Kripa was a preceptor in military science. He lived in the palace of Hastinapura along with the Kuru kings. Birth of Kripa and his twin sister Kripi is detailed in the chapter: Mbh.1.130. References on Kripa's birth is also found as single verses in Mbh.1.63, Mbh.1.67 and Mbh.1.1129. Kripa was a courtier in the city of Hastinapura. He was also one of the instructors who taught military science to the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The myth goes like this:- Kripa and Kripi were born of the vital seeds of Saradwat fallen upon a dump of heath, when he saw an Apsara named Janapadi sent by Indra! Indra found Saradwat a threat to himself as he engaged in acquiring advanced knowledge of weapons and sent this Apsara to distract him! There are several common motives in this myth. The concept of Indra becoming jealous of his rivals and sending Apsara's to distract them from what they are doing is a common theme in several Puranic myths. This myth is combined with the popular belief in those days that an offspring's body is derived 100% from its father. These myth-makers had no knowledge that to generate an offspring, genes of both father and mother needs to be mixed. This ignorance is also evident in other myths created by myth makers like the myth of the birth of Drona (born of vital-seed fallen into a pot!) and of Satyavati (born of vital-seed eaten by a fish!).
Here also we need to keep the myth where it belongs and think: Who was the real Kripa? Extracting factual information from the myth we see that Kripa was born in the race of Gautama, a branch of the orthodox Angirasa clan. His father Saradwat was a researcher of military science. His mother was an unknown lady or perhaps a lady by the name Janapadi. Probably she belonged to the Apsara tribe. Apsaras were a non-Vedic tribe. So Janapadi seems to be a non-Vedic women. Saradwat for sure, could not take care of Kripa and his twin sister Kripi when they were born to Janapadi. Probably he was busy researching on the weapons. The babies didn't get the protection of their mother either. Probably she died after giving birth to them. Death of mother while delivering babies, especially twins, is a probable scenario. Probably she abandoned them, because it was an unwanted birth. King Santanu's soldier who saw the abandoned babies took them to the palace. Santanu, who had seen seven of his children dead as they are born, happily accepted these babies and raised them. Later when Saradwad knew all these he visited the palace. He then taught Kripa all the knowledge of weapons to his son. Kripa and Kripi continued to live in the palace under the patronage of Santanu.
Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 01 May 2010 06:23 and updated at 01 May 2010 08:48