guilty of any transgression. So it was finally out of silliness and excessive curiosity that I remembered this Brahmin and bowed to him. And with the mantra I received, I asked the sun god Surya while I was still virgin. So I received this son as a virgin. Why shouldn't he now follow my words, which are most acceptable and beneficial to his brethren? "

With this in mind, Kunti made a weighty decision. And with that determination she went to the sacred river named after Bhagiratha. And when she reached the bank of the Ganga, Pritha heard the chants of the Vedic hymns from her son, full of goodness and devotion to truth. And when Karna stood with her face to the east and with her arms raised, Kunti stayed behind him, embarrassed, and waited with her request for the end of his prayers. And when the sun rose higher and the morning shadow of Karna's upper body no longer protected her, the lady from the Vrishni tribe and wife from the Kuru house withered by the heat of the sun like a garland of lotus flowers. But Karna with constant vows said his prayers until his back was heated by the rays of the sun. Then he turned around, saw this lady and was very astonished. And this first of the virtuous, Karna, the son of Vikartana, gifted with great energy and pride, greeted her properly with folded hands, bowed deeply to her and spoke to her.