Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Kritavarma included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Kṛtavarmā

A King of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty. In the previous generation of Vṛṣṇi also a Kṛtavarman is noticed. The genealogy of both is given below.


Descended from Viṣṇu thus: Brahmā AtriCandraBudhaPurūravasĀyusNahuṣaYayātiYaduSahasrajitŚatajitHehayaDharma Kunti—Sadājit—Dhanaka.

Dhanaka had four sons called Kṛtavīrya, Kṛtāgni, Kṛtavarman and Kṛtaujas, and one of the four was the first Kṛtavarman.

The dynasty continues again from Kṛtavīrya—Kṛtavīrya-KārtavīryārjunaMadhu—Vṛṣṇi—YudhājitŚiniSatyakaSātyaki (Yuyudhāna)—Jaya—Kaṇi—AnamitraPṛśniCitrarathaViḍūrathaŚūra—Śini -BhojaHṛdīka—Kṛtavarman.

Hṛdīka had four sons, viz. Devavāha, Gadādhanvan, Kṛtavarman and Śūra. And, Sūra begot of his wife, Māriṣā ten sons, i.e. Vasu, Devabhāga, Devaśravas, Ānaka, Sṛñjaya, Kākānīka, Śyāmaka, Vatsa, Kavūka and Vasudeva. Śrī Kṛṣṇa was the son of Vasudeva. The Kṛtavarman referred to below was the brother of Kṛṣṇa’s grand-father.

Kṛtavarman and Syamantaka.

King Satrājit had in his possession the famous gem called Syamantaka. The King’s brother Prasena, went for hunting with this jewel on him. A lion killed Prasena, and Jāmbavān killed the lion and got the gem. A scandal was circulated to the effect that Śrī Kṛṣṇa had stolen the gem. But, Kṛṣṇa got back the gem from Jāmbavān and handed it over to Satrājit, who in turn, gave his daughter Satyabhāmā in marriage to Kṛṣṇa. Though Satrājit wanted to give the gem—Syamantaka—to Kṛṣṇa as dowry, the latter did not accept it.

Akrūra and Kṛtavarman were bosom friends, and they incited another Yādava King Śatadhanvā, to grab the Syamantaka. Śatadhanvā killed Satrājit and took possession of the gem. Hearing about this murder Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Balabhadrarāma set out to kill Śatadhanvā, who, in great alarm, started for north after entrusting the gem to Akrūra and Kṛtavarman. His horse died at Mithilāpurī and he began running. Balabhadra and Kṛṣṇa ran after him, caught and killed him. But, they did not get the Syamantaka.

Now Akrūra and Kṛtavarman began their penance at Kāśī. Seven years passed thus when famine broke out in Dvārakā. When once upon a time famine stalked Kāśī the king had brought Śvaphalka, father of Akrūra, over to Kāśī, and there was no more famine in the country. Therefore, when famine broke out in Dvārakā the Yadavas thought the presence of Śvaphalka’s son, Akrūra would dispel the famine. Accordingly Akrūra was recalled to Dvārakā, and along with him returned Kṛtavarman also. Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Balabhadra decided that Syamantaka should be kept by Akrūra himself.

Other information relating to Kṛtavarman.

(i) He was a very famous archer. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 81).

(ii) He was a great devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 63, Verse 105).

(iii) He was present at the Svayaṃvara of Pāñcālī. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 185, Verse 18).

(iv) He had once gone to Khāṇḍavaprastha with presents to Subhadrā. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 220, Verse 31).

(v) He was a member in the court of Yudhiṣṭhira. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 30).

(vi) He was one of the seven Mahārathas in the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, the other six being Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Cārudekṣṇa, Śaineya, Cakradeva, Pradyumna and Sāmba.

(vii) He was present at the marriage of Abhimanyu at Upaplavyanagara (Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 72, Verse 21).

(viii) The Pāṇḍavas invited him to war against the Kauravas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 12).

(ix) As demanded by Duryodhana he contributed an Akṣauhiṇī (a particular division of army) to the Kaurava forces (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 32).

(x) As ordered by Sātyaki he stationed himself at the city gates to protect Kṛṣṇa. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 130, Verse 10).

(xi) On the first day of the great war he fought a duel with Sātyaki. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 12).

(xii) Abhimanyu wounded him. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 47, Verse 10).

(xiii) He was posted at the head of the Krauñcāruṇavyūha set up by Bhīṣma. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 75, Verse 17).

(xiv) Bhīmasena defeated him. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 61).

(xv) Sātyaki wounded him. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 104, Verse 16).

(xvi) A duel was fought between him and Dhṛṣṭadyumna. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 110, Verse 9).

(xvii) He fought with Arjuna, Bhīma and Sātyaki. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 113, and Droṇa Parva, Chapter 14).

(xviii) He attacked Abhimanyu and killed his horse. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 32).

(xix) He fell down and swooned in the fight with Arjuna. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 92 Verses 16-33).

(xx) Afterwards he fought with Yudhāmanyu and Uttamaujas. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 92, Verse 27).

(xxi) On another occasion he defeated Śikhaṇḍī and Bhīma. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 114, Verse 59).

(xxii) He defeated Yudhiṣṭhira also in fighting. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 165, Verse 24).

(xxiii) Following the death of Droṇa he ran away from the battle-field. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 13).

(xxiv) He fainted on the field in fight with Dhṛṣṭadyumna. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 54). When he regained consciousness he met Duryodhana at Dvaipāyanasaras and induced him to fight. Dharmaputra followed him with the army.

(xxv) He also was present with Aśvatthāmā when he attacked those who were asleep during night. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 38).

(xxvi) It was he, who set fire to the camp of the Pāṇḍavas. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 109).

(xxvii) He returned home after informing Dhṛtarāṣṭra about the death of Duryodhana, on the termination of the great war. (Strī Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 21).

(xxviii) He was present along with Kṛṣṇa at the Aśvamedha yajña conducted by Yudhiṣṭhira. (Āśvamedhika Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 3).

(xxix) He was killed in the club-fight by the Yādavas. Mausala Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 28).

(xxx) After death he joined the Marudgaṇa and secured eternal fame. (Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 13.)

Synonyms for Kṛtavarman.

Ānartavāsī, Bhoja, Bhojarāja, Hārdikya, Hṛdīkātmaja, Mādhava, Sātvata, Vārṣṇeya, Vṛṣṇisiṃha.

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