Kripa, also known as Kripacharya, is a character from the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. He was one of the greatest warriors and teachers of the time, and he served as a counselor to the Kuru king Duryodhana during the Kurukshetra war. Kripa’s immortality is linked to a legend from his early life.
According to the legend, Kripa was the son of the sage Shardwan and his wife Janapadi. One day, while Shardwan was performing a yajna (a Hindu ritual), a hungry, pregnant deer came to him seeking food. Shardwan was moved by the deer’s plight and offered her some of the food that he had prepared for the yajna. However, Janapadi was angry with the deer and killed her, despite her husband’s protests.
As a result of this act, Shardwan cursed Janapadi that she would give birth to a child who would be born with the knowledge of weapons and would become immortal. Janapadi gave birth to Kripa, who was indeed born with the knowledge of weapons and became a great warrior and teacher.
However, Kripa’s immortality is not absolute. In the Mahabharata, it is mentioned that Kripa, along with a few other characters like Ashwatthama and Parikshit, was granted a boon of long life by Lord Krishna. This boon ensured that Kripa would not age or die from natural causes. However, Kripa could still be killed in battle or through other means, as was the case in the Kurukshetra war, where he fought on the side of the Kauravas and was ultimately defeated by the Pandavas.