Chapter 130

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Janamejaya said, ‘O Brahmana, it behoveth thee to relate to meeverything about the birth of Kripa. How did he spring from a clump ofheath? Whence also did he obtain his weapons?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O king, the great sage Gautama had a son namedSaradwat. This Saradwat was born with arrows (in hand). O oppressor offoes, the son of Gautama exhibited great aptitude for the study of thescience of weapons, but none for the other sciences. Saradwat acquiredall his weapons by those austerities by which Brahmanas in student lifeacquire the knowledge of Vedas. Gautama (the son of Gotama) by hisaptitude for the science of weapons and by his austerities made Indrahimself greatly afraid of him. Then, O thou of Kuru’s race, the chief ofthe gods summoned a celestial damsel named Janapadi and sent her untoGautama, saying, ‘Do thy best to disturb the austerities of Gautama.’Repairing unto the charming asylum of Saradwat, the damsel began to temptthe ascetic equipped with bow and arrows. Beholding that Apsara, offigure unrivalled on earth for beauty, alone in those woods and clad in asingle piece of cloth, Saradwat’s eyes expanded with delight. At thesight of the damsel, his bow and arrows slipped from his hand and hisframe shook all over with emotion; but possessed of ascetic fortitude andstrength of soul, the sage mustered sufficient patience to bear upagainst the temptation. The suddenness, however, of his mental agitation,caused an unconscious emission of his vital fluid. Leaving his bow andarrows and deer-skin behind, he went away, flying from the Apsara. Hisvital fluid, however, having fallen upon a clump of heath, was dividedinto two parts, whence sprang two children that were twins.

“And it happened that a soldier in attendance upon king Santanu while themonarch was out a-hunting in the woods, came upon the twins. And seeingthe bow and arrows and deer-skin on the ground, he thought they might bethe offspring of some Brahmana proficient in the science of arms.Deciding thus, he took up the children along with the bow and arrows, andshowed what he had to the king. Beholding them the king was moved withpity, and saying, ‘Let these become my children,’ brought them to hispalace. Then that first of men, Santanu, the son of Pratipa havingbrought Gautama’s twins into his house, performed in respect of them theusual rites of religion. And he began to bring them up and called themKripa and Kripi, in allusion to the fact that he brought them up frommotives of pity (Kripa). The son of Gotama having left his former asylum,continued his study of the science of arms in right earnest. By hisspiritual insight he learnt that his son and daughter were in the palaceof Santanu. He thereupon went to the monarch and represented everythingabout his lineage. He then taught Kripa the four branches of the scienceof arms, and various other branches of knowledge, including all theirmysteries and recondite details. In a short time Kripa became an eminentprofessor of the science (of arms). And the hundred sons ofDhritarashtra, and the Pandavas along with the Yadavas, and the Vrishnis,and many other princes from various lands, began to receive lessons fromhim in that science.'”

Chapter 131
Chapter 129
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