WHO’S WHO IN MAHABHARATA
By Dwisha Hathi
KUNTI AND KRIPACHARYA
This time let us know about the life of Kunti who was the mother of the great and noble Pandavas, Yudhishthira, Bheema and Arjuna. She was the daughter of King Shooarsen of the Yadava dynasty and thus she was the sister of Lord Krishna’s father, Vasudeva. Her real name Prutha and so Arjuna was known as Parth. Later on king Kuntibhoj, Shoorasen’s nephew adopted her as he was childless. She then went on to be known as Kunti.
Once sage Durvasa visited Kuntibhoj’s kingdom for a few days. During that time Kunti served him earnestly which in turn impressed sage Durvasa. And so he taught her a divine mantra through which she could invoke any deity of her choice and ask for a child. As she was curious about the mantra’s power she summoned the Sun God and asked for a child and thus Karna was born.
Later on Kunti got married to king Pandu of Hastinapur. And then she used her mantra and became the mother of her other three sons namely Yudhishthira from the God of Dharma, Bheema from the Vayu Devata and Arjuna from Lord Indra. She also shared the mantra with Pandu’s second wife, Madri. She bore the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva from the twin gods, Ashvinikumars. These five together are known as the Pandavas. Kunti was a great devotee of her nephew, Sri Krishna also had a great respect for Gandhari, the wife of King Dhritarashtra.
Kripacharya is another important character of the Mahabharata. He is one of the seven Chiranjeevis (immortals) on the earth. He was the son of sage Sharadwan and Janapadi.
He was named Kripa. He also had a twin sister called Kripi. Sage Sharadwan who himself was a great archer taught archery to his children. He also gave them the knowledge of the Vedic scriptures. Later on, King Shantanu of Hastinapur appointed Kripa as the royal guru of the Kuru dynasty. He was then known as Kripacharya. He got his sister, Kripi married to Dronacharya.
He was one of the seven great warriors who killed Abhimanyu in the Chakravyuah in the war of Mahabharata. He was one of the three sole survivors from the Kaurava army. He also taught the Vedas and archery to King Parikshit, Abhimanyu’s son and the heir of Hastinapur.