Kritavarma (Sanskrit: कृतवर्मा, Kŗtavarmā) was an important and one of the bravest Yadava warriors and chieftain, and a contemporary of Krishna. He finds mention in several ancient Sanskrit texts including the Mahābhārata, the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana and the Harivamsa.
According to the Puranas, he was born in the most fearless Andhaka clan of the mighty Yadavas, and son of Hŗidika. Though he is depicted as a devotee of Krishna in the Vishnu Purana, apparently he was not in good terms with Krishna, and was one of the conspirators who plotted to kill Satrajit, Krishna's father-in-law during the Syamantaka Jewel episode.
During the great battle at Kurukshetra, Kritavarma was an ally of the Kauravas against the Pandavas and led the Yadava army (also called the Narayani Sena). He was one of the three survivors of the entire Kaurava army and had helped Ashwatthama in carrying out his heinous night time massacre of Panchala warriors, in which the latter had slaughtered among others, Dhrishtadyumna (the Pandava commander-in-chief), Shikhandi and the five sons of Draupadi. The event is described in the Sauptika Parva of the Mahābhārata. He returned to his kingdom after the war and was later killed by Satyaki in Dwarka during the final departure of the Yadavas, as we find in the Mausala Parva of the Mahābhārata.
Knowing that the destruction of Yadavas was near they retired to Prabhasa where they were allotted temporary residences. When their time had come Vrishnis started revelling and drinking. Satyaki who was inebriated laughed at and insulted Kritavarma for killing the Pandava army in midst of their sleep. Pradyumna applauded Satyaki for this which highly incensed Kritavarma. He then taunted Satyaki by saying that he had slain the armless Bhurshiravas who had given up all hostile intentions. Satyaki then narrated the incident when Kritavarma tried to kill Satrajit. Satyabhama upon hearing this became angry and started crying. She then approaced Krishna and sat on his lap greatly increasing his anger towards Kritavarma. Satyaki then rising up in anger said that he would kill Kritavarma for slaying the warriors of the Pandava army while they were asleep. Having said this he rushed towards Kritavarma and severed his head with a sword.
- Pargiter, F.E. (1972). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.105.