Not to be confused with "Kripa" (Kṛpā), a female given name.
Kripa (Kṛpa in IAST transliteration), also known as Kripacharya or Krupacharya is an important character in the Mahābhārata, one of the seven Chiranjivi. He was the son of Shardwan and Janapadi, born in a particularly extraordinary manner. He along with his sister Kripi were adopted by King Shantanu. Later on Kripa became an acharya, teacher of the royal children, giving him the name Kripacharya. He taught the Kauravas and Pandavas for many years, before Dronacharya was appointed for further education by Bhishma. His twin sister Kripi married Drona. Kripa was among the Maharathis who fought on the Kauravas' side against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra war in the Hindu epic of the Mahabharata. Along with sages Parashurama, Vyasa, and Aswatthama, Kripa is considered to be foremost among the rishis in Kaliyuga. Kripa will also become one of the Saptarishi in the 8th Manvantara along with sage Vyasa ,sage Aswatthama and sage Parashurama
Gautama Maharishi had a grandson called Shardwan (or Sharadvan). Shardwan was born with arrows, making clear he was a born archer. From his early childhood, he was more interested in archery than in the study of the Vedas. He meditated and attained the art of all types of warfare. He was such a great archer that no one could defeat him. This created panic amongst the gods. Especially Indra, the King of the Gods, felt the most threatened. He then sent a beautiful Apsara (divine nymph) from the Heaven to distract the celibate saint. The nymph, Janapadi, came to the saint and tried to seduce him in various ways. Shardwan was distracted and the sight of such a beautiful woman made him lose control. As he was a great saint, he still managed to resist the temptation and controlled his desires. But his concentration was lost, and he dropped his bow and arrows. His semen fell on some weeds by the wayside, dividing the weeds into two - from which a boy and a girl were born. The saint himself left the hermitage and his bow and arrow and went to the forest for penance. Coincidentally, the king of Hastinapura, Shantanu was crossing from there and saw the children by the wayside. One look at them was enough for him to realize that they were the children of a great Brahmin. He named them Kripa and Kripi, and decided to take them back with him to his palace.
When Shardwan came to know of these children he came to the palace, revealed their identity and performed the various rituals which are performed for the children of Brahmins. He also taught the children archery, the Vedas, and other Shashtras.
The children grew up to become experts in the art of warfare. The boy Kripa, who came to be known as Kripacharya, was now assigned the task of teaching the young princes all about warfare. On reaching adulthood, Kripa was the chief priest at the court of Hastinapura. His twin sister Kripi married Drona, the weapons master to the court - who, like her and her brother, had not been gestated in a womb, but outside the human body. He fought in the great battle of Kurukshetra for the Kaurava side. He was one of the three survivors remaining from the Kaurava side. Afterwards, he was appointed to be the teacher and preceptor of Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna.
Skill as a warrior
In Udyoga Parva of Mahabarath, Bhishma declared Kripa as a mighty Maharathi, or a warrior capable of fighting 60,000 warriors simultaneously; circumspect in his mastery of all forms of weapons and combat skills.
- विभीषण:कृपश्चपरशुरामश्च सप्तैतेचिरंजीविन:।
- Varkey, C.P. (2001). A Pilgrimage ~ Through the Mahabharata. St Pauls BYB. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-81-7109-497-4.
- Sharma, Mahesh; Chaturvedi, B.K. (2006). Tales From the Mahabharat. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-81-288-1228-6.
- K M Ganguly(1883-1896). The Mahabharata,Book 13 Anusasana Parva,SECTION CL sacred-texts.com,October 2003,Retrieved 2014-02-11
- Vishnu Purana -Drauni or Asvathama as Next saptarishi Retrieved 2015-02-15
- K M Ganguly(1883-1896). The Mahabharata,Book 5 Udyoga Parva,Section CLXVIII sacred-texts.com,October 2003,Retrieved 2015-02-14