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Kripacharya - The Immortal Teacher Of Hastinapur

Kripacharya – The Immortal Teacher Of Hastinapur

Gautama, Sharadvata, Bharatacharya, Sharadavanputra, or Kripacharya was an instrumental figure in Mahabharata who took an active role in the happenings of Hastinapur before and after the war took place. Kripacharya was a learned warrior and the biological son of a sage while he was raised in a palace. Let us look at his life in brief.

Just like Dronacharya, Kripacharya was also born to a sage who was distracted by an Apsara. Sharadavan was a great archer and he was so good that he could defeat anyone on Earth. He went into a penance to become the best archer ever and be undefeatable in his field. Indra, the God of Thunder and the ruler of Heaven was very cautious and scared of him. He sent one of the Apsaras from heaven to distract Sharadavan from his penance. The Apsara was Janapadi and she successfully distracted him from the penance. He was so distracted that he could not control himself and his semen fell on the weeds. The weeds then split into two babies- Kripa and Kripi.

King Shantanu happened to be visiting the same forest and he saw the two babies. His only son Devavrata (Bhishma) was away from him with Ganga in heaven and he yearned for kids. He adopted both and raised them with all the luxuries and education. Sharadavan came to know about this and made sure that his son and daughter learnt all the arts that he knew. Thus, both the siblings excelled in various matters such as performing Yajnas to archery. They both also performed any rites or rituals that would happen in Hastinapur and were the brother and sister to Bhishma.

Kripacharya was skilled in so many areas that he became an ideal teacher to all children of Hastinapur. He taught 5 generations of Hastinapur starting from the sons of Shantanu- Vichitravirya and Chitrangad to the grandson of Arjuna – Parikshit.

Kripacharya’s vital role in the war was that of burning the camp of the Upapandavas. He and Ashwathama thought that it was the Pandavas that were sleeping in the tents and they burnt the whole camp but they were mistaken in their timings as Pandavas were not present there. Krishna was so furious at this unethical way of war that he cursed Kripacharya to be immortal and suffer the world until the end of Kaliyuga.

After the war, Kripacharya is said to the one who bought the news of Duryodhana’s defeat and death to Dhritarashtra. Kripacharya also wanted to accompany Dhritarashtra and the group to the Himalayas but Dhritarashtra asked Yudhisthir to stay in the kingdom and look after the affairs. He had to obey the king and served the empire dutifully until Parikshit was ready to take over the throne. He was Parikshit’s preceptor and ensure that he left no stone unturned to make Hastinapur great again and make Parikshit a Noble King. After fulfilling his duties, he finally went to the Himalayas where he is said to be in penance as he is an immortal who can never die.

Click here to read about Vidura – The Wisest Son Of Ved Vyasa.

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